A heartfelt overview - How to use indicators
The Indicator system is a powerful tool that lets you change the style of values displayed in your Klips based on conditional thresholds you've set in the Klip Editor. This can be used to indicate when a value is below a threshold, such as a revenue target, or to indicate when you've achieved an objective.
Indicators are straightforward to set up. To do so, you just need to select values from drop-down menus in the Klip Editor to create a condition for a specific component, and the values that component handles. A condition is made up of a predicate and a reaction. Here's the gist of it:
- Set the predicate (eg: IF X is less than Y)
- Set the reaction (eg: THEN Change X to Z style)
You can add as many conditions as you feel is necessary for a specific component. In the image above, I've used two conditions to express a positive and negative state. But many business metrics aren't so black and white, and you may have to use multiple conditions to express each state a value may pass through (bad, ok, good). With the Gauge component you have the option to use colour ranges to define multiple states; for other component styles, you can set up conditions with multiple predicates and reactions to denote different ranges for a set of values.
Choosing the right reaction
It's a phrase we repeat quite a bit around here, but it's worth repeating again: "A data visualization is only as good as the action it inspires!" When selecting a reaction for a condition, think about what action you want to inspire. A subtle reaction like changing the text style from regular to bold grabs attention, while a big red warning icon serves as a wake-up call for users. A dashboard isn't the place for subtlety - sometimes it's appropriate to come out and boldly tell your people that a target isn't being met.
Indicators and Charts
Indicators can be a useful addition to charts when you want to identify values that are going against the norm (either positive or negative). A simple colour change is enough to grab attention and attract a mouse cursor to hover it to learn more about the value in question. In the example below, indicators are used to identify days where traffic falls below a goal.
Hidden from view, not from attention
Sometimes you want to compare two sets of values, but don't want to show both sets in your Klip. You can "hide columns" in a Table component, and still refer to those columns in the indicators panel. This makes comparing targets and actual values, or any other related data sets, really simple.