In SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), a key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric that a business uses to measure its success and progress. The metric is compared against a goal to determine its position relative to that goal and its velocity (trend). For example, a business might identify "Monthly Profit" as a KPI. The business establishes monthly goals for profit, and then compares the actual monthly profit to those goals to see if they met, exceeded, or fell short of their goal, and whether their profit is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same.

In Analysis Services, KPIs are objects in a cube and they define expressions that Analysis Services uses to get the value, goal, status, and trend for the KPI. Analysis Services KPIs also specify images that helps users grasp the status and trend of the KPI.

Example of KPIs showing value and goal columns, and graphical status and trend indicators

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