# Introduction to Formulas

A brief introduction to formulas in Plecto.

###### Table of contents

### What are formulas?

Formulas are an integral part of Plecto. They take the raw data from data sources and convert it to metrics and various KPIs that you can visualize on Plecto dashboards, slideshows, and reports. Learn about the difference between formulas and KPIs in this article.

An example of a data source in Plecto.

Data in spreadsheets is usually organized in rows and columns. Plecto works in the same way, but we call the rows **registrations** and the columns **fields**. When calculating a result, a formula generally selects a data source, narrows down which registrations to include in the calculations, checks which fields to look at, and calculates the result from the registration values.

###### Give your formulas unique titles

Please enter unique titles for each formula you create. If the formula title matches an existing formula or data source, Plecto won't be able to save it.

An example of the formula editor.

You can also add **filters** to your formulas to get specific metrics, depending on the fields available in your data sources. For example, display the number of calls with the status "answered" or see the number of registrations from a particular campaign.

### Components

The formulas are built on components. A component can be, for example, a data function (number of, the sum of, minimum, maximum, average, and more), an existing formula, IF function, group, date function, or a static number. You can add as many components to your formulas as you like.

Read more in Introduction to the New Formula Editor (BETA).

### Number format

You can choose the format of the formula output. Number formatting determines how the formula result gets shown on your dashboards and reports.

The available formatting options are text, decimal number, Yes/No, percent, duration, date and time, date, and time since. See the different number formatting outputs in the video below.

###### Lower value is better

If your goal is to achieve lower KPIs, then select "Lower value is better" in the formula editor. This option is available for **decimal numbers** and **percentages**. For example, 2 missed calls are better than 10, or 3 minutes of the average call waiting time is better than 5 minutes.

### Time periods

In Plecto, you don't define time periods in formulas. You do that on widgets on your dashboards and reports. This way, you can create and use the same formulas across Plecto without having to create new formulas for each separate time period you want to visualize. Read more in Selecting a Time Period.

For more help, go to Introduction to the New Formula Editor and How to Build a Formula in the New Editor.