Configure a Measure

Once you’ve created a Measure, you’re ready to start configuring it!

If you're configuring a Measure that you just created, the Configure Measure page will load right after you name your Measure and click "Create Measure" to proceed (see the Create and Manage a Measure article). If you are trying to configure a pre-existing Measure, just open the Measure and click the Edit button in the Asset Action Bar to access the Configure Measure page.

General Info

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Full title: This title is shown on the Measure's summary page, as well as in the asset catalog. If you do not enter a title here, the value will default to "Untitled Measure - [Today's Date]."

Display name: This is the shortened title that displays on your Measure when it's embedded in a Story as a metric card. The 26 character limited is determined by the size of the metric card.

Description: Enter a description of your Measure here to help site users understand what your Measure represents. This description text appears on the Measure summary page and in the catalog.

Edit All Metadata (Advanced): This button will navigate you to the Edit Metadata page, where you can apply additional metadata to your Measure. Please note that when you save new content on the Edit Metadata page, it will overwrite any metadata you configured in the “General Info” tab. We are working to remedy this in the future to prevent users from inadvertently losing metadata.

Methods and Analysis

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Methods: Enter details about how your data is collected, including the tools used and any quality assurance processes followed.

Analysis: Detail any data work that you might have performed before coming to the final version, include your expert opinion on the result or trend indicated by the data, and share how you believe this Measure will trend in the future.

Data Source

This tab opens the asset selector, where you can choose from all eligible private or public datasets on your domain, including derived views, to power your Measure. If you are federating with another domain, you can also use federated datasets and derived views. To select a data source, click "Select" in the far right column (if you click on the asset's name, the asset will open).

In order for a data source to be valid for use in a Measure, it must have both a date/time column and another alphanumeric column (which can be empty of values).

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When you have selected an asset and it is ready for use, the gray box under "Select a Dataset" will turn green and show the selected data source's title and row count:

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If your dataset does not meet requirements, or you have not defined a data source, you will see an error message. See this article explaining the different error messages.

Reporting Period

The reporting period is used both in the calculation of your Measure and in the visualization of the calculation.

Begin by selecting the size of your reporting period, or how often you want to report the data on this Measure. The options available are yearly, quarterly, monthly, or weekly. This increment determines when the value on your Measure's metric card will be updated, as well as how the visualization of the Measure will appear.

Note: The start date of your Measure is chosen in the "Chart Options" tab, since it determines the leftmost point of your visualization's x-axis.

Period Type

The reporting period types to choose from are Last Value, Today (Open Period) and Last Completed (Closed Period). You can think of these as display options for your Measure's metric card and visualization.

Last Value: This is best used when there is a delay in data reporting. It allows performance programs to accurately track and display up-to-date data while also accommodating delays in data reporting. If you have a Measure that reports data one or two reporting periods after it's been collected, this configuration option is likely the best choice for you.

If this reporting period is used, the increment of data used in your Measure visualization will be determined automatically, and you will not see the "All Periods"/"Current Period" option on the visualization card for your Measure.

For detailed examples and screenshots of the Last Value reporting period, see the release notes.

Today (Open Reporting Period): This refers to a period that has not yet ended, but has a defined end point. If you want to display data on your metric card and visualization as the underlying data is updated, regardless of the date, use this option.

If this reporting period is used, you will see the following additional configuration options under your start/end date selection in the "Chart Options" tab:

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With this reporting period, the "All Periods"/"Current Period" links will appear on the visualization card for your Measure.

Last Completed (Closed Reporting Period): This refers to a period that has already passed or ended. With closed reporting periods, data from completed reporting periods will be displayed at the end of that period. For example, if you’ve configured a monthly reporting period and today is March 15, your metric card and metric visualization will display data from February (the whole month has passed) but not from March (not yet complete).

