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Performance Indicators


Performance indicators (PIs), accessed from the tool button, are the measurement parameters that define performance target measurements.

PIs are attached to the measurable items of the strategy map during the setup of performance targets. PI's can be attached to any number of performance targets and can also be used in equations.

Statutory performance indicators (e.g. one's external to the organisation) and local PI's (e.g. internal to the organisation) are the two default types that come with the system. These indicator types can be edited, deleted or added to in the PI Types module.

Performance Indicator List

On accessing the PI module, the user will see a list of performance indicators (virgin systems will usually not have any unless loading of indicators relevant to the organisation has been pre-arranged ) and the option to add and manage individual performance indicators:

The performance indicator list operates like other list pages in the Escendency system.

As with most Escendency list pages where a lot of records can be expected, the PI list will have a search function. Type all, or a part of, an indicator's name into the search field and then click on the binocular item to locate that, or similar, items in the list.

Creating / Editing Performance Indicators

Click "Add" to add a new indicator, or click an existing indicator to view/edit it and access the Performance Indicator set up page:

Note: if the performance indicator is already created and has performance target/s associated the indicator cannot be fully edited until:

A new performance indicator can be created from scratch using the 'Add' button in the Performance Indicator list window or from an existing performance indicator by clicking the 'Save New' button in the Performance Indicator add/edit window provided the reference field has been changed. This is particularly useful for performance indicators that share identical field content. From release 3.10 perspectives from the original performance indicator are also copied over to the new one.

Caution! When setting up a new performance indicator it is very important to pay attention to the parameters used. Once a performance indicator is actively attached to a target it becomes impossible for users to change many of the indicator's parameters, e.g. measurement interval, measurement type, current value type, and high/low/range all of which have a significant impact on the way a performance target is reported and assessed. This point cannot be over stressed.

Performance Indicator Edit Fields

the indicators's title.
Reference ID
an organisation's reference for more information about the indicators – this needs to be changed if ‘Save new’ feature is to be used.
long description for the indicators that will appear on the performance reports. Data enterers will not see this description; they will see the text entered in the "Measurement Instructions" field.
Measurement Instructions
these will show in the measurer's measurement entry window that they will access from their task tab in the control panel. These are not displayed in the performance report.
Document URL
This will become a link to the external document in the Performance Indicator's library report in My Reports in the Control Panel as well as an external reference link in the measurer’s measurement entry window.
Indicator Type
whether the indicator is a statutory (e.g. from an auditing body), or an indicator set up locally within the organisation, or any type that the organisation chooses to use. Additional indicator types can be added or the current one's renamed in the PI Types module.
Indicator Measurement type
Indicators can be simple or equation. The former comprise one measurement (for example, 'tonnage of waste sent to landfill') while the latter may require two or more components and are related to a formula (for example, 'percentage of waste collected composted'). These indicators are calculated automatically from simple indicators and/or measurement values that are compiled in an equation. See Equation Builder module help for more information on setting up this type of indicator. Note: Escendency systems come preloaded with equations and measurements for an organisation's statutory performance indicators.
Restrict decimal places
This will restrict the number of decimal places displayed in the performance reports. It will not affect calculations of final outturns.
if the indicator measurement type is an equation, then this drop down allows the relevant equation to be selected. The equation, if not preloaded, will need to be set up in the Equation Builder module.
Measurement type
the data type of the indicator's measurements (note: these are preconfigured in the system and cannot be edited):
Numeric (integer)
whole numbers, e.g. 10
Numeric (floating point)
numbers with a decimal point, e.g. 10.04
: i.e. “yes” or “no” as to whether the indicator has been done. Can only be used as a snapshot. In many cases these type of indicators are better represented as an action plan
Currency (£)
pounds sterling. Users will not need to enter the £ sign
a decimal number, restricted to values between 0 and 100. Users will not need to enter the % sign (if users want to represent a value < 0 or > 100 as a percent, although this is technically not correct it can be achieved by creating a unit in the Units of Measure module called percent and assigning it the ‘%’ sign.
a date. The system will provide users with a date-picker widget
Note: user can only use "snapshot" as the current value type for date indicators
Units of indicators
units that performance targets of the indicators are counted in, e.g. kilogrammes. This is different from "Measurement Type": a performance indicator of 1.5 kg has a measurement type of a floating point number, and a unit of indicators of a kilogramme. Units can be defined in the Units of Measure module. Note: if a different currency type is required other than pounds sterling (e.g. $) that currency can be set up in Units of Measure but the measurement type chosen would be numeric (floating point)
originally for those categories defined for local Government they are another means to increase reporting options by breaking down performance targets further than just by type. Categories can be deleted, edited or added to in the PI Categories module.
determines what value is good for the performance indicator, e.g. for "Percentage of Graduates employed above 20K per annum" a high value would be good, and for "CO2 emissions per capita", a low value would be good. For some kinds of indicators, appropriate values would be in a range, e.g. “number of new houses built” (balanced between housing need and environment). These parameters are fixed in the Escendency system.
Current value type
It is very important to get this right before attaching the indicator to an active target. There are three values types - Cumulative, snapshot, and average. The current value type is determined by the way the indicator measurement is input. For example; total tonnage of CO2 emissions would be cumulative if the amount entered was for the measurement period but snapshot if the amount entered was summed to date, the average waiting time for assessments would be an average measure though care must be taken when attempting to average a percent value (see Averaging Percentage Problem below), and identification of the number of contaminated sites could be a snapshot. Snapshots can be used when the value entered is already summed to date (sensible for percentage values) or if a certain threshold level cannot be exceeded in any one measurement period. These parameters are fixed in the Escendency system.
Measurement interval
is how often a user assigned to measure the associated performance target/s will be asked to enter data. The Escendency system comes with 8 defaults that can be edited, deleted or added to in the Intervals module
Validation interval
is how often the assigned validator will be asked to validate (audit) data that has been entered. This must be larger than the measurement interval
Reporting interval
is how often the performance targets will be reported but is actually passive in the system at time of writing
indicates whether or not a performance indicator will be available for use. Only "open" indicators are available for use when creating new performance targets
This field allows additional information about the measure to be input. It only displays in the performance indicator edit page
Scale factor
if data entered will routinely be in large numbers, e.g. in thousands or tens of thousands (for example, large budget values, landfill waste in kilogrammes, regional CO2 emissions in kilogrammes) setting a scale factor can save data enterers from having to enter large number of zeroes (and also reduce data entry errors). Enter a scale factor with an appropriate number of zeroes, e.g. for data to be measured in thousands set a scale factor of a thousand so that instead of entering "6700" the data enterer would enter "6.7"
Default Owner, Reporter, Validator, Measurer
If you already know some or all of the responsible post assignments for targets to be associated with this performance indicator you can enter them here by clicking on the post icon. Alternatively, they can be added during target setup.

