With the introduction of the updated Metric Builder (Data Explorer), creating new metrics is even easier! There are two basic steps to creating any metric: Preparing the data then charting it.
For most metrics, you will use Data Explorer, which also allows you to use the dashboard filters. For some other metrics— especially those using less-common chart types, you will still use the basic builder.
Here are the two main sections in this help article:
To switch to the basic builder, go to the Data tab of the Metric Builder and uncheck the box labeled "Use Data Explorer." You will see a message about how dashboard filtering and other features won't work with the metric if it's using the basic builder. Click "Continue" to confirm the change.
Using Data Explorer
NOTE: Dashboard-level filtering will only work with series-based chart types (i.e., Column, Stacked Column, Line, Bar, and Area), table charts, pie charts, and single value metrics.
Here is a short demonstration of the process of building a new metric:
Step 1. Define your data
Since the Data Explorer allows you to change your grouping, filtering, and aggregations on the fly, we need to do those types of calculations on the Chart tab and not using Transforms in the Data Pipeline.
Best practice is to split transforms into two groups, Definition transforms, and Presentation transforms.
“Definition” transforms are used to define what your data actually is. How does your company define a sale? For example, you might use a Filter transform to remove refunds. Other definition transforms could be adding a Tag Transform to label sales teams, or Formatting a Date.
“Presentation” transforms are used to specify the data you want to see in the chart and how you want it displayed. These transforms usually limit, group and remove data. For example, using the Filter transform to only see 30 days of data. Other presentation transforms could be Grouping by Week, Sorting Desc, and Pivot tables to get sliced data.
Definition transforms reduce the amount of data your metric can work with. For example, if your metric is looking at new sales, but you data is a list of transactions that include sales, refunds and upgrades, a Filter transform to remove the refunds and upgrades is a definition transform and correct. You don’t want your metric to use refunds. You are using that transform to define what a sale is.
Presentation transforms change how the data is displayed. If you add Presentation transforms in the Data Pipeline it reduces the amount of data the metric can use and can make it harder to get the insights you want. For example, if you use a Filter transform to only show 30 days of data, then when you want to see your metrics for the whole year, the metric doesn’t have access to that data, since you filtered it out. Using the enhanced metric builder to show 30 days of data instead makes it so you can change the date filter on the fly from the dashboard.
Step 2. Select the calculation you want on each Value column, the grouping, and the primary date column
In the Chart tab of the Metric Builder, we give you the ability to filter and group by date. So you need to tell Grow what date column to work off of, and how to group and calculate (aka Count, Sum, Average) for each column you want to display.
Here is how to set those two things in the Chart tab of the metric builder.
- For each of your Values, select how you want it to calculate when it groups. You can pick from Sum, Count, Average, Min, Max, Median.
- Select the column you want to use for the grouping (x-axis). The Metric Builder will automatically select the first date column in your data, but you can change that to any other column
- Go to "Date Range" and select the date column you want to use as your date range filter. This can be any date column, even if it is not charted.
Step 3. Add any other customizations to your chart
You can also choose how the chart is displayed:
- Add any dynamic key values. These are also affected when filters are applied.
- Select what default date range is displayed. Each chart on the dashboard can show a different date range, and when a date filter is applied, they all update to show that filtered range.
- Slice the data by the values in another column
- Compare two date ranges in the chart.
- Sort the data in ascending or descending order, and limit how many rows display. For example, you could display your top ten lead sources, or your bottom five sales reps.
As you add the values and customization to the chart, you might notice that the data in the table doesn't change. If you want to see how the data is arrange to create the chart, you can toggle between the chart and table views at the top right of the chart preview area:
Using the Basic Builder
Step 1: Get Your Data
When you click "Add New" from your dashboard screen and select "Metric" you will be taken straight to the Add Data page. Here you can see all the data sources you have already connected to Grow, and connect new ones.
If you haven’t connected your data to Grow yet, select the blue Connect button and follow the prompts to allow Grow to pull in the data. If you have already connected your data source you can start getting your data right away.
Note: To see the specific information required to connect your data source, search the Help Center for that data source and look for the section titled “How to Connect”.
Every data source is unique in how it allows Grow to get your data. It may ask for a saved report name or number, pull in a predefined report (often termed as an endpoint), or select from a dropdown check list. Once the selections have been made, simply select “Get Data” and the data will load.
Step 2: Transform Your Data
Once you have the data loaded into the Smart Builder you may need to clean it up, or transform it, before it is ready for charting.
On the left hand side of the Data tab is the Transform Pipeline. In this area you can filter, group, pivot, perform calculations, remove columns, rename columns, compare time periods, use SQL, and more to prep your data. Often it will require a combination of transforms to properly clean the data.
Once you have selected your desired transform, in the middle top area of the screen you will see the transformation tool details. This is called the Working Area. In this area fill out the required selections and click Run. This will process your data with the applied transform.
If you have more than one transforms applied, it will run them in order, top to bottom. You can rearrange the order of your transforms by selecting the dotted portion of the transform, which is on the far left, and dragging it into a new position.
If this data is something you would like to use for multiple metrics, you can save it as a dataset. When you are done transforming your data, Click on "Create Dataset" at the far right. For more on Datasets, read here.
Now you are ready to move onto the next step of Charting.
Step 3: Chart Your Data
Switch over to the Chart side of the build by clicking on the "Chart" tab at the top of the builder. You can also click 'Build Chart' or 'Create your Chart' in the Chart Mini Preview at the bottom left to navigate to the Chart section.
Now you just need to select data. You can use the “Add value” button on the left hand side, or click the floating button on the chart.
Once you click on a column of data as a data series, Grow will automatically select the first date column in your report (if one exists). You may need to manually select your x-axis by selecting the “Add New” button under the Date or Category section and selecting it from the chart. To select the entire column, click on the top gray row with the column letter.
Now you are ready to save it to the dashboard.
Step 4: Save the Chart to the Dashboard
Give the chart a title, a description (optional) and pick which dashboard it should appear on.
The metrics will always show up in the upper left hand portion of the dashboard. You can move it around by selecting it with your mouse, and dragging it.
Using the edges of the metric you can make it smaller or larger to fit the space. If you have an intricate chart, with many labels you may want it bigger for easier viewing.
And that’s it! Rinse, repeat, and in no time you will have a full dashboard! You can learn more about the options and menus in the dashboard and each metric in our dashboard overview.