About metrics

Metrics are MicroStrategy objects that represent business measures and key performance indicators. From a practical perspective, metrics are the calculations performed on data stored in your database, the results of which are displayed on a report. Metrics are similar to formulas in spreadsheet software. For example, in a report that shows sales in the Southeast, sales is the metric.

Metric calculations can show information at simple levels as well as at complex levels of analysis: displaying sales trends, growth patterns, percent-to-total contributions, and profit analysis. Questions such as "What were the sales for the Eastern Region during the fourth quarter?" and "How many employees received a bonus greater than $5000 in the last 3 years?" can easily be answered by creating metrics.

Specifically, metrics define the analytical calculations to be performed against data that is stored in the data source. A metric is made up of data source facts and the mathematical operations to be performed on those facts, so that meaningful business analysis can be performed on the results. A metric on a report shows a list of values used for analytical calculations.

For steps to create a metric, see Creating a metric. If you want to create a metric by typing the metric formula directly, see Metric Formula Editor.

For an introduction to metrics and some basic examples, see the Creating a Query chapter in the Basic Reporting Guide. For advanced concept information about metrics in general, with a focus on level, conditional, and transformation metrics, including examples, see the Advanced Metrics chapter in the Advanced Reporting Guide. For a description of the functions available for metrics, see the Functions Reference.

Creating multiple metrics that perform the same calculation

If you are creating multiple metrics and each metric uses the same basic calculation as part of its formula, you can save time by creating a base metric to perform the calculation. You can then define additional metrics based on the base metric instead of typing the same calculation multiple times.

For example, you want to create a Profit metric and a Profit Margin metric. You can create a Revenue metric which calculates Price x Quantity. You can then define the Profit metric as Revenue - Cost, and the Profit Margin metric as Profit/Revenue. If you decide to change how Revenue is calculated later on, you can simply make changes to the Revenue metric; all metrics defined using the Revenue metric, including Profit and Profit Margin, will be updated to reflect the change.

You create base metrics using the same steps as you would use to create any other metric. When creating metrics using the base metric, you type the base metric as part of the metric formula. For steps to create a metric, see Creating a metric.

Related topics

Creating a metric
Level metrics: Modifying the context of data calculations
Conditional metrics: Filtering data calculations
Transformation metrics: Time-based and other comparisons
Editing a metric
Format Metric dialog box for steps to format a metric
Advanced Metric Options dialog box for descriptions of advanced metric settings, such as dynamic aggregation and subtotal functions, VLDB properties, metric aliases, and the metric join type