PowerMetrics: Adding Smartsheet custom metrics (with data feeds)


Our recent redesign simplifies the data transfer experience by combining raw and modelled data sources into a single object - data feeds. We’re gradually releasing this new feature to our customers.
If you see Data Feeds in the left navigation sidebar, you’ll learn how to add Smartsheet custom metrics in this article. If not, go here.


Visualize, discover, and act on your Smartsheet project management data with metrics and metric dashboards!

Get started by connecting to your Smartsheet data and adding some custom metrics.

This article includes:

Connecting to your Smartsheet data

One of the first steps toward adding custom metrics is connecting PowerMetrics to your Smartsheet data. Here are a couple things to note about connecting:

Your data is safe with us. The first time you connect your Smartsheet data to PowerMetrics, you'll be prompted to enter your Smartsheet login credentials and give permission to allow access to the data within your Smartsheet account. We are serious about protecting your data privacy.

Managing your connections. By default, your connection name looks like this: yourname<date and time created>. You can rename connections from your list of connections (accessed by clicking the account settings in the left navigation sidebar and selecting Connections) or within the application as you add metrics. Go here for more information on managing your account connections. You can use the same account connection every time you connect to Smartsheet. If you have trouble accessing an existing connection, your OAuth token may have expired. If that happens to you, check out these troubleshooting tips.

Adding Smartsheet custom metrics

Custom metrics use data feeds. Think of a data feed as the information channel between your source data and your metrics. Every time your data refreshes, the data feed gets updated accordingly. The resulting data is then added to the existing data for all the metrics that use the feed. Learn more about data feeds.

When you add Smartsheet custom metrics, you:

Connecting to your Smartsheet account and adding a data feed

The first time you connect PowerMetrics to your Smartsheet data, you enter your Smartsheet login credentials and allow Klipfolio PowerMetrics to access your Smartsheet data. When you create custom metrics next time, you can use the same account connection or select a new account to point to different data.

Every custom metric needs a data feed. As you create your metrics, you'll either create a new data feed or select one from your list of existing data feeds.

To connect PowerMetrics to your Smartsheet account and add a data feed:

  1. In the left navigation sidebar click the + button beside Metrics and select See all services.
  2. On the Where is your data? page, select Smartsheet.
  3. If this is your first time connecting to Smartsheet:
    • Click +New data feed > Select Smartsheet data.
    • Click Add new account.
      add new account
    • Enter your Smartsheet login credentials and click Sign in.
    • Click Allow to allow Klipfolio PowerMetrics to securely access your Smartsheet data.
    • Next, choose the data to include in your data feed.
  4. If you’ve connected to Smartsheet before:
    • You skip the account connection steps described above (we assume you want to use the same account as before) and go directly to the step for creating a new data feed or selecting an existing data feed.
      Note: If you want to connect to a different account, you can do so in the query builder when choosing data to include in your data feed. There you can click the account connection at the top of the data preview window (see below) and select an alternate, existing account or click “Add new account”.
      Smartsheet account connection
    • To create a new data feed, click Select data feed > +New Smartsheet data feed > Select Smartsheet data. Then, choose the data to include in your data feed.
    • To use an existing data feed, click Select data feed. Choose a data feed from the list on the Select a data feed page and click Select. Then, configure your custom metric.

Choosing data to include in your data feed

In the query builder, you tell us what data you want to retrieve for your data feed. When you use the data feed for your custom metrics, you’ll choose which pieces of data from the feed you want to display for each metric.

Using the data view you select, we’ll run a query to get a list of available columns (fields) from within the data view. You’ll then choose from those columns to specify what data to include in your data feed.

Tip: You can apply filters to the data view and to columns in the left sidebar and in the data preview. Applying filters helps narrow down the data you’re looking for, ensuring you only query the data you need. By pinpointing your desired data, you optimize the volume of data being queried, which not only makes your data easier to understand and handle, it often makes the query run faster! Learn more about filtering.

