Define an Indicator

DevResults offers several tools for defining indicators:

  1. Create or edit a single indicator
  2. Create or edit multiple indicators using an Excel upload
  3. Edit multiple indicators from the indicator index

Note: Any user whose group includes View & Edit permissions for Indicator Definitions can create new indicators.

Create an indicator

You can create single new indicators directly in the site and you can add or edit multiple indicators via Excel. This page walks you through how to create a single new indicator.

To add an indicator, go to Results and click on Indicators.

This will open the Indicators Index page. Click the + New Indicator button in the lower right.

This will open a Create New Indicator pop-up. This pop-up has two fields, both required:

  • The Code is the unique identifier for each indicator. Each indicator must have a different code. You might want to use the codes that people already commonly use to refer to each indicator. If you don't use any codes to identify indicators, we advise you to come up with a coding system that relates to the way you think about how these indicators are organized, such as referencing the results frameworks, sectors, or indicator types.
  • Give your indicator a Name that clearly describes what you are counting or measuring. Phrases like "Increase in certifications" or "Level of support" are not indicators. The indicator names would instead be something like "# trainees certified" or "Average support score on a scale of 1-10". 

Once you've filled out these fields, click the + Create Indicator button in the lower right.

The following information about creating indicator definitions is a summary. For more detailed explanations about each aspect of an indicator's definition, please see our Indicator Guidebook.

The Data Source describes how information will be entered.

  • Select Enter indicator results directly to report the actual count, sum, or average for the indicator once per reporting period.
  • Select Populate from a data table to report individual records and have the system do the aggregation for you, rather than directly reporting an aggregated total as you would in direct entry.
  • Select Calculate from a formula to calculate this indicator using data from other indicators.

Additional configuration fields will be displayed for relevant data sources. (Formula indicators will show a Formula Editor; Data Table indicators will show Data table configuration). 

The Characteristics section helps define how the system should expect and format the data entered for this indicator.

  • Indicator Type describes how information will be calculated.
  • Number Format describes how numbers will be formatted and displayed.
  • Decimal places lets you specify how many decimal places the app should display.
  • Default Reporting Cycle lets you define the default frequency for which this indicator's data should be collected or calculated. This only appears if your site has more than one defined reporting cycle, such as quarterly or annual. 
  • Unit should be the thing your indicator is counting or measuring. If your unit does not appear in the dropdown menu, click on the gearbox to the right that says "Edit standard units" and add it. Note: Percentage indicators do not get a unit because they are always a percent.
  • Periods, Targets are defines the type of targets for this indicator:
    • Incremental: Use this option if your targets reflect only the work you are doing in a given reporting period (e.g. a target for Q4 is for Q4 only).
    • Cumulative: Use this option if your targets reflect all of the work you have done cumulatively to date (e.g. a target for Q4 is for all the work done since the activity began work in Q1).

The Disaggregations section lets you define the various disaggregations this indicator will require.

  • Disaggregations will add non-geographic disaggregations. These are optional and you can add as many as you need.
    • Click the + Add a disaggregation button and select the relevant disaggregation(s) from the dropdown list to add it.
    • If your disaggregation does not appear in the dropdown menu, click on the gearbox to the right that says Master list of disaggregations.
    • If you select 2 or more disaggregations, you can choose to disaggregate these in parallel or cross. See Disaggregations for details on those options.
  • The Reporting Level is the geographic disaggregation for indicator results. It is required.
    • Each indicator has one reporting level. All data will be entered using this geographic disaggregation, but DevResults enables automatic geographic aggregation of data by encompassing geographic areas. 
    • If the indicator is not disaggregated geographically, select the largest geographic place.
  • If your indicator is collected by multiple activities, keep the Results are reported separately for each activity box checked.
    • Assign activities by clicking on the + Add an Activity button. Begin typing the activity name, then select the activities that will report on this indicator.

The Classification section defines which portion of the Results Framework, which Sectors, and which Tags this indicator relates to. You must assign the indicator to at least one section of your results framework; tags and sectors are optional. Click the buttons for each to assign them to the indicator.

The narrative definition sections (Definition, Justification, Data Acquisition, Data Quality, and Data Analysis, Review, and Reporting) allow capture of additional information about the indicator. 

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Edit an indicator

To edit an organization, go to Results > Indicators.

This will open the indicators index page, shown above. 

Click on the indicator you'd like to edit and make the desired changes. 

