Extending SharePoint Lists Without InfoPath, Part 5: Bamboo KPI Column

As we continue our series on the complete line of Bamboo Custom Column products available in the Bamboo Store, next we’ll introduce the Bamboo Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Column. The Bamboo KPI Column calculates status based on user-provided progress definitions, and displays the automatically updated results visually. In addition, the included display Web Part allows you to showcase a number of different indicators from a series of columns, giving you a single location to view the status of different projects and tasks:

To start us off, we first need to create a new Bamboo KPI column. To create a new column, select the action Create Column located under the Lists Ribbon:


You can also reach this option going to List Settings in the same Ribbon, and then Add a Column under the Columns section.

In the Create Column dialog, provide a name for the column and then select Bamboo KPI from the list of column types. Notice that the Additional Column Settings section updates to display a set of options related to the Bamboo KPI column type.

As mentioned, the KPI is based on data from a list of items, so the first step is to select the list on which you want to perform measurements.

To do this, enter the URL of where your list resides in the Site URL setting. The site URL can be either an absolute URL or relative URL, however, Bamboo Solutions strongly recommends using a relative URL if you plan to create a site template with this column created. This will also help if you have to migrate from one Server Farm to another with a different host URL. After entering the URL, click the green arrow, the next setting, List, is populated with all Lists and libraries found in the provided site:

Upon selecting the appropriate list, notice that the subsequent setting, Views, is now populated. This setting defines what data set the KPI calculated based on the filter defined in the selected List View.

Now that we have selected the appropriate list and view we want to use, it’s time to define what type of measurements need to be performed.

Bamboo KPI column provides three types of measurements:

The number of list items in the view: This is just simply a count of the number of items returned based on the view selected above:


– The calculated value of this column for all list items in the selected View above: This setting performs a calculation similar to a regular List View where you can perform the operations to find the Sum, Average, Maximum, or Minimum of a selected column:


Upon selecting the operation, select the column you want to perform the calculation on. Bamboo KPI column supports Number or Currency column types:

– Calculate the percentage of the number of list items in the selected View above (in the View drop-down box) to the number of list items in this view: performs a percentage of items between the originally selected view above, with a secondary view selected in the drop-down menu below:

Now that we have selected the calculation we want to perform, we need to define the rules of displaying the three possible outcomes.  First we want to define the preferred direction of the scale.  For example, if you have set up the calculation where the results could be 1 – 2 – 3, is 1 the preferred outcome or 3? This is defined the setting Better Values are then selecting the option of higher or lower:

Upon defining the preferred outcome, we now fill in the values of the three possible targets for Goal, Warning, and other. Goal, of course, means that the result is equal to or less than/greater than a value based on the preferred outcome. So let’s say you set the preferred outcome to have the value be higher. If you set the Goal to 15, and the result is 15 or greater from the calculation, the KPI will show you are hitting your target. Following the same rule where the preferred outcome is greater, if I set the warning to 13 that means if the resulting value is less than 15 and equal or greater than 13, the user will see a Warning. Finally anything below 13 results in an Alert notification:


After we have defined the rules of the KPI column, we define what we want to display in the column.  Users have four options from which to select:

Show Value as Icon Only:

Show Value as Goal Value:

Show Value as Column Value:

And Show Value as Goal and Column Values:

The administrator can also define what text is displayed if a user chose to show either Value or Goal as shown in the settings below:

Here is the result:


The administrator can additionally define which icon to use.  Bamboo KPI has four options:





And Traffic Lights:

If, for example, Traffic Lights was selected, users will see the following:


The final setting available to users is the Details Page setting.  Entering a URL into this field will make the resulting KPI icon clickable to whatever link you entered in the setting. This is great if you want to redirect the user to the source of the data, or if you have a larger project dashboard you want the user to view regarding corresponding data.

Read our entire series dedicated to Bamboo Custom Columns:

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