Use the cumulative average function to apply metric smoothing using-the-cumulative-average-function-to-apply-metric-smoothing

The longer the time period that a metric is trended, the more difficult it is to tell directional trends for the metric. To solve this, the Cumulative Average function in Calculated Metrics can be used to apply smoothing to metrics in Analysis Workspace.

So you may remember this feature back in old SiteCatalyst 14, SiteCatalyst 15, Reports and Analytics, whatever you wanna call it, this ability to have smoothing applied to your metrics where you could look at a trend and you could see sort of all this crazy, kind of grey lines and it was very difficult to tell, whether data was heading up or down over time because the information was so large. So you could apply this moving average, and we could say maybe seven days worth of moving average. Click Okay, and once the page refreshes were then able to see, okay we’ve got a little bit more of a feel for how our data is trending over time, because smoothing has been applied. Well, what if I told you, that you could do this in Analysis Workspace with a very simple calculated metric. Well the truth is, you can. So let’s hop on over into Analysis Workspace, where I’ve already taken the liberty of trending, just some basic metrics where we can see visits and broken out by marketing channel. So we can see Direct here is trending and obviously there’s a pretty big leap with that on that particular day on the 4th. Maybe that was over Superbowl Sunday or something like that, And then it continues to go up and up and up and it’s actually pretty easy to tell from this particular graph what’s going on with visits for Direct. But for E-mail, for example, we can see that yeah there was similarly on the 4th a pretty big leap but then after that it’s a little bit harder to tell what’s happening. And so that’s where we can use the power of calculated metrics to help us in our goal for identifying and really applying smoothing. So all we need to do is head on over to our new metric builder and we can create a new metric. And the first thing that we’ll want to do is actually look for a particular function. And that function is the Cumulative Average function. Where if you click the info button you can learn a little bit about how it works and what the different parameters are. But, let’s just drag it on in and see what our options are. So we can start by seeing that we have a number. And so this number, think of it similar to that smoothing number or how many days worth of smoothing we wanna apply. So we’ll say seven day average or seven days smoothing going on here.
And Then, we wanna drag in our metric And so we’ll take visits, drag that in as our metric here and we’ll leave everything else basically the same in terms of the default. We’ll give it a nice, friendly name. We’ll call it Visits Smoothing of 7 Days, which is maybe not the friendliest name but whatever, it’ll work. Visits Smoothing of 7 Days, click Save. And just like that we should be able to find it right at the top of the left rail in Analysis Workspace. Drag and drop it and now we’ve got Email here on the left, which has that crazy kinda up and down for the most recent couple of months and then when I add a second metric and trend to our line graph, we can now see we have a little bit better and more clear view of what’s actually happening within our data. We can see that it is a little bit smoother and we can see that although things were going up for some time, they seem to have kinda settled down the last few weeks. Which, if we were to look at this, would be a little bit harder to tell. And so that right there is the advantage of using the Cumulative Average function especially, when aiming to do some smoothing of any of your metrics. Enjoy.