Sales Goal Selection Tool

Ann Jackson set this week’s #WOW2021 challenge, based on a recent ‘real world’ situation she had encountered.

Analysing Ann’s solution (by interacting with her published solution), I deduced we’d need to use set actions to add and remove the selected Sub-Categories into and out of the set (I hadn’t noticed Ann had tagged the challenge on the main page with Set Actions 🙂 ). I also realised the initial visual in the first column, wasn’t using reference lines to depict the target, as the tooltip displayed on hover, was much more detailed than what you can add to a reference line tooltip.

So armed with this knowledge, I set about building what was required.

  • Defining the required calculations
  • Building the BANs
  • Building the viz
  • Adding the interactivity

Defining the required calculations

This is one of those challenges where I want to get all the calcs sorted up front in a tabular view, before even attempting the viz. I’ll go through what I ended up with, but be assured this did take a bit of time and change of direction to get what I needed.

Let’s start with parameters. Firstly I created a parameter to simulate ‘today’, that is hardcoded to 9th June 2021

I then created a parameter to store the % uplift we want to use for one of the goal options. I default this to 0.1 (ie 10%)

We need to work out the sales so far this year (ie the sales in 2021 up to and including 9th June 2021), and the equivalent sales for the previous year (ie the sales in 2020 up to and including 9th June 2020).

SALES YTD by Sub Cat

IF YEAR([Order Date]) = YEAR([pToday]) AND [Order Date] <= [pToday] THEN [Sales] END


IF YEAR([Order Date]) = YEAR([pToday])-1 AND [Order Date] <= DATEADD(‘year’,-1,[pToday]) THEN [Sales] END

Let’s pop these into a table with the Category and Sub-Category fields, and add grand totals, so we can see what figures we need to be aiming for the BANs at the top.

Now let’s work out the values for the goals.

One goal is based on finding the average sales per day in 2021, then extrapolating this across the whole year.

So firstly, we need to know how many days in the year up to ‘today’.

# Days So Far This Year

DATEDIFF(‘day’,DATETRUNC(‘year’,[pToday]), [pToday] ) +1

This finds the number of days between 01 Jan 2021 and 09 June 2021 (then adds 1, as we need to include 9th June too).

# Days in Year

DATEDIFF(‘day’,DATETRUNC(‘year’,[pToday]), DATEADD(‘year’,1,DATETRUNC(‘year’,[pToday])))

This finds the number of days between 01 Jan 2021 and 01 Jan 2022.

These methods ensure the right number of days is recorded if the ‘current’ year happens to be a leap year.

We can now work out one of the goals

Same Pace Goal

(SUM([SALES YTD by Sub Cat])/[# Days So Far This Year]) * [# Days In Year]

Add up the Sales so far this year and divide by the number of days so far to get the average sales value per day, then multiply by the total number of days in the year.

For the other goal, we need to determine the sales for the whole of the previous year, and multiple by the uplift %.


IF YEAR([Order Date]) = YEAR([pToday])-1 THEN [Sales] END

This gives the total sales for 2020.

LY + Percent Increase

SUM([SALES LY])*(1+[pPercentIncrease])

This applies the % increase parameter to the total sales for 2020.

Now we want to decide which of the goal values to use based on ‘selection’. To define the selected Sub-Categories, we’re going to use a set. Right-click on Sub-Category > Create > Set, name accordingly and select ‘Phones’ as the initial value in the set.

Use Last Year With Increase

Now we can use whether the record is in or out of the set in the logic to determine the goal to use


IF ATTR([Use Last Year With Increase]) then [LY + Percent Increase Goal] ELSE [Same Pace Goal] END

Add the set and the goal field to the table, and you’ll see the value in the final column is matching the relevant previous columns, depending on whether the Sub-Category is IN or OUT of the set.

NOTE – when you do this, you’ll get In or Out displayed against each row. To get the description as I’ve got displayed, right click on the text In or Out and Edit Alias.

These data fields are going to be used to build out the central viz. There’s a couple of other fields we need to finish off the data requirements for the viz

Value to Goal

[YEAR-END GOAL Per Sub Cat]-SUM([SALES YTD by Sub Cat])


% of Goal

SUM([SALES YTD by Sub Cat])/[YEAR-END GOAL Per Sub Cat]

This field needs to be formatted to percentage with 0 dp (all other monetary fields need to be formatted to $ with 0 dp).

