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Actual vs Budget Analysis in Power BI

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Actual vs Budget Analysis in Power BI

In January 2017, Microsoft had a blog post about which visuals were better for displaying Actual versus Budget or Forecast variances.

If you liked that post you will love what Power BI – Visual Planning can do for you:

Update your Forecast or Budget numbers on the fly directly in PowerBI!


How is the Budget or Forecast doing?

Lets take a look! It is obvious from the graphic below that our budget is already way off. It is all RED. This is very typical to many organizations, but the real problem isn’t bad performance, it is  just that it the budget is never updated. All variances from budget are in the ‘red’. Our organization has lost one key account in California, and now we need to create a new Forecast to reflect the new operating environment.


Update the Forecast

With PowerBI – Visual Planning this is easy. We used Power Planner to copy the current Budget to a new Forecast Version. When opening PowerBI – Visual Planning you can enter the new data for any dimension and write back this value to the database so everybody can see the new Forecast and Targets for California. Whichever visualization you focus on, you can see now what TX and CA is in the Green, while Indiana is still blood red.

Now it is up to you to choose which PowerBI – Visual Planning visualization is providing you the best information!


Indiana(IN) should be next on your list, and if you want to update the forecast, you just enter the number in PowerBI – Visual Planning, press ‘Save Changes’ and all the visuals update after the save is done. It couldn’t be any easier!

How does it work?

PowerBI – Visual Planning supports all the 200+ visualizations for Power BI. This blog post is only showing a handful. Visual Planning takes advantage of the latest and greatest technologies of Power BI, and lets end-users enter data straight into PowerBI. Visual Planning supports both on-premises and Azure data sources. Here is how you get started:

How to get started?

Getting started is easy. You do not have to learn any new tools, as all calculations in PowerBI-Visual Planning uses standard Microsoft Technologies like Excel, PowerBI, PowerPivot, DAX, SSAS Tabular, On-Premises, or in Azure.

  • Make sure your data is in a SQL database.
  • Develop a PowerPivot or SSAS Tabular Model, on-premises or in Azure, or a combination.
  • Create a Power BI Desktop Workbook and connect it to the Power BI – Visual Planning WebService.
  • Purchase licenses for Named Users, Concurrent User, or Seasonal Workers that only need access for part of the year.
  • Publish the Workbook to a PowerBI Workspace, and users get notified by email that they need to update the Forecast or Projection.

Want to learn more?

View the demo!

Read the description!

Contact Sales for more information