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I've got two primary datasets:

  1. Real data with all sales transactions.

For example RealData:

Date;Sales

16-01-2017;1200

20-01-2017;1500

05-02-2017;800

08-02-2017;1100

13-02-2017;300

Etc.

2. A plan with total sales I want to achieve, with totals at the last day of each month.

For example EndOfMonthTargets:

Date;Sales

31-01-2017;3000

28-02-2017;2500

 

Etc.

In my real data, I (a) also have data from the years before 2017, and obviously, I have the targets for each month in 2017. The RealData is always live / up to date.

What I'm trying to do is show KPI visualizations: how is the real data vs the plan doing. However, I can't figure out how to relate the two datasets, because the cannot really be joined together.

What is the idiomatic way to do this in PowerBI?


I've tried:

  • adding a column to each source with its respective status ("real" vs "plan")
  • creating a union (i.e. "Append Queries as New")
  • adding a column Month = MONTH([Date])

Giving me this data:

But that's weird, because then the KPI visualization will include the "Plan" data either at the start or worse at the end where it will be plotted as the "current" number.

The expected output is a KPI visualization:

  • showing the absolute number of sales summed by year (or month, if my slicers are set that way!)

  • with the Target goals retrieved from the plan data

  • with a trend based on previous years (not included in my sample data)

How do I achieve that?

1 Answer

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by (47.2k points)
  • Few ways are there to join tables like this. We have 2 tables with different granularities: a sales table that goes to the day, and a target table that goes down to the month. It's a common request to model them against each other, and it boils down to having a lookup table that both fact tables can join with.

  • Follow this:

    • You need to have a table of your real data

    • You need a table of your plan/target data, using the last day of the month is fine

    • Do not relate these 2 fact tables together directly

    • Rather, have a separate date lookup table, to which both tables are joined. This date dimension should, at a minimum, have a month & year column (e.g. March 2017).

    • Join both fact tables to your date table

    • Hide the date fields in your 2 fact tables, so that you aren't tempted to use them in visuals (you have to use the date fields from the lookup table instead)

  • Measures can be created to SUM your actual and targets. And then additional measures that subtract those 2 measures against each other or divide one into the other. All those measures will then be sliceable by the month & year on your date table. You could slice them by date too, but because targets are assigned to the last day of the month, that granularity will be less than helpful.

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