This is helpful where there is a lot of variation in the data between reporting periods, since it reduces the potential confusion from seeing the variations in real time. This option is also appropriate if you perform data validation/cleaning throughout a reporting period and do not want to expose potentially incorrect information to your viewers until you have validated the data at the end of the reporting period. Note: If using a Closed reporting period, you will need a dataset that contains data in the prior reporting period relative to today in order to display a calculated value other than zero. For example, if today is March 15 and I have configured a closed monthly reporting period, my card and visualization will display "zero" unless I have data for February.

Also, if this reporting period is used, the increment of data used in your Measure visualization will be determined automatically, and you will not see the "All Periods"/"Current Period" option on the visualization card for your Measure.

Calculation

The calculation of your Measure may be the most important part of this configuration, so we've made the options particularly robust. There's a separate article to cover it all -- please read it here!

Targets

In both ongoing and periodic targets, you can now replace the "Target" text with a custom label for measure tiles.

Ongoing targets are non-time-bound target values that you can set for your measure. You can set as many ongoing targets as you'd like.

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Ongoing targets will display on both the measure metric card and visualization:

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Periodic targets are those that align to your reporting period, e.g. year, quarter, month, or week. You can set as many targets as you want for any of these reporting periods.

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Targets will display on the metric card and metric visualization (for all periods, not just the current period):

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Status

Setting a status allows you to easily communicate the progress of your measure to your users. We provide four default status options for you to choose from:

  1. Measuring
  2. On Track
  3. Off Track
  4. In Progress

Or you can set your own through the Label Override. Note: There is a 20 character limit for this.

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Dynamic Status

Dynamic Status allows you to set a Measure's status based on a set of defined parameters. As the underlying data updates, so too will the Measure's status.

Proximity: Proximity status displays a status automatically based on a set numeric distance from a Measure's target. This status type is best used in conjunction with Measures that are aiming to maintain an ideal, steady range of values (e.g. keep a steady ideal range of hours worked by paramedics over a 1 week period).

Above/Below: This option displays a status automatically based on whether a data point is above or below a Measure's target. This status type is best used in conjunction with Measures that are tracking spending costs or even tracking a lowering or decreasing trend. One example of this might be to keep project spending below $200K with awareness of overspending at $180K, and sub-optimal spending at <$180K. Another example might be to keep the ideal enrollment for a job program above 1,000 individuals served each month with near-target enrollment in the range of 800-999 individuals, and anything less than 800 as poor enrollment. 

For more examples, see the Dynamic Status release notes.

Chart Options

Start and End Dates

Set the start and end dates of your reporting period here - these dates determine the start and end dates of your metric card visualization's x-axis.

Start Date: Keep your reporting period in mind when setting your start date. For example, if your reporting period size is weekly and you’ve chosen a start date of January 2, 2018, your reporting period intervals will be:

  • January 2, 2018 - January 9, 2018
  • January 9, 2018 - January 16, 2018
  • January 16, 2018 - January 23, 2018 (etc.)

The start date also becomes the most left-hand value on the x-axis on the metric visualization. To provide more context for your measure viewers, the measure metric card also displays the date ranges for the last closed reporting period.

End Date: Your end date options are based on the reporting period you've configured for your measure. For yearly, quarterly, monthly, and weekly reporting periods you will be prompted to choose the final year, quarter, month, or week (respectively) to be included in your calculation. Note that whatever date you choose is the last one that will be included in your calculation. So, if you have a monthly reporting period and choose an end date of June 2019, for example, June 2019 will be the final full month included in the Measure calculation.

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Default View

If you have configured an Open reporting period, you may choose between having all reporting periods or only the current reporting period displayed on your metric visualization. The "current period" option will not be displayed on Measures configured with Closed or Last Value reporting periods.

Incomplete Measure Configurations

As you begin to configure a Measure, you may notice some blue dots on the tabs in the edit modal. We’ve added these to alert you to which configurations still need to be completed. We have also included a task list that will inform you of incomplete pieces. This can be viewed by clicking the "More info" link located at the bottom of your browser window. For example, in this screenshot the calculation has not been fully configured:

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You can save a Measure without completely configuring all components; these tips are simply there to help guide you through all components when you're ready.

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