To choose data to include in your data feed:

  1. In the Choose data for your data feed page, under Data view, click the drop-down and choose the subset of data you want to query.
    select a data view
    Tip: Find the data view you’re looking for by entering its name in the search box or by entering the name of a column/field to find the data view that includes it.
    Note: Custom data views are dynamically generated based on artifacts you create in Smartsheet, for example, creating a Smartsheet creates a view that corresponds with that sheet. In the query builder, custom views display with the “Custom view” tag. (See below for an example):
  2. Under Data view filters, add required filters (if needed) and optional filters (if desired).
    Tip: APIs for some services include "StartDate" and "EndDate" as optional data view filters. Applying filters here, at the query (source) level, rather than later at the query results level can improve efficiency and simplify data handling.
  3. Under Columns, select the checkboxes beside the columns you want to include in your data feed.
    Tip: Columns represent the fields that are available for the data view you selected above. Each item you choose will display as a column in the data preview table. If there are a lot of columns to choose from and you know what you’re looking for, start typing the column name into the search box. You can add up to 30 columns for each data view.
  4. Optionally, apply filters to applicable columns to narrow down your data before previewing.
    Note: You may find it easier to apply filters to columns in the next step (in the data preview table) as you can see your data more clearly there. However, if you know your data set well, applying filters in the sidebar can be beneficial because it removes excess data before previewing. It may also be necessary when your data is too large to query all at once.
  5. When you’re done selecting (and filtering) columns, click Preview data. The data preview window is populated with the results of the query for the columns you chose.
    Note: The data preview table can show up to the first 1000 rows of your data. As a result, if you have a large data set, some rows may not display. Using the drop-down, you can select the number of rows to display (50, 100, 500, or 1000). You can also see how long it took for your query to complete. (See below.)
    number of rows to display in data preview
  6. If this isn’t the data you want for your data feed, choose a different data view and/or columns. To preview your most recent choices, either click Preview data again or click reload data Reload data (located above the data preview table).
    Note: At the top of the data preview window, you can see the Smartsheet account you’re currently connected to (see below). By clicking it, you can change to a different account. If you change accounts, your recent choices are removed and you start over by choosing a data view and columns.
    Smartsheet account connection
  7. In the data preview window, you can narrow down the data you want to include in your data feed by applying filters to applicable columns.
  8. When you’re satisfied with your choices, click Use this data.

You've chosen your data. Next step - refine the data in the data feed editor.

Refining data in the data feed editor

You’ve arrived in the data feed editor where you can choose to either accept the automatic settings or make changes. Learn more about editing data feeds.

If you’re happy with the automatic settings:

If you want to make changes:

  • Some common adjustments include changing the data format or names for columns, updating the data feed name, and combining columns using formulas - there are many customization options available.
  • If you want to adjust your query choices (for example, add or remove columns or filters) click the tile under Data service to return to the query builder. (See below.)
    return to query builder
  • When you’re finished editing the data feed, click Save data feed and proceed to Configuring your custom metric.

Note: After creating a data feed, if you change the Smartsheet name, the feed will break. To fix the data feed, you need to edit it in the query builder and select the newly-named Smartsheet.

You've created a Smartsheet data feed. Next step - Configuring your custom metric.

Configuring your custom metric

When you’re finished configuring a custom metric with the data feed you just created, you can return to it and use it to make more custom metrics. In the left navigation sidebar, click Data Feeds. Select the desired data feed from the list and click +Add metric.

As you configure your custom metric, you can click the help button button, located beside “Measure”, “Historical data”, and “Date handling”. This opens a guide for each setting that helps you decide which options to choose. As you make choices, you’ll see the result in the metric preview window on the left. Don’t worry about getting everything right the first time. Before clicking “Save metric”, you can go back and forth, making changes and observing the preview until you arrive at the configuration settings that give you the exact metric you’re looking for.

