What is a Gauge in Power BI?

May 11, 2023 | Power BI Hints and Tips

Gauges are a nifty visualisation that can show whether a target has been met or not.  This is really powerful to know and showing this is such a visual way can have a huge impact on the understanding of the data.  They can even be set up to change colour on this basis too.

What does a gauge look like?

A gauge looks a bit like an old fashioned petrol gauge (for those of you that are old enough).  The target data figure shows in the centre with a line to show where the target figure is.  If the shading stops before the target line then the target has not been met, after the line then it has.

Gauge example image

How to create a Gauge visualisation

  1. Click on the Gauge icon from the visualisations pane
Gauge icon image

2. Add the numeric field to be analysed into the values box

Value box image

3. Switch to the format your visual tab in the visualisations pane

Format your visual tab

4. In the gauge axis formatting set the min, max and target values.  If Min and max are not set then the min will be zero and the max will be twice the value

Gauge axis formatting image

5. The colour of the shading and the target line can be changed in Colors

Colors formatting image

6. The Data labels show the minimum and maximum values and can be turned off if not required

Data labels formatting

7. The Target label is the label shown  next to the target line and can also be removed

Target label formatting image

8. The Callout value is the value from the data to be analysed

Callout value formatting image

How to make the Gauge change colour

The gauge can be set to change colour depending on whether the target value is hit or not.

  1. Go to the Colors formatting option from Format your visual in the Visualisations pane
  2. Click on the fx button next to the fill color
  3. Change the Format style from Gradient to Rules
  4. Set the first rule as shown below.  Assuming the target figure is 0.5, numbers between the lowest figure and 0.5 will turn red
  5. Click on + New rule
  6. Set the second rule as shown below.  This will turn numbers between 0.5 and the highest figure green
Conditional formatting rules image

Other Visualisations to show target values

It is important to show the context of any data shown on a dashboard and indicating whether a target value has been met or not is a key way to show this.  Target values can also be shown using KPI visualisations or conditional formatting can be added to a column in a table.  For charts a horizontal target line could be added instead.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading what a Gauge is in Power BI, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft Power BI? Then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft Power BI Desktop Courses I run.