What are SharePoint 2010 Status Indicators?
Set a goal to increase sales in North America by 10 % in 6 months but don’t know how to monitor the up-to-date business performance? Want to increase employee retention rate but don’t know what to measure in order to improve it? Have all the data collected from your calling center but can’t visualize employee work performance? Status Indicator in SharePoint 2010 can help you solve these problems easily. Status Indicator can use any kind of numeric information to measure performance or progress against a set of targets and therefore allows you to visualize the real-time status of a process. This post explains Status indicator in details and shows you step by step how to create a Status Indicator in SharePoint 2010.
How can SharePoint Status Indicators improve performance?
Having said that status indicators are used to keep track of progress against its target, well-selected status indicators can actually help improve business performance. For example, utilization rate of a consultant is a key success factor to a consulting firm. If this value is measured, updated and shown on a Web page, the managers can monitor employee performance easily and the employees are encouraged to improve work performance. In order to utilize Status Indicator to improve performance, the manager needs to identify the most important factors of business success. Taking into the consideration of the source of the data, the calculation, the goal settings and data security, the manager needs to carefully design the indicator so that it addresses the key issues of an organization.
Indicator values can be selected from different sources of data. Depending on the source, there are four types of status indicator that can be created in SharePoint 2010:
- Data from SharePoint lists: If you have numeric data stored in a SharePoint list, you can select, count, or aggregate the values in the SharePoint list to be used as an indicator value.
- From Microsoft Excel workbooks: If you have a Microsoft Excel workbook stored in a SharePoint library, you can select the value in a cell from the Excel workbook directly as the indicator value. When the workbook data changes, the indicator value will be updated automatically.
- From Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services: If the indicator value is retrieved through a data connection with SharePoint server, this option should be selected. E.g. You can import a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) from a SQL Server Analysis Service cube
- Manually Entered information: If you want to manually enter information to be used an indicator value, choose this indicator type. It is recommended for measuring process of one-time projects.
Data security is a key element to the success of using Status Indicator. Whether the status indicator contains sensitive information or not, to guarantee accuracy of the indicator, only authorized personnel should view or change the data. To protect data, there are several ways to set permissions in SharePoint 2010, such as setting permissions on a source list and etc.
Create a status indicator:
In order to create a status indicator, you first need to create a Status List or a Web Part with Status List. Here I’ll show you step by step how to create a Status List on a SharePoint site:
Step 1: Click Site Actions, then click View All Site Content
Step2: On the All Site Content page, click Create
Step3: From the Custom Lists column, click Status List
Step4: Enter the Name and Descriptions of the Status list and choose Yes to display the list on the Quick Launch bar, and then click Create
Now you can view the list from the Quick Launch bar and create new status indicator here:
Step 5: Click New and choose the status indicator type based on data source
Step 6: Enter the Name and Description of the status indicator. Notice the settings of status indicator vary depending on the type you selected. Here we will show you examples of Fixed Value based and Excel workbook based indicator.
- Fixed Value based Status Indicator:
Manually enter Indicator Value:
From Microsoft Excel workbooks
If you choose to create status indicator from Microsoft Excel workbooks, you will see the following box. To set the indicator value, first type the URL of the workbook. Note that the Excel workbook must be saved in a SharePoint library in the same site. Click the icon on the right side of the box to browse the site and select the workbook.
Click the icon on the right side of the Cell Address box to select the cell:
Step 7: Set the Status Icon rules. From the Better values are dropdown list, choose higher if the higher values are better and choose lower if the lower values are better. Enter manually the goal value and the warning value
Step 8: (Optional), In the Details Page box, enter the URL of the page that has detailed information about the indicator.
Note: you can also choose to set Update Rules if the indicator value is NOT entered manually
Step 9: Click OK
An indicator is created and listed in the Status List (named Employee Monthly Sales Details):
To view the details of the indicator, click on the name of the indicator:
Well done! You’ve just created a Status list and a Status Indicator on a SharePoint site.