To configure your custom metric:

  1. Under Data feed, you can see the data feed that’s associated with this metric. If desired, click its name to open it for viewing or editing.
    go to associated data feed
  2. Under Measure, select the column from the data feed that contains the values you want to track in your metric.
    select a measure
  3. Under Dimensions, select the dimensions by which you want to be able to segment and filter your metric value.
    Each selection shows a unique view of your business, for example, you might choose to look at your sales data based on region, sales rep, or product type. The dimensions you select will be available for filtering in the finished metric. You can filter on the individual metric level or at the dashboard level (when you add your metric to a dashboard). You can also create a metric with no ability to segment or filter, by not selecting any dimensions.
    The number of dimensions you can select depends on your pricing plan. You can either upgrade your plan here (by clicking Upgrade) or from your pricing plan page (accessed by clicking the account and settings button in the left navigation sidebar and selecting Plan).
    Note: When choosing dimensions, you can only select columns that have a text format. If the associated data feed doesn’t include any text columns (or has only one text column) there will be no available categories by which to segment.
    select dimensions
    Tip: You can optionally change a dimension’s name by selecting the current name and typing a new one. This changes the display name only (not the name of the dimension in the data feed). If you change the display name and want to see the one that’s being used in the data feed, hover over the dimension’s name.
    Note: If you change a name for a dimension that’s also being used by other metric visualizations, associated filters and segmentations will be removed from those visualizations and need to be reapplied.
  4. Under Historical data, select the column from the data feed that contains the date/time associated with each value.
    select date time
    If the data feed doesn’t include a date column or history, deselect the Data feed contains historical data toggle to use the date and time the data feed is refreshed. (See below.)
    no historical data
  5. Click the Settings tab.
    the settings tab
  6. Under Date handling, select Use all values or Use most recent values only. Your choice determines the data points your metric will use when calculating the metric value for a time period.
    use all values
    If you chose Use most recent values only, select the desired time period. (See below.)
    use more recent values only
    If you need more help deciding which date handling option to choose, check out this article: Choosing the right date handling method for your custom metrics.
  7. Under Format, select from Numeric, Currency, Percentage, or Duration.
    select format
    If you selected Currency as the data format, the default currency symbol that will display is USD $. You can select an alternate Currency symbol from the drop-down list. Note: This is a display option only. Currency is not converted.
  8. Under Favourable trend, choose whether you want ascending or descending values to indicate a positive trend. For example, if your metric includes sales totals, a higher (ascending) number demonstrates a positive trend but, if your metric includes cost to acquire customers, a lower (descending) number indicates a positive trend. Favourable trends are indicated by a green arrow. Unfavourable changes in metric values are indicated by a red arrow.
    choose favourable trend
  9. Under Default aggregation, you’ll see the default aggregation type. It’s based on the measure you selected for the metric. For numeric columns, the default aggregation type is “sum”. For text columns, it's “count”. The default aggregation type will be used when the aggregation has not been set by the user in a metric visualization and wherever there are no configuration options available. For example, on the Metric List page, metrics will display using a default aggregation type based on your selection here.
    Note: When metrics are created, they’re automatically visualized using the most appropriate aggregation type. As such, we don’t recommend changing the default aggregation type.
    select aggregation type
  10. Enable the Users can override aggregation option if you want to allow changes to the aggregation setting for the metric.
    override aggregation
    Note: When metrics are created, they’re automatically visualized using the most appropriate aggregation type. As a result, we recommend disabling the ability to override the default aggregation.
  11. Click the About tab.
    select the about tab
  12. Optionally, enter a new name and description for the metric.
    Note: The metric was automatically named based on the measure you chose.
  13. Under Metric image, optionally, click Edit image to change the metric’s service icon. Learn more here.
  14. Under Certification, optionally, enable the Certify this metric toggle. Learn more here.
  15. When you’re done configuring your metric, click Save metric.

If you added the custom metric from the navigation sidebar or from your Metric List page, it's added to your list of metrics. If you added the custom metric from an open dashboard, it's added to the dashboard and to your list of metrics.

You're ready to start analyzing and tracking your data as it changes over time. Learn more about viewing and exploring your data.

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