Trends Tool

Introduction to the Trends tool

Steve Shearman avatar
Written by Steve Shearman
Updated over a week ago

Use the Trends tool to discover patterns that are changing over time or are driving a top level change in key metrics. 

The trends tool contains algorithms to identify and explain significant, fast moving, and emerging trends, as well as the underlying key drivers and root causes. 

Three important ways to use Trends

  1. Trend Drivers - You want to understand what is causing or correlates with a change in your target metric

  2. Largest Changes - You want to understand what patterns have the largest change in frequency, target metric or impact

  3. Emerging & Fastest Changes - You want to understand the patterns that have the fastest moving changes in frequency, target metric or impact 

Using the Trends tool (walk through)

Period Selection

To start your analysis select a period over which your wish to understand the underlying trends.

The top time series chart displays frequency (bars) and your target metric (line) across the full period of your data. This enables you to easily identify when key changes in your target metric are taking place, and select these periods for analysis.

To select a sub-period to analyze simply highlight the area of the graph. This will automatically apply a filter for this period, and the Trends summary and scatter chart will then display results for this period.

Understanding different aspects of the data

When analyzing data using the Trends tool you can change the 'Report By' control to view the data through different dimensions. 

The most important three views are:

  1. Concepts - Discovers trends in important drivers relating to common concepts

  2. Themes - Discovers more nuanced trends than concepts, including aspects unique to your data that may not be included in Concepts

  3. Segments - Discovers important drivers and differences in your structured data. Either select 'Segments' to see all these categorical attributes at once, or select a specific attribute. 

Use the Priority control to highlight what is important

Once you have selected the period, then select which priority metric you wish to discover trends for.

The three most commonly used priority metric options are:

  • Frequency % - to understand changes in the frequency of patterns as a % of each month

  • Target Metric - to understand changes in your target metric for individual patterns across the selected period

  • Impact - to understand which patterns have a changing impact on your target metric (taking into account both changes in frequency and your target metric for each pattern) 

By default Trends will display patterns with either the largest increase or decrease in your target metric. However you can further filter patterns to only

  • Increasing - Patterns that show an increase in your priority metric

  • Decreasing - Patterns that show a decrease in your priority metric

Also you can choose to rank patterns by either an 

  • Absolute Change (Changing/Increasing/Decreasing) - is the difference between the last month and first month of your selected period for your priority metric 

  • Relative % Change (% Changing/Increasing/Decreasing) - the difference as a % of the first month of your selected period. e.g. a change of 10 to 15 is a 150% increase

Note that you can quickly toggle between Change and % Change using the Fast Movers toggle control

Visualizing the results

Once the results are returned you can then choose the visualization type and set any chart dimensions to best reflect what you are trying to understand.

Trends provides the following visualizations to help with analyzing your data:

Typically the most useful visualization to use when initially understanding Trends is the Scatter Chart. 

By default the Scatter Chart automatically chooses the best chart settings to display trends by displaying

  • The X-Axis displays your priority metric 

  • The Y-Axis displays the change or % change in your priority metric i.e. increasing at the top (think UP) and decreasing at the bottom (think DOWN)

  • The color displays the difference in the pattern target metric to the overall value

  • The size displays the frequency

Also when your target metric is Impact, the Scatter Chart automatically displays data in four labelled quadrants making it easier to interpret. 

The quadrant labels will change depend on whether you have selected to 'Minimize' or 'Maximize' your target metric in the Improvement Target control. 

When you have selected to 'Maximize' your target metric, then proceeding clockwise from the top left these quadrants are:

  • Positive and Improving (Top Right) - These patterns are already positive contributors to your overall target metric - and their contribution is increasing

  • Positive but deteriorating (Bottom Right) - These patterns are positive contributors to your overall target metric - however their contribution is decreasing (and may become detractors)

  • Negative and deteriorating (Bottom Left) - These patterns are detracting from your overall target metric - and this detraction is increasing 

  • Negative but improving (Top Left) - These patterns are detracting from your overall target metric - but this detraction is decreasing (and may become positive contributors)

To better understand each of the trending patterns you can 

  • Mouse over the pattern and view the summary statistics

  • Click on the the bubble or bar and use the right-hand-side preview function

When viewing the trend tooltip statistics, the change for all metrics is shown alongside the average value across the entire period. 

This enables you to understand whether a change in impact is being driven by a change in frequency, your target metric or both.
e.g. in the above example we can see that this Pricing & Value pattern

  • Is a relatively frequent pattern (22.7% of all data)

  • Has a modest absolute increase in frequency (up 2.9 points) - which represents and increase of 12.8% 

  • However there is a large decrease in NPS (down 17.4 points) 

  • Resulting in a significant change in impact (down 4.5 points)

  • So we can understand that the perception on Pricing and Value significantly deteriorated over this period - and has impacted the overall NPS

Clicking on each trend pattern will preview the pattern on the right-hand-side and you can visually see this change over time

To understand this Trend further use the Preview Explain tab to view a Cloud that explains this trend.

In the below example we can see that customers are mentioning competitive themes relating to interest rates
e.g. interest rate, term rate, offer rate, better rate, better deal, negotiate rate

Also if you have sufficient volume of data you can drill down and analyze sub-trends for this Trend pattern by 

  • Adding this trend pattern as a filter
    (right click on the Trend chip and select 'Add to filters')

  • Using the trend tool with 'By Understanding' set to themes

  • Then explore the sub-themes and to explain changes

And now we can see more clearly that this negative trend is driven by customers wanting more competitive Term Deposit interest rates. Furthermore it appears this issue is partially mitigated for those customers who speaking to a customer service agent and negotiating or receive a better rate.

Which can also be easily validated by reading examples

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