Introducing Goals in Power BI

Organizations exist to achieve business objectives and in today’s data driven world, we know that progress is measured through data. However, this is often challenging as goal tracking systems are disconnected from your business data and often require manual updates. Not only that, but goals need to be optimized for teamwork, tightly integrated into core business processes, and easily extended.

We are very excited to announce the public preview of Goals in Power BI. Goals is a data-driven, collaborative, and adaptable way to measure key business metrics and goals built directly on top of Power BI. Goals enables teams to easily curate business metrics that matter most and aggregate them in a unified view. From there, teams can measure progress against their goals, proactively share updates with their teammates, and dive deeper into their data when something needs further analysis. Users can easily monitor the health of their business, bringing in data across multiple Power BI workspaces and create gorgeous scorecards to drive impact.

Goals in Microsoft Teams

Excited? Read on for a tour of Goals in Power BI. Or, head on over to https://app.powerbi.com to explore it yourself!
  

To get started, head on over to the Power BI service and select Goals from the navigation pane.

The Goals tab is a centralized hub that makes it easy for users to stay on top of their important goals and navigate to scorecards they have access to.

The goal page contains my goals and activity, recent, favorites, shared with me and all scorecards and sample scorecards.


Note: If you are a new user, your Goals page will likely look empty. No worries, read on to learn how to create a scorecard!


On this screen, you can see:

  1. My goals and activity. The top section contains all the goals that matter the most to you. These are curated automatically by Power BI based on the goals that you: are assigned to, edited, or performed a recent check-in.
  2. Recent, Favorites, Shared with me, and All Scorecards. This section is a tabbed list view of scorecards you have access to.
  3. Sample scorecards. The last section contains sample scorecards. As a new user, if you want to check out what scorecards are all about, you can select one of the pre-configured scorecards. Selecting a sample opens the scorecard.

  

With Goals, we are introducing a new first-class artifact in Power BI called a scorecard. A scorecard brings together all the different goals and/or subgoals you are tracking. Here’s what a typical scorecard might look like:

Example of a typical scorecard

Users can assign owners to a goal to drive alignment and accountability. Goals also have a status to let users easily know if something is on track or behind. As a user looks through a scorecard, they can easily track the latest progress using the built in sparkline and see when the goal is due.
  

In addition to seeing all your goals in one view, scorecards make it easy for you to dig deeper into the data and add notes to proactively keep the team up to date with your progress.

Goal details
The goals details pane provides the entire history for the goal from the start date, including check-ins, status changes, and relevant notes. To access the details pane, simply navigate to a scorecard, and select the goal name. Power BI will automatically show the details pane as the following image.

Goal details provide more information on a goal on a scorecard.

Check-ins
The check-in experience within scorecards allows users to add or update the following:

  • Goal value(s)
  • Status
  • Notes on a data point

Note: Goal value(s) can only be updated via a check-in for non-data driven goals (i.e. ones that are not connected to a value in a Power BI report)


In the example below, a user includes a check-in to let the team know their fall in revenue is associated with a particular Country and Vertical:

Check-ins provide a way of updating the status of a goal

Finally, whenever a user needs to investigate why a goal is behind or at risk, they can, they can easily navigate to the underlying report and dive into the detail of the data!
  

Creating a scorecard is a frictionless experience – it is easier to author goals and a scorecard than it is to create Power BI reports.

When users start from a blank scorecard, they can simply add a Goal and start defining the data right there in the scorecard. Users can type in a name and select a person (or group) as the owner. Users have the flexibility to choose whether their targets and values are data driven. If a user wants to define those directly in the scorecard they can type them in, but they can also seamlessly connect to data from a Power BI app or report. Scorecards can even have goals that span reports across multiple different workspaces, enabling users to truly consolidate all their business data into a single unified view!

Creation of a new scorecard

After navigating to a report, users can select a slice of any visual they want, including having the ability to set filters, do drill downs etc. This means that users can very precisely specify the exact data point they want to track. If a user selects a time series chart, Power BI will even bring in the full history of the data into the scorecard.

Finally, a user can do some lightweight formatting, define the status, the due date and in a couple of clicks fully operationalize their goal.

Alongside the scorecard artefact, Power BI also creates a scorecard dataset. This dataset contains a pre-defined schema, containing information about the scorecard, the goals, their values and even the notes. Power BI creates regular snapshots of the data meaning we automatically build up a history of the goals on behalf of the user. Users can Analyze this dataset in Excel or create completely new reports on top of it.


  

We have lots of ambitious plans and there are a lot of exciting capabilities being worked on that are coming later this year. Here are a couple of things the team is working on:

Goals on Mobile – We will be providing a first-class mobile experience for Power BI Goals making it easy to perform check-ins and see the status of your goals

Automated status rules – This means these rules can be data driven and users do not have to update statuses manually.

Rollups – Users will be able to define rollups (e.g. sum, average , % of total) to determine how sub-goals roll up to their goals

Customizations – A rich set of formatting capabilities will allow you to customize your scorecards based on your organizational needs

Scorecard visual – A scorecard visual is coming to Power BI Desktop to enable you to place a scorecard alongside other visuals directly in your reports

Power Automate integration – You will be able to automate your business workflows based on triggers and actions such as a goal changing status

Cascading of Goals – Finally we have exciting new capabilities that will truly transform scorecards from self-service to an enterprise solution. Users will be able to define a hierarchy based on their Power BI data model (e.g., a geographical or product hierarchy) and automatically cascade their data driven goals across all the different levels.
  

Make sure you try out Goals in Power BI while it is in preview. We would love to hear what you think about this new experience and how we can improve it! If you have any feedback for the team, please share your thoughts below and add your ideas at Ideas (powerbi.com).

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