Adding metrics (with data feeds)

 

We’re improving the metric creation experience. Our recent redesign lets you preview changes while you create and edit custom metrics. We’ve also combined raw and modelled data sources into a single object called a data feed. If you see Data Feeds in the left navigation sidebar you're in the right place. If not, go to this article instead.

 

PowerMetrics offer a wealth of opportunities for you to visualize, learn from, and share your data. As with all PowerMetrics features, the metric creation process is highly flexible, with multiple options to help you envision your most essential data and track your business metrics meaningfully.

Before adding a metric, consider the data you want to visualize. What data service do you want to connect to? What metric do you want to measure? For example, if you want to track profit, you could connect to your data in Xero or QuickBooks and add the Net Profits metric.

If you’re not sure which metrics to track, our instant metric options can help. Want to get creative? We have custom metric options too.

This article contains the following sections:

Metric options - Instant, custom, calculated, or dbt™ Semantic Layer?

In PowerMetrics, you can add instant metrics, custom metrics, calculated metrics, or dbt Semantic Layer metrics.

Why instant metrics?

  • They’re fast! They provide instant access to the most popular metrics for the most essential data services.
  • They’re for everyone. You don’t have to be a data expert to create powerful, meaningful metrics. No data modelling, formula writing, or further configuration is required.
  • They’re created for you based on best practices and industry expertise. They’re great when you know what you’re looking for and also when you don’t!

Why custom metrics?

  • They give you access to hundreds of data services. We are continuously adding to our library of instant metrics. However, if the metric you’re looking for isn’t covered by our instant metrics, you can create a custom metric instead. Our custom metrics give you access to hundreds of data services and all the metrics you can imagine.

Why calculated metrics?

  • They’re cross-service. You can combine metrics from different services.
  • They’re customizable. With the ability to combine metrics, using formulas, you can create the exact metric you need for every situation.

Why dbt Semantic Layer metrics?

  • They enable single-source-of-truth data. Certified metrics in a centralized catalog ensure all users work with the same metric data across dashboards and reports.
  • They’re always up to date. dbt Semantic Layer metrics can be set up to automatically or manually sync when changes are made to metrics in your dbt Semantic Layer project(s).
  • They’re compatible with other PowerMetrics metric types. PowerMetrics is designed as a hybrid BI solution. Business users can visualize and analyze metrics that come from a semantic layer and from the PowerMetrics metrics layer. Your account doesn’t have to focus on one or the other metric type. It can combine both! Learn more about working with (and combining) semantic and metrics layer metrics.

Data service options - Where is your data coming from?

When adding new metrics, one of the first steps is choosing the service you want to get data from. The metric options available to you depend on the service you choose:

  1. Many popular services support both instant metrics and custom metrics.
    Some examples include: Google Analytics, Facebook, Quickbooks, Instagram Business, and HubSpot.
  2. All other services can be used to create custom metrics only.
    These services include file-based and query-based services such as: file upload, SQL and REST/URL queries, and FTP & SFTP. They also include services with public APIs that aren’t enabled yet for instant metrics. Some examples of such services are: Insightly, Moz, and Twilio.

Adding instant metrics

Our instant metrics cover the most popular metrics for the most popular data services. They get you to your data fast!

When you add instant metrics, you:

  1. Connect PowerMetrics to your data.
    You’ll create a reusable account connection by logging into your service account and giving permission for Klipfolio PowerMetrics to access your data. Learn more about managing your account connections.
  2. Choose metrics to visualize and track.
    Each data service includes a wide variety of instant metrics - and we’re adding more all the time!

Click the links below to go to specific instructions for adding instant metrics for these data services:

Creating custom metrics

Custom metrics put you in control of your data choices. Specific instructions vary depending on the data service you choose:

When you create custom metrics, you:

  1. Connect PowerMetrics to your data.
    For data from account-based services, you create a reusable account connection by logging into the service and giving permission for PowerMetrics to access your data. Learn more about managing your account connections.
    For data that’s stored in local files or on an FTP or SFTP server, and data that’s retrieved using a REST/URL or SQL query, the method for connecting to your data differs depending on where the data is coming from.
  2. Create a new data feed (or choose an existing one).
    Data feeds act as a pipeline between your source data and your custom metrics. Upon refresh (or manual re-upload), they transfer data from the source to the metric where the data is stored. A single data feed can be used to create a single or multiple custom metrics. Learn more about data feeds.
  3. Choose settings for your metric.
    After connecting to your data and creating a data feed, you choose the metric’s display properties. These include, for example, selecting the measure, date and time, aggregation type, and segmentation. As you choose settings, the impact of each choice displays as a live preview, enabling you to experiment with the metric's properties before saving.

Creating custom metrics for services that also have instant metrics

If your data service includes instant metrics but you don’t see the metric you’re looking for, you can create a custom metric instead.

Click the links below to go to specific instructions for adding custom metrics for these data services:

Creating custom metrics for custom-only data services

This section describes how to create metrics for data services that can only be used to create custom metrics (they aren’t enabled yet for instant metrics).

As mentioned above, custom metrics get their data from data feeds. You can either create data feeds first or as you build your metrics.

Some services require you to connect to your data, usually by entering your login credentials but sometimes by entering other identifiers such as API keys and account IDs. Instructions for connecting can differ between services. If you need help connecting to specific services, refer to this section in our Knowledge Base.

Note: The following procedure describes adding a custom metric from the left navigation sidebar. You can also add custom metrics from the Metric List page, or from Explorer, or from an open dashboard, in Edit mode.

To create custom metrics for custom-only data services:

  1. In the left navigation sidebar, click the + button beside Metrics and select New custom metric.
  2. Click Select data feed.
  3. In the Select a data feed window, either click +New data feed to create a new data feed or select an existing data feed from the list.
    Note: The only existing data feeds that will display in the list are those you created. Data feeds that are automatically created when you add instant metrics are managed by Klipfolio and are not available for selection.
  4. If you added a new data feed:
  5. If you selected an existing data feed, go to step #6 where you'll configure the metric's properties.
  6. 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.
    Tip: As you configure your custom metric, you can click the open metric guide 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.
  7. Under Measure, select the column from the data feed that contains the values you want to track in your metric.
    select measure
  8. Under Dimensions, select the columns 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
  9. Under Historical data, select the column from the data feed that contains the date/time associated with each value.
    select column with 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.)
    use refresh time
  10. Click the Settings tab.
    select settings tab
  11. 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.
    select use all values
    If you chose Use most recent values only, select the desired time period. (See below.)
    select most recent values
    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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
    set favourable trend
  14. 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.
    set aggregation
  15. At Show as cumulative, you can set your data to display cumulatively by default for all of the metric's view modes.
    show as cumulative
  16. Enable the Users can override aggregation option if you want to allow changes to the aggregation and cumulative settings for the metric.
    disable or enable aggregation override
    Note: When metrics are created, they’re automatically visualized using the most appropriate aggregation type and cumulative settings. As a result, we recommend disabling the ability to override the default aggregation.
  17. Click the About tab.
    select about tab
  18. Optionally, enter a new name and description for the metric.
    Note: The metric was automatically named based on the measure you chose.
  19. Under Metric image, optionally, click Edit image to change the metric’s service icon. Learn more here.
  20. Under Certification, optionally, enable the Certify this metric toggle. Learn more here.
  21. 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 that dashboard and to your list of metrics.

Now you're ready to interact with and learn from your metric data!

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