QT#90 – Adding a Budget vs Actual Variance Value to a Power BI Clustered Column Chart

See budget versus actual maintenance costs clearly with this Power BI chart hack. Instead of mentally calculating the difference between budgeted and actual maintenance costs, add a variance column to explicitly display the delta. Color code and arrow the variance column so over-budget months jump out.

This technique works for any clustered column chart comparing two measures in Power BI. Some examples:

  • Work order attainment: Scheduled work orders and completed work orders, with variance showing incomplete.
  • Preventative maintenance compliance: Planned PM work orders and completed PMs, with variance highlighting uncompleted PMs.

The variance column simplifies chart interpretation by doing the math for you. No more staring at two columns and mentally subtracting! See the cost difference at a glance.

Download the pbix file here.

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About the author 

Jason Davidson

Jason Davidson is the founder of EffectiveDashboards.com. He is a maintenance and reliability engineer who uses Power BI every day to create dashboards that help him and others make better decisions. In his spare time, he likes running and has recently got into photography. He also loves spending time hanging out and larking about with his two daughters.

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