Perspective/Indicator types

The perspective button gives access to a list of perspective/indicator types that can assist with further classification of the performance indicators, in addition to indicator type and category:

Where perspectives differ from other ways of breaking down indicators is that a indicator can be added to many different perspectives. This means a perspective report can have many perspectives that share the same indicators enabling cross cutting reporting. The Escendency system comes with a default list of scorecard perspectives. These perspectives can be edited, deleted, added to in the Scorecard Perspectives module.

Select one or more perspective/indicator types, and press the "Save" button to save changes. Once back at the main edit window (figure 2) the user can save the changes made to the PI list (figure 1).

Performance Indicators Set Up Considerations

Averaging Percentage Problem

Caution should be used when setting up a performance indicator that is reporting an average percent:

Consider this example using DCLG's performance indicator BV82b(i): Percentage of Household waste composted. This example is particularly relevant because the values may vary signficantly seasonally (more compost in the 3rd quarter because of garden waste). If the measurement is taken quarterly we could have the following hypothetical values (in 1000 tonnes):

1st Quarter 2nd Quarter 3rd Quarter 4th Quarter Total
Waste composted 20 30 65 10 125
Total waste 120 120 150 110 500
Percent composted (snapshot) 16.67 25.00 43.33 9.09 23.52
Percent composted (cumulative) 16.67 20.83 39.74 25.00 25.00

The true average is 25% ((125/4)/(500/4))x100 or (125/500)x100 but if the quarterly snapshot percentages above are averaged the value is not 25.00 but 23.52.

The situation above can best be resolved in two ways:

  1. Using a simple indicator set to snapshot. The values entered each quarter would be calculated from the sum of the previous values (i.e. from the example above, 20/120, 50/240, 115/390 and 125/500) so that the reported values would be the percentage of waste composted to date as opposed to per quarter.
  2. Using an equation indicator, also set to snapshot, attached to an equation comprising two summed measurements (tonnes of waste composted to-date and tonnes of waste collected). Each quarterly calculation would in effect mimic example 1. but require less overhead.

Changing indicator measurement intervals and past target reporting problem

If the interval of an existing indicator is to be changed ensure that it has not been used for a previous performance target otherwise the graphs for that target will not display correctly. Use 'Save new' feature in the indicator edit page instead (you will need to change the reference field first) and create a new indicator and edit the measurement intervals accordingly. Rename so the two indicators can be told apart and attach to the new target as needed (you can still use the target wizard but ensure that you repoint to the indicator with the new interval in step 1).

Both indicators will be represented on the same performance report because the report is target focused not indicator focused.