Building Key Performance Indicator (KPI) visualizations in Power BI is a breeze. KPI visualizations allow you to view a specific measure against a target. The target might be last year’s totals or it could be your goal for this year. The easiest way to accomplish these in Tableau is using a bullet cart which is a very effective way of looking at the data but falls short when your audience just wants to see the numbers big and clear. Let’s look at some out of the box visualization types in Power BI.


Using the built-in gauge visualization allows you to quickly show a value (like your current sales). Then you can either use fields for your minimum value, maximum value and target value or just type them in. In this way, you can very quickly build a visualization that shows how you are doing against a predetermined goal.

total sales gauge


The KPI visualization allows you to have a large text indicator but also show a little more context. To build this, you will need 3 fields: what you want to measure (like your current sales), a field for your trend axis (like the fiscal month) and a field for your target (your sales goal per fiscal month). With these fields in place, the visualization will do a couple things automatically: do color coding on the text and trend to indicate if you have reached your goal or not; show the percentage difference between your actual and your goal.

total sales KPI

These two visualization types are great to use on your executive dashboard to clearly communicate progress against your association or department goals.