So now we have the core fields stored against each row that will help us build out the main viz. You can edit the set and add further sub-categories, so you can validate how the values change.

Now we want to work on the data we need for the BANs. You may think the grand totals sum up all the rows above, however while this works fine for the SALES YTD by Sub Cat and SALES LY YTD by Sub Cat columns, it isn’t the case for the YEAR-END GOAL by Sub Cat column.

If we select all the rows in that column, and examine the tooltip that appears on hover, the total of the selected columns differs from the total at the bottom of the column.

The value in the hover text is what we need. The discrepancy with the column grand total is because it’s working across the whole data and not row by row. Because at least 1 record is in the set, its taking the logic to use the same pace goal. You’ll notice the total of this column matches the total of the Same Pace Goal column. In fact as you add more values to the set, the total will match the Same Pace Goal total up until all values are in the set. At that point the total will match the LY + Percent Increase column.

So back to the summary measures. We’re going to use table calcs to solve this.







These are all basically summing up the values displayed in the rows on the screen. Add them to the table, and you can see the same values are displayed on each row which tally to other data in the table

Right, we have all the data fields we need, let’s start building.

Building the BANs

On a new sheet, add the fields as below

We want to turn this into 1 row.

Create a field called



and add this to the Rows shelf and change to be discrete (blue pill). Each row should be numbered from 1 to 17.

Now drag the Index field from the Rows shelf onto the Filter shelf and when prompted select 1.

You’ve now got 1 row displayed, but the data associated to all the rows is being included in the calcs (if you’d filtered just to Sub Category = Accessories for example, the date would be just related to the rows with the Accessories value).

Now we can tidy this to look how we want

  • Add Measure Names to Text shelf (change display to entire view if need be).
  • Hide Sub-Category from displaying (uncheck Show Header)
  • Right Click on each column title and Edit Alias to remove the ‘along…’ text
  • Format the text appropriately and align centrally
  • Adjust the tooltip to remove the Sub-Category info
  • Hide the Measure Names from displaying (uncheck Show Header).
  • Format the Row Dividers to be thick

Building the Viz

Add Category and Sub-Category to the Rows shelf on a new sheet. Change the sort of the Category field to sort by data source order, descending. Change the sort of the Sub-Category field to sort as below

Add SALES YTD by Sub Cat to Columns, then drag SALES LY YTD by Sub Cat onto the canvas and drop onto the SALES YTD by Sub Cat axis when you see the 2 columns appear

Drag Measure Names from the Rows shelf to the Size shelf. Add Measure Names to the Colour shelf. Adjust sizes and colours accordingly. Add a white border to the bars on the colour shelf.

Turn stack marks off (Analysis > Stack Marks > Off) to allow the bars to overlay each other.

Add both SALES YTD by Sub Cat and SALES LY YTD by Sub Cat to the Tooltip shelf, so you can reference both values regardless which bar you’re hovering over.

Add YEAR-END GOAL by Sub Cat to the Columns shelf and set to dual axis and synchronise axis. Reset the mark type of the Measure Values card to bar, and of the YEAR-END GOAL by Sub Cat card to Gantt.

Remove the Measure Names from the Size and Colour on the YEAR-END GOAL by Sub Cat card. Set the colour of this mark to black.

On the All marks card, add YEAR-END GOAL by Sub Cat to the Tooltip shelf so once again it’s value can be referenced by all marks.

Adjust the tooltip on the All marks card to match.

‘Type in’ MIN(0) to the Columns shelf (double click in the space next to the pills to enable the text edit feature). On this MIN(0) marks card, change mark type to Text and add Value to Goal to the Text shelf. Adjust the text to include the additional wording and adjust size too if need be. Adjust tooltip too.

Repeat this process for the % of Goal field too.

For the circles, create another MIN(0) column in the same way, but this time change mark type to circle, and add Use Last Year with Increase set to the Colour shelf and adjust. Adjust tooltips.

Format axes/gridlines/text/row banding accordingly and rotate text of the Category field.

Adding the interactivity

Add the sheets to a dashboard. Add a set action to add Sub-Categories to the set on click (Dashboard > Action > Add Action > Change Set Values). Set the action to run on select (on click) of the chart viz, to add values to the Use Last Year with Increase set.

We then need another set action to remove the Sub-Categories, but this needs to work by clicking a link in the tooltip which displays. The name of this action will display on the tooltip.

And fingers crossed.. that should be it! My published viz is here.

Happy vizzin’! Stay Safe!


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