How to Proactively Manage Key Targets with Microsoft Power BI Goals

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Goals in Power BI is a data-driven method of measuring key business goals, which takes a more collaborative approach.

Microsoft wanted to address the disconnect between data sources and goal tracking. So they have answered with Goals, which is currently in public preview for Power BI Premium users. Power BI Premium, previously only available on an organisation wide capacity, can now be licensed on a per user basis to provide greater flexibility and low-cost entry point.

Power BI Goals introduces a new asset called "Scorecard" (shown below), where tracked goals and sub-goals are collated for a unified view of key business metrics. In Power BI, under the “Goals” tab, users can see the goals which are important to them and goals they’ve previously engaged with, and then navigate around Scorecards.

Power BI Goals Scorecard

Clicking into and scrolling down a Scorecard, users can see a brief summary of each goal with details such as; goal owner, status, progress and due date. The progress graph visual puts in context current performance relative to previous performance, and since goals can be linked to live data, the graphs can be updated with a simple refresh. Being able to assign an owner to goals makes visible accountability and any responsibilities team members have to stay up-to-date and make sure necessary actions are taken to work on goals.

Users can open the “Goal Details” pane, displaying further detail which includes activity history to track any notes that have been added to goal. To add a note to a goal, users can complete a “Check-In” and enter any information on actions completed regarding the goal and new updates from team members. “Check-ins” also allow users to update the status of a goal i.e. from “On Track” to “At Risk” or “Behind”, and if a goal is not live data driven, the goal value can be updated. All of which helps teams to proactively manage their goals.

Power BI Goals Details Pane

To understand in more detail the change in data displayed and investigate why a goal isn’t doing well, open up the underlying report to see the data in the usual form of visual charts and graphs. For each Scorecard, Power BI creates a dataset containing information about the goals, goal values and even the notes, which can be used to create completely new reports, and like all reports linked to live data in Power BI, the visuals will dynamically change every time they are opened or refreshed.

Comparing Power BI Goals & Dynamics 365 Goals

Since all the Power BI Goals functionality is available to use out-the-box with minimal configuration required to track goals, it is much easier to set up in comparison to Dynamics 365 Goals which requires a new record to be created per user on each time period for each type of target.

Power BI Goals that use live data allow users to track goals continuously, whether this is day-to-day or minute-by-minute, rather than comparing the whole monthly performance to the target. Therefore you would be able to see before the end of the month, what actions could be taken to help meet the target at the end of the month. Unlike Dynamics Goals, Power BI Goals provides a more visual experience for goals management with graphs that plot performance over a time period, and the dataset created automatically from Scorecards makes it much easier to create reports and dashboards than when working with Goals in Dynamics.

Power BI Goals features currently under development

Microsoft are already working on further developments for Power BI Goals, and here are some features on the roadmap:

  • Goals for Mobile - Mobile experience for Power BI Goals
  • Automated status rules - Set rules to automatically update goal statuses based on live data
  • Rollups - Define rolls ups (e.g. percentage of total, sum and average) to decide how sub-goals impact main goals
  • Customisations - Formatting capabilities to customise scorecards
  • Scorecard Visual - Visual for Power BI Desktop for users to place alongside other visuals in reports
  • Power Automate integration - Automate your business workflows based on triggers and actions i.e. change in goal status
  • Cascading of Goals - Define hierarchy based on Power BI data model (i.e. product hierarchy or location) and automatically cascade data driven goals across all levels

If you’re interested in exploring Power BI Goals, or simply want to discuss how your organisation can best track business goals, please get in touch with us!

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