Note: Restrictions apply when editing an indicator with existing data -- some changes will cause data to be deleted, including changing the data source, indicator type, disaggregations (except for adding a new disaggregation to a parallel-disaggregated indicator), reporting level, and removing activity assignments.

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Upload new indicators

If you need to add many new indicators at once, you can upload a spreadsheet containing their definitions instead of creating each indicator individually

Every column available in the indicator index can be defined using the indicator import tool, except for the Data Table column. Since additional configuration is needed to link a data table to an indicator, this must be done on each indicator's definition page after upload.

Note: The indicator index columns don't include results framework mappings or activity assignments. The import tool does not handle those assignments. Activities can be bulk assigned directly in the index and we'll add that functionality for results framework assignments soon. 

To upload new indicators, go to Results > Indicators to open the indicator index page.

Click on the gear button in the top right and choose Export All. This downloads the complete list of indicators to your site. 

Edit the Excel file by replacing the list of existing indicators with the new indicators you'd like to upload. 

Note: For new indicators the indicatorID column MUST be left blank.

For new indicators in the spreadsheet:

  • The Type column must be filled out with Sum, Average, or Yes/No.
  • The Format column must be filled out with Whole number, Percentage or Decimal.
  • The Data Source column must be filled out with Direct Entry, Data Table, or Formula.
  • The columns for Default Reporting Cycle, Level, and Unit must be filled out with the options available in your site for reporting cycles, geographic reporting levels, and units.
  • You can enter multiple Sectors separated by commas, for example: "Health, Education". These need to already exist in your site.
  • You can enter multiple Tags separated by commas, for example: "Training, Engagement". These need to already exist in your site.
  • You can enter multiple Disaggregations separated by commas, for example: "Classification, Gender". These need to already exist in your site.
  • If you use disabled Disaggregations, you can include them in parentheses, for example: "Classification, Gender, (Age)".
  • For columns like Reports Per Activity that show true/false in the download, you can use TRUE/FALSE, yes/no, or 1/0 in the spreadsheet.

Here's an example of ten new indicators to upload. Note that the indicatorID column is empty for new indicators. 

Once you have your spreadsheet updated and saved with the new indicators, click the gear icon again and select Import:

This will open a pop-up window to walk you through the upload process. Choose your file and make sure the summary shows you the expected number of new indicators. If there are any errors in the file, you'll get a message explaining what they are. If everything looks good, click Continue.

You'll get a message saying that the indicators were imported. Once you click Done, your indicator index page will refresh and you'll see your new indicators there! Next you'll need to assign the indicators to framework objectives and the activities that report them. 

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Edit multiple indicators using an Excel upload

You can edit multiple existing indicators with a similar process to uploading new ones. To do so, follow the first few steps above to download your indicator index into Excel. Then edit the indicators as needed in the spreadsheet -- for example, to add a new sector or tag, change the name or code, etc. 

Note: To edit existing indicators, DO NOT delete or change the indicatorID. This is the only way the system knows which indicator should be updated. 

When you import the spreadsheet, existing indicators will be updated with any changes to the spreadsheet. 

Note: It is not possible to delete indicators using an Excel import, but the same restrictions on editing an indicator with existing data apply -- some changes will cause data to be deleted. The importer will warn you if any of your changes would cause data to be deleted, and it will tell you which indicators will be impacted.

To cancel the upload and remove those changes, click Clear upload. To proceed with the upload, click Continue.

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Edit multiple indicators from the indicator index

To make managing indicators easier and faster, we offer the ability to edit multiple indicators at once right from the indicator index. Currently, the edits you can make this way are:

  • Bookmarking indicators
  • Assigning activities
  • Marking indicators as inactive
  • Deleting indicators (don't worry -- we'll check to confirm that you really want to!)

To make these kinds of edits, first go to Results > Indicators to open the indicator index page.

When the index page opens, click the checkbox next to the indicators you want to edit. You can either scroll through the list to find what you need, or use the filters and search to get the perfect list and click the checkbox in the column header to select all indicators displayed. Once you have the indicators you want to edit checked, click the button for the bulk action you'd like to complete.

If any additional selections are needed, this will open a pop-up or confirmation window before proceeding; otherwise, it will complete the action. For example, to assign activities to indicators, you'll see this:

If you see a pop-up, make the necessary selections (if any are required) and click the button to cancel or proceed with the bulk edit.

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Didn't answer your question? Please email us at help@devresults.com.