In our previous post, we compared the tools on how you could programmatically create some simple KPIs. In other words, we compared "apples to apples." In this post, we will be comparing related features of these tools that are not quite so easily compared. Therefore, there will be no winner assigned in this post; it is purely for informational purposes. On another note, the term KPI takes on somewhat of an ambiguous meaning in this post. We typically refer to run-time calculations as KPIs. It turns out that Power Pivot's feature is also called KPI; however, we'll try to be deliberate about our word choices. Now, let's get on with the examination.
Power Pivot KPIs
In the Power Pivot ribbon (among other places), you will see an icon that says "KPI." Clicking on this icon will allow to select "New KPI" or "Manage KPIs." Click on a KPI, or creating a new one, will open up the following window:
|KPI Window (Power Pivot)|
|Sum Sales KPI (Power Pivot)|
|Sum Sales KPI by Region and Year (Power Pivot)|
To be honest, this feature is not very useful within Excel. The KPI calculation can easily be made using [Base] / [Goal]. Also, the target audience for Power Pivot is Excel Power Users. These Power Users should already have a good understanding of how to create conditional formatting. Therefore, we don't see many people using this feature inside of Excel. However, this feature does become useful when you are creating dashboards inside of Power View, which does not have built-in functionality for conditional formatting. When you are using these KPIs inside of Power View, you will see that changing the display style of the KPI will be reflected in your dashboard.
So, we will end this examination by saying that this feature is neat, albeit weak, addition to the Power View Dashboard toolkit. It allows the users to spice up their text tables to add that next level of usability, and we all know that text tables are an Excel Users best friend!
Tableau Quick Table Calculations
Whenever you drag a measure onto a chart in Tableau, you can right-click the measure and select "Quick Table Calculation." This will open up a list of common calculations that Tableau will calculate for you.
|Quick Tableau Calcuation (Tableau)|
|Year over Year Growth by Region (Tableau)|
Power Pivot's KPI feature is an easy way to add a little color and readability to your Power View dashboards. It also allows you to easily create and maintain simple indicators in one central location. On the other side, Tableau's Quick Table Calculation feature allows the user to create some complex calculations such as Year over Year Growth and Moving Averages with only a couple of clicks. It is also useful for learning how to better utilize table calculations in Tableau. Thanks for reading. We hope you found this informative.
Associate Data Analytics Consultant