The term KPI, or key performance indicator, is widely used in most business settings. KPIs are a critical piece of data analytics and are used to quickly gauge how a team is performing against a target. It’s important to ensure your team has a fundamental understanding of how KPIs should be used in Power BI reports. This article will explore the basics of KPIs as well as the ways in which you can leverage Power BI to more accurately track your team’s performance.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are essential for an organization to understand how they are progressing toward an objective. They are critical targets that keep teams on track and help businesses make better decisions. KPIs should be easy to interpret so that they can help inform business strategy at all levels of an organization.
KPIs will look different for each individual business but will always measure progress towards desired outcomes. While they may look different in every organization, there are common KPIs based on industry or team segment. For example, a Sales team will want to track KPIs that measure sales revenue against a goal as well as the size of opportunities in the pipeline to quickly assess overall sales health.
There are many different types of KPIs and the ones you choose to leverage will depend on what’s important to your business. While KPIs typically measure numerical values, KPIs can also be qualitative and evaluate how users feel about a product or an experience. KPIs can commonly be grouped by the following:
Beyond these categories, there are KPIs that are commonly used within certain teams to assess business performance. Some examples include:
Each department should have their own distinct KPIs that impact the company’s core objectives. The most important first step is identifying the top 1-5 KPIs that the company intends to measure. Once these are established, each department can create their KPIs by making sure they align with and impact the company goals.
It’s also helpful to define a standard reporting cadence company wide that each department will use to track progress on their goals (e.g. daily, weekly, quarterly). This is helpful in keeping reports up-to-date, establishing accountability, and creating a reporting cadence that stakeholders can rely on.
When setting your team’s KPIs, avoid overly complicated or convoluted metrics that are not aligned with your team’s core objectives or that are not easily understood by any department in the company. Simple to understand and easy to track is ideal.
Additionally, KPIs should be actionable. Choose to measure objectives that are clear to all team members and that can be course corrected when KPIs are not being met. It’s important to ensure members of the team know how to adjust behavior and that ownership of KPI tracking is appropriately delegated.
Power BI is a robust business intelligence application that can help your organization track and manage KPIs via accessible data analytics dashboards. Once you have determined the KPIs that your team would like to track, Power BI can be used to assess progress toward a goal.
Within Power BI, a KPI is a visualization option type that requires a base value or indicator, trend or time value, and a goal. Select the KPI visualization type and you will be presented with Indicator, Trend Axis, and Goal input values:
As an example, a sales team may have a quarterly goal of $1M in sales. The dataset in Power BI would require inputs of Sales (the indicator value), Quarter (the trend axis value), and the goal value of $1M. The KPI visualization type will automatically calculate the progress to goal. In this case, the current quarter sales are at $.5M, or half of the target value.
This allows sales professionals to quickly assess performance and make the necessary modifications as a team to ensure the goal is met.
While Power BI makes it easy to format a dataset into a KPI visualization, Numerro has custom KPI cards available for download with dashboard templates or as standalone visualizations. These can be easily used in your Power BI reports so you don’t have to worry about KPI visualization design.
Each of Numerro’s custom KPI cards contain several different elements that can be viewed in Power BI’s Selection pane. Using the Numerro finance dashboard as an example, all KPIs are formatted at the top of the dashboard to allow for important performance assessments to be made quickly.
Each individual KPI card includes an icon image, multiple shapes for background design, a card for the metric value, and a text box to label the KPI. This creates a consistent look and feel for each KPI and streamlines design to ensure the dashboard looks professional.
While each KPI has a distinct icon, there is a uniform design between all five KPIs to draw attention to the top of the dashboard and align each figure as one of significance in determining an organization’s financial health.
Numerro also has various standalone KPI visualization options available for download in the Numerro Hub. These include icon-focused KPIs as well as visualization options that showcase team performance against a goal.
KPIs are essential for businesses to understand how they are performing against critical targets. While there are many types of KPIs, leveraging these metrics can help teams understand and improve upon performance before goals are missed.
Power BI is a robust visualization tool that can help your team create dashboards and better understand how they are progressing toward team objectives. Numerro’s custom KPI templates are available for download as Power BI files to streamline your team’s KPI design process—ensuring your dashboards look professional while helping your teams stay on track with metrics that pop.
The value of embedded analytics.
Create a dashboard mockup for BI reporting that is well designed and communicates the right information.
Learn how to build and design reports in Power BI, including a step by step building process and our top 10 design tips.