What Is the Difference Between a Formula and a KPI?

A single formula allows you to extract multiple KPIs once you add the formula to a widget.

Last updated: Jan. 28, 2022

Plecto formulas are logical expressions, similar to those in Excel or Google Sheets. Formulas can take data from different sources and calculate metrics such as the value of sales, the number of calls, month-to-date targets, and more. You can also use static numbers and add calculations such as 1380 * 3.756.

All formulas are universal and reusable across all of our features. For example, you can use the same formula on your dashboard widgets, in reports, when setting up notifications or contests, and more.

Default date

When calculating data from a data source, formulas look at the default date field in your data source. The default date serves as a point of reference that determines what data Plecto should include in the calculation. Learn more in Default Date Used in Formulas.

Finally, a single formula allows you to extract multiple KPIs.

In Plecto, a Key Performance Indicator or KPI is a combination of formula + widget + time period. Unlike formulas, KPIs are bound to specific time periods.

For example, say you have a formula that counts the number of calls from a data source. You can use this formula to see the KPI for today, another KPI for the current month, a third one this month filtered by teams or employees, and so on.


The same formula "Number of Calls" on 3 different widgets showing 3 different KPIs.

Use the formula editor or build formulas directly on the dashboard

Learn how to build formulas in Plecto. Go to KPI Management > Formulas > + New formula to open the formula editor or add widgets to your dashboard and create formulas from there.

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