Tabular Model: Why is the ‘Create KPI’ button grayed out?

How can you quickly identify how a given business objective is performing against a target? Tabular Models permit the implementation of Key Performance Indicators, which allow us to compare an actual value against a target value. A simple example of KPI usage might be to identify whether your sales are on target for a given month, for example. 

The TechNet tutorial for creating KPIs can be found here. Normally the process is straightforward, but you might notice that the ‘Create KPI’ button is grayed out. Why is this?
Basically, to create a KPI, you use the measure grid for a table to select a measure that evaluates to the KPI’s actual value. In the tabular model, this is also known as the Base value. Then, you use the Key Performance Indicator dialog box to select your target value. This can be a second measure or an absolute value, depending on your business requirement. Finally, you then define status thresholds that measure the performance between the Base and Target measures. 


A simple thing that might trip you up: you need to create a measure in the table, which you can place in the measure grid, which you can find at the foot of the table. In order to create a KPI, you need to select the base measure in the measure grid: if you don’t do this, then the KPI button will be greyed out.  Here is an example to the left.

In order to make sure that the ‘Create KPI’ button isn’t greyed out, simply click on your actual Base measure on the Measure Grid. Then, you will see that the Create KPI button comes back.

It may seem such a small thing, but I can see that it might frustrate who might be expecting a wizard to appear, with no dependency on having clicked the Base measure.

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