Feature Focus: Calculated Cascading Metrics

Some people like lists, others like bubble maps or another visual diagram. We love Cascading Metrics. Cascading Metrics mimic how strategy evolves and how we think. It’s a more intuitive way to plan for effective outcomes. Not only does it just make sense, but Cascading Metrics fold multi-part planning into one view. However, Cascading Metrics aren’t new to StrategyBlocks. StrategyBlocks has long been able to create sophisticated calculations using one or many standard metrics.

In our latest version however, we’ve introduced the even more powerful Calculated Cascading Metrics feature. Calculated Cascading Metrics now allow you to apply a single metric that will automatically aggregate across all of the blocks in your strategic plan.

Refresher: Cascading Metrics

A Cascading Metric is like a normal metric, except that each block can contribute its own actual and target values to the parent block. Each block’s values are, therefore, “rolled up” to the parent block. The block tree (ie: the ‘parent’ block and all ‘child’ blocks) shows the charts for each block which has contributed actuals and/or targets to the metric. Child block values are rolled up into the parent block; for example “Improving water quality” would be rolled up into the parent block, “Build a great city.”

StrategyBlocks 4.2: “Calculated”

When business gets complicated, you need a software that can scale. Measuring expenses manually, and through multiple departments, is more than time consuming – It increases the chance of inconsistencies and is a nightmare if anything changes in the calculation. Calculated Cascading Metrics are perfect for recording expenses across many different departments.

With the introduction of StrategyBlocks 4.0 last year, we added the ability to create a single metric such as EXPENSES, that will aggregate automatically across all blocks in your strategic plan. Similarly, departments could capture their FULL-TIME STAFF COUNT in the same way. But now you want to know how much you are spending per member of staff across the entire organization?  With StrategyBlocks 4.2, one Calculated Cascading Metric will achieve this. You can create a new metric like DEPT EXPENSES / FTES to determine what your average expense per staff member is, and this calculation will show up immediately in every block which contributes EXPENSES / STAFF.

It’s not limited to Cascading Metrics though. You can use regular metrics, other calculated metrics, anything that could be done with calculated metrics previously.  An extreme case might be for foreign exchange conversion. Let’s say you have SALES REVENUE USD and SALES REVENUE EURO. You need to make a report in USD and want to know your TOTAL REVENUE. Assume you also have a metric which recorded the EURO => USD exchange rate over the year called EUR_TO_USD. Now, your TOTAL_REVENUE calculation looks like (SALES_REVENUE_USD + (SALES_REVENUE_EURO*EUR_TO_USD), providing normalized revenue values with built-in currency exchange where it’s needed in the blocks value tree.

There is a lot to be discovered in StrategyBlocks 4.2. These examples are just the start! Book an online demo or start your free 30 day trial to find out more.