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Goals in Power BI is becoming ‘metrics’ and is moving to GA!

Headshot of article author Patrick Baumgartner

We are excited to announce general availability for metrics in Power BI (feature formerly known as ‘goals’) along with a ton of new features to make scorecarding in Power BI even more effective. Additionally, we’re pleased to share plans for how Power BI will work with the upcoming Viva Goals offering from Microsoft to empower organizations more effectively meet their goals with Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) connected to Power BI data.

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With Power BI metrics, we’ve enabled organizations to define, curate, and track business metrics and KPIs to help them drive better decision making. Since the metrics capabilities are integrated into Power BI, we’ve made it simple to measure and get insight from virtually any data source at any scale. We are thrilled to be able to move these capabilities from preview to GA!

And now with Viva Goals, Microsoft is offering robust OKR capabilities to help organizations align teams to strategic priorities, enabling the alignment and collaboration that drives results and a thriving business.  Best of all, we will be making it easy to connect Viva Goals to data and metrics from Power BI! This will enable organizations to tap into Power BI’s massive library of data connectors and rich visual analytics to help bring purpose and alignment to employee experiences delivered by Viva Goals.

Read on to learn more about new features we’re announcing today as part of the metrics in Power BI GA and for details of future integration between Viva Goals and Power BI. You can learn more about Viva Goals here.

We’ll be fully rolling out the name change for metrics in Power BI over the next few weeks and it will not affect the behavior or capabilities that have been in preview and that are moving to GA.

Metrics in Power BI

In today’s data driven world, we know that progress is measured through data. Power BI’s metrics feature enables organizations to create data-driven, collaborative, and adaptable scorecards to track key business metrics.

For example, customers have been able to quickly convert legacy-disconnected business performance tracking tools into connected-sharable Power BI metrics and scorecards that automatically stay in sync with their reporting and analysis solutions. The metrics tracked by users in these organizations are now always up-to-date, include status rules that update automatically based on changing data, are fully secured with Power BI’s permissions and sharing options, and drive faster better decision making. This is not just a dashboard, but a way of working – where every metric owner is empowered to provide check-ins on progress and meetings can be run right from scorecards showing the latest data.

Power BI metrics works wherever you and your team work to help drive a data culture in your organization. This includes purpose built mobile capabilities inside of Power BI’s mobile app, seamless integration in Teams through the Power BI app for teams, and even the ability to embed interactive scorecards within reports in PowerPoint presentations using new Power BI add-in PowerPoint!

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Automatically setup cascading scorecards with hierarchies

One of the most hotly anticipated capabilities for the metrics feature in Power BI has been the ability to create ‘cascading scorecards’ that roll-up along hierarchies in your data. The new hierarchies features enables you to set up a hierarchy for a scorecard and map the Power BI datasets referenced by metrics in the scorecard to the hierarchy and owner fields.

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Power BI will automatically cascade metrics to each level of the hierarchy. Users can easily drill into the hierarchy to see status and do check-ins a different levels. Best of all, data is automatically rolled-up to provide a single, aligned, top-level view of your metrics.

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To quickly spot outliers or areas to focus you attention, we’ve also created a heatmap view where you can compare metrics from across different levels of the hierarchy right in one view. This is great for spotting areas where even though the top level KPI is green, inside there are areas that are red.

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We’re putting the final touches on this new hierarchies feature and it will be rolling out later this summer.

Link metrics across scorecards and define custom roll-ups

Also shipping later this summer is the ability to define custom roll-ups so that the value for parent metrics can be calculated from the value of child sub-metrics. For example, the parent metric being equal to the total for the value of each child metric under the parent. This, combined with another new feature to link a goal from one scorecard to appear on other scorecards provides a huge level of flexibility for defining and aligning scorecards across your organization.

Define metrics with categorical values and targets

Often times a metric being tracked does not have a numerical value. For example, a ‘grade’ or compliance rating may be tracked with a set of categorical values such as ‘A, B, C, D, or F’. Similarly, a metric that is tracking survey results might be based on categories such as “5 – highly satisfied” to “0 – highly unsatisfied”. Now, with you can create metrics to directly track these categorical values.

To setup a categorical metric, change the data type for a metric to ‘Categorical’ and then define the list of categorical values you’d like to use.

Setup up metrics with multiple milestones and targets

For some metrics the target changes over time. For example, as a business you might want to set sales target to increase over time to guide users on how quickly they are expected to meet a final target. Now, instead of manually adjusting the target for a metric or needing to model the target value within a dataset, you can setup multiple targets right in the metric definition. These milestones and target values are shown to metric owners and work with status rules making it much easier to setup scorecards that keep working over time and better reflect the steps expected on the path to reaching a final target.

To setup multiple milestones and targets, simply press edit for the target value and then provide the due date and value for each milestone.

Deliver stronger business results and employee experience with Viva Goals (coming later this year)

While metrics in Power BI provides a great way to define and track specific KPIs, helping to align and drive your organization to achieve specific goals takes more than just data. Viva Goals aligns teams to your organization’s OKRs, providing employees and teams with clarity on how their work is impacting the business’s most important priorities. With that alignment in place, teams stay focused on work that drives desired results for the businesses and employees feel empowered with a sense of purpose on a daily basis. With that alignment in place, teams then can focus on doing the work, making sound decisions, and driving the desired results for the business.

It achieves this by bringing goals into the flow of everyday work to ensure OKRs don’t exist in a silo, progress is shared across the organization, and processes are tailored to match how your company works.

We’re excited to share that later this year we’ll be making it simple to pull Power BI data and metrics into Viva Goals. This enables organizations to create alignment and clarity all the way from Power BI reporting and analytics solutions up to objectives being driven through Viva Goals – backed by the robust-collaborative processes for executing on OKRs provided by Viva Goals.

[Updated 5.31.2022 – updated for readability and clarity.]