Creating a KPI with LinPack

Using 'Custom Configuration' creation mode, you can define KPIs to be created in your Tableau workbook.


What is a KPI in LinPack?

A measure is a numeric value known at the lowest granularity of your data source (e.g. 'Sales Amount').

By KPI, we mean an aggregation rule applied on an attribute (or expression), for the entire data set. For instance, a totalization (SUM) of the attribute 'Sales Amount' would be a KPI, for which multiple standard calculations could be associated (e.g. Current Month, Previous Month, Year-To-Date...).


Basic vs Combined KPIs

A Basic KPI is an aggregation rule applied on a non-aggregated attribute from your Tableau Workbook (e.g. "Turnover" = SumOf('Sales Amount')).

A Combined KPI is a calculation which is applied on two other KPIs (e.g. "Sales Margin %" = "Total Sales Margin" / "Turnover").


Defining a Basic KPI

A Basic KPI is basically an aggregation rule applied on a non-aggregated attribute from your Tableau Workbook (e.g. "Turnover" = SumOf('Sales Amount')).

A basic KPI is defined by following properties:

  • Name: Name of the KPI (must be unique)
  • Aggregation Rule: Aggregation rule applied to the Attribute / Expression (in addition to Tableau standard aggregation rules, LinPack comes with 30+ additional pre-built aggregation rules to address common business rules)
  • Attribute or Expression: Calculation on which is applied the aggregation rule
  • Format: Format applied to the KPI (use advanced mode if you need additional formatting capabilities)
  • Color Coding  meaning: When your KPi is increasing, it is a good or bad news?


In Advanced mode (accessible by clicking on "..." at the end of the row where the KPI is defined), you have access to additional properties:

  • Format:
    • Number / Percentage
    • Decimal places
    • Prefix
    • Suffix
    • Apply Numeric Scale: will divide your KPI value with a parameter allowing to easily switch display units between 1, k, Mn, Bn 
  • Color Coding 
    • Palette for KPI Value: Color palette when you display the KPI values (MTD, YTD...)
    • Palette for KPI Variances: Color palette when you display variances vs reference (Current Month vs Previous Month, Current YTD vs Previous YTD, Actual vs Budget...)
  • Display Flag: The calculations of your KPIs will be created, but flagged as hidden in Tableau
  • Reference KPI
    • Reference KPI Name: Name of theKPI which wil be used as a reference for this KPI
    • Reference KPI Caption: Label of this reference KPI ('Target', 'Budget', 'Objective'...)


Defining a Combined KPI

A Combined KPI is a calculation which is applied on two other KPIs (e.g. "Sales Margin %" = "Total Sales Margin" / "Turnover").

Define the KPI Name, then pick-up two other KPIs in the lists and the operation to apply on those two KPIs.

The following operators are available:

  • Divided By
  • Multiplied By
  • Plus
  • Minus

The other properties are the same than Basic  KPIs.

For each KPI, which calculations will be created in my workbook?

LinPack will automatically create in your workbook, a folder per KPI you defined.

In each KPI, you will be granted with all the calculations you need when you want to build an efficient dashboard:

  • Current Month
  • Previous Month
  • Current vs Previous Month △
  • Current vs Previous Month △%
  • Current Year (YTD)
  • Previous Year (YTD)
  • Current vs Previous Year △
  • Current vs Previous Year △%
  • Current Month Target
  • Current Month vs Target △
  • Current Month vs Target △%
  • Current Year Target (YTD)
  • Current Year vs Target (YTD) △
  • Current Year vs Target (YTD) △%
  • Growth vs Previous Period %
  • Perf - Value: "Current Month" or "Current YTD" KPI value depending on your choice in "Performance Scope" selector
  • Perf - Reference: : "Previous Month", "Same Month, Previous Year", "Last YTD", "Target", "YTD Target" KPI value depending on your choice in "Performance Scope" selector
  • Perf - Value vs Reference △: Difference between "Perf - Value" and "Perf - Reference"
  • Perf - Value vs Reference △%: Difference in % between "Perf - Value" and "Perf - Reference"


Dynamic selection of KPI

Another folder will be added to your workbook, called 'Selected KPI'.

'Selected KPI' folder contains a list of pre-build calculations (MTD, YTD, MTD vs PY...) but for the KPI which is selected dynamically by the user.


Which KPIs can I create on a data source?

Need some inspiration on the KPIs you could define for your business? Look at this tutorial :-)

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