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Up Your Statistics Game With Form-Based Computed Values

Sue of The Wellness Community, a CoachAccountable Team Edition coach, dropped us a line with a complex document she uses for all her clients. It’s a holistic Wellness Assessment that’s intended to give her members an idea of their current overall wellness, as well as help her match new clients with the right coach.

Sue wonders:

Is there a way for CA to compute and report a wellness score from the answers submitted in a wellness assessment? I have created an assessment with seven sections, each measuring a different area of wellness. Each answer has a score and contributes to the total for a specific area with each area contributing to the total wellness score, being a maximum of 100.

Can I also create a metric that combines all these metrics into one to give a snap shot of their overall wellness in graph form?

We were happy to reply that YES, CoachAccountable does that. It’s called a Computed Value.

Form-based Worksheets give you the ability to create professional coaching Worksheets for your clients. Many coaches find they can stop using tools like Google Docs plus Google Forms and instead assign a neat, packaged CoachAccountable Worksheet, placed where clients can easily find, complete, and review it. You can take data from your form-based Worksheets and pipe them into Metrics, allowing clients to enter data only once into the Worksheet while the Metric auto-populates both data and comments if you like.

Now, form-based Worksheets can do even more. The newest type of field, computed value, allows you to input formulas that include other form fields on your Worksheet. That means you can automatically calculate averages, sums, and so on, and of course pipe these into Metrics as well.

Let’s take a look at one in action.

From the Worksheet in this blog post, I’d like to know how a given client feels on average about the topic. I’ve already got two questions that address that opinion, so I will take the average of these to get the person’s general feeling.

Step 1 is to create the form fields you’ll use in the computed value. Basically, the system has to know what it’s supposed to add/subtract/multiply/divide. It’s like baking: you can’t start with the step that says “mix all the ingredients into the bowl” without knowing what those ingredients are. In this case, I’ve already done the work to create those.

You may remember this totally unbiased survey from such blog posts as “Using Form-Based Worksheets”.

Next, create a computed value. The name should be something you’d use as a title in a spreadsheet column. The formula, though, is where it gets really juicy.

See the options for values to include in this formula, those clickable green links? They are all from the same Worksheet I’m working on. That’s why it’s so important to create these fields in advance. Now, just click on any of those to add it to your formula.

Since I want the average, I need to add these two fields together, then divide by two. CA knows PEMDAS (remember that from school? Please excuse my dear aunt Sally?), so using parentheses makes sure that the adding gets done before the dividing.

For this post, we also learned that in the UK they use BODMAS (Brackets, Orders, Divide, Multiply, Add, Subtract), while in Canada they say BEDMAS (Brackets, Exponents, Divide, Multiply, Add, Subtract). The more you know!

I don’t want my client to see this as a question, because I only want to use it to create a Metric for her (another reason you may not want clients to see the computed value is if you’re just keeping this number for yourself. You can always run a report on just this field by using the Data Lab’s Single Field reporting function).

Because I chose to hide this computed value, I’ll need to mouse over it to see or edit the field.

This hidden field means that the Worksheet looks exactly the same to the client as it did before.

Let’s build a Metric that pipes in the data from this computed value field.

This’ll be useful for my coaching, right?

And voila! You’ve got magically appearing Metric data from a question your client didn’t even know she answered.  By the same token, it’s often nice as well to have a computed value show right within the Worksheet.  That value will magically update itself as your client fills out the other parts of the worksheet which are part of the formula.  This can be quite nice for something like a total score that grows as your client answers the questions.  Hidden or on display, you can have it whichever way makes the most sense.

Which functions can a CoachAccountable computed value do?

Pretty much any valid mathematical expression of arithmetic will work!  This includes:

  • Parentheses
  • Exponents
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Addition
  • Subtraction

And if the formula as you’ve typed it is not valid for whatever reason, perhaps some parentheses don’t match up quite right or you’ve got a typo in your input names, the system will let you know right away so you can make needed corrections.


If, like Sue, you’ve got a complicated Worksheet for your clients and you’re ready to have the math automated for you (plus reminders and more), set up your free 30-day trial with CoachAccountable now.

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