Sharepoint 2010 is the IWs place of predilection for creating, authoring and sharing insights using a palette of tools like Excel Services, Performance Point Services, Access services, Power View, Visio services, 3rd party visualization tools and so on.

One of the visualizations that is vastly used and easy to read and interpret is Key Performance Indicators. They carry information in a simple and comprehensive way, usually with the help of graphical indicators like traffic lights or colored arrows pointing up or down. In Performance Point Server there is a plethora of KPI indicators to choose from and you can of course even build your own.

But sometimes you just don’t want or can’t build a KPI then a scorecard and then a dashboard in PPS. That’s when the Sharepoint Status list comes in handy !

A status indicator is a one-line report. At a glance, a status indicator shows how actual performance for a particular measure compares to a goal. A good status indicator lets you know, without requiring calculations, if measures are on target or off target.

Activating the Status List template

The status list template is available in the Enterprise Edition of Sharepoint 2010.

To be available two features need to be activated:

– Sharepoint Enterprise Site Features

– Performance Point Service Site Features

both at the Site collection level and at the Site level.

Having done that you should be able to create a new Status List.

4 types of Status Indicators

From there there are 4 types of Status Indicators you can create

Let’s have a look at the first one

Sharepoint List based Status Indicator

The Sharepoint List based Status Indicator lets you create indicators from the different Sharepoint Lists within your site. For example Lists that contain items that are part of a workflow or Tasks Lists.

Note : You can’t create an Status Indicator from an External List, which is sad since data there is often more dynamic.

In this example let’s pretend that my Task List serves as list for a Helpdesk and as the manager of the Helpdesk I want to be able in a quick gaze to get an overview of the current tasks and how the Helpdesk team is performing.

 

So I’ve setup a few indicators in my status list:

  • Active task in progress: Tasks from the Active View where % completed > 0
    • The goal is having 80% of the active tasks started and in progress and I want to be warn at 50%

 

  • Average task completion status:  The Average of % Complete in All tasks
    • The goal is 50% and the warning is 40%

 

  • Not started tasks with high priority: Tasks where the priority is High but the Status is “not started”
    • This is an important one as I want to ensure that high priority tasks to be addressed first. And as you can see some heads should roll!

 

  • Number of Active tasks: The tasks where the status != Completed

 

So the Helpdesk is not performing that well but thanks to my Status List I can now visualize the situation.

Excel based Status Indicator

As the name indicates they are based on Excel spreadsheets. Excel services spreadsheets to be specific.

Note : The main advantage of using Excel based Status Indicator is (apart from being able to read Excel data) the dynamism of Excel Services where data connections might be refreshed.

When using Excel spreadsheets for making status indicators you need to specify :

  • Which cell is the goal
  • Which cell is the actual value
  • Which cell is the warning threshold value

 

And the resulting indicator.

 

In part 2 I will have a look at SSAS based Status Indicator and the less exciting Fixed Value based Status Indicator and which parts of the Status List you can customize OOTB in Sharepoint 2010.

Happy Sharepointing !