1. Introduction to the Analytics in Kanbanize
The Analytics module helps you identify bottlenecks and provides predictability of your workflow so that you can make better data-driven decisions. Analytics can be used to run reports on the working process and provide a visual representation of the data on the selected board.
Important: The analytics in Kanbanize work per board.
2. Types of charts/graphs within the Analytics module
The Analytics screen presents 7 categories: Cycle Time, Throughput, WIP, Flow, Blockers, Forecasting, Deprecated Analytics, each available as a tab item on the page. Click on a tab button to view the charts for each of the respective metrics.
Cycle Time Analytics
Cycle Time Scatter Plot - The Cycle Time Scatterplot chart is a representation of how long it takes to get things done for individual items on your Kanban board.
Cycle Time Histogram - The Cycle time histogram is similar to the Cycle time Scatterplot, but it visualizes the data differently. The Cycle time histogram aggregates the data and gives you the cycle time-frequency distribution of the completed cards in your workflow.
Cycle Time Heatmap - The Cycle Time Heatmap is a graphical representation of cycle time on a matrix that uses various shades of different colors to help distinguish the collected data in each cell of the matrix.
Throughput Histogram - The Throughput histogram aggregates the data and gives you the distribution frequency of Throughput on the selected workflow. It visualizes how productive your team was. This is measured by the number of tasks finished each day for the defined time frame.
Throughput Run Chart - The Throughput Run Chart in Kanbanize helps you visualize how much work you can deliver every day. The chart displays the data plotted over time, and it helps find trends or patterns in your process.
WIP Run Chart - The WIP Run Chart helps you visualize how much work in progress your team has over a selected time in the selected workflow. The chart displays data plotted over time, and it helps find trends or patterns in the process.
Cumulative Flow Diagram - The Cumulative Flow Diagram aims to show the stability of your process over time. It tracks and accumulates each task that has ever entered or progressed to any stage of your workflow.
Flow Efficiency - The Flow Efficiency chart will automatically gather data from every card that passed through your Kanban board during the time frame of your choice to accumulate the overall flow efficiency for the period.
Blocker Clustering - The Blocker Clustering Chart is a graphical representation of the time and number of times cards have been blocked. It is a heatmap that uses various shades of different colors to help visualize the collected blocker data.
Blocker Dynamics Chart - The Blocker Dynamics Chart helps you analyze the number of times different blockers have been used and resolved. It is a visual representation of the creation and resolution of blocks over selected periods of time. Using the Active Items Trend Line you can also look at how many active blocks were left at the end of each period and if there are blocks that span multiple days, so you can spot bottlenecks in your process.
Monte Carlo How Many - The "How Many" Monte Carlo simulation aims to tell you the minimum amount of work items that you can get done within the next “x” days. For example, you can use it if you’ve got a deadline scheduled for July 7th and you wish to know how many tasks can be finished by then.
Monte Carlo When - The "Monte Carlo - When" simulation is the other way around compared to "Monte Carlo- How Many." The "Monte Carlo - When" chart aims to tell you when you can expect the team to finish a specific number of tasks that you are yet to start working on.
3. Analytics - general guidelines
(1) You need to select the workflows that you want to analyze. The analytics module takes into consideration all cards from the selected workflows. Note that you can add single or multiple workflows for most of the analytics with the 'or' button. You can also exclude workflows with the 'is not' operator from the dropdown.
(2) In addition, you can apply extra filters (Add cards filter). You need to select at least one of the following fields: "Created At", "Start Date" or "End Date" and configure their value in order to create the time frame for the analysis. In addition, you may want to see only cards with high priority or cards that are of a certain type.
Note: you can't run the analysis without selecting at least one of the 3 mentioned fields. You can also select more than one of them for a more precise configuration of the datasets.
Created at - select cards based on their creation date.
Start date - select cards based on the day they entered the 'In Progress' section of a board.
End Date - select cards that were completed (moved to the 'Done' or 'Ready to Archive' areas) in a time period or do not have an End Date yet (have not been finished).
(3) You can further narrow it down by modifying the operators of the fields.
And select the needed time frame from the dropdown below.
Note: Before using the analytics, make sure you have configured the Cycle Time calculation for the respective board.
To learn how to configure cycle time per board, please check the dedicated article.
Note: By default, Cycle Time calculation will be enabled only for the "Requested" and "In Progress" stages of your workflows.
The system also allows you to use the "Ignore Cycle Time Configuration" option within the analytics module.
In that case, the system takes into account the time cards have spent in each of the process stages (custom columns within the stages).
This allows having an in-depth analysis of both value-adding activities and queue stages.
In addition to the above, the analytics module relies on the cards' transitions along the workflow.
Each card has an entry (IN) date in a given column and respectively an exit (OUT) date from that column.
Within each chart's settings, you will notice an option to include or exclude some of the workflow stages (columns).
Even if the "Done" column is not included in your Cycle Time calculation, there would still be an artificial "Done" stage available within the workflow stages:
This stage basically serves the purpose to store a card's last exit date i.e. the date on which the card was moved out of the "In Progress" stage (if we take the above image as an example).
Note that if the "Done" stage is deselected via the Workflow Stages, a card's last exit date will be transferred to the previous stage in the process.
4. Analytics - Time Configuration Settings
There are 2 types of Time Configuration Settings:
- Some Analytics Modules have a "Timeline Units" configuration on their right-side menu. The "Timeline Units" configuration is used to select a given time period (days/weeks/months/quarters/years). This time period is the unit that you’d like to split the data by. For example, if you want to see the data grouped by days, if you want to look at several weeks of performance, or by months if you want to look at a whole year's performance.
- Some Analytics Modules have the "Time Units" configuration on their right-side menu. This configuration allows you to choose a specific time unit in which to visualize data for the cards/work items in your process. The available time units include minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/quarters, and years. This is the format in which you want your data to be measured and visualized. For example, if you want to visualize the exact cycle time of the cards, you might want to use the 'minutes' or 'hours' configuration. You can also use the 'calendar day' time unit if your work is driven by client requests. Most clients expect exact delivery dates or ranges that are calendar-based, and configuring your modules by calendar days may be more useful to predict or assess performance when it comes to this type of work.
Important: The default value for both of the time configurations is a calendar day.
Why use the hours/minutes configuration of the time units?
- If a lot of cards are processed in under a day, the default (calendar day) visualization on analytics modules like the Cycle Time Scatterplot will not be representative of the difference between their processing times. Configuring the "Time Units" settings from the right menu to hours or munites, depending on the precision needed, can reveal that some cards take longer than others to be processed.