RJMetrics Feature Spotlight: Ranking

The RJMetrics “ranking” feature allows you to quickly and easily determine which items in a given category are most popular. For example, you can check which products, item categories, vendors, or even sales channels rank highest for a given time period or within a given subcategory. Today, we’ll be showing you how this works with the help of our Vandelay Industries data set.

As you may already know, you can always use the “group by category” and “order by value” features to generate an ordered list of the top categories for any given criteria. This is demonstrated in the chart below of the top 10 US states by total number of orders:

Top 10 States


However, what if you were only interested in the ranking of a specific state? What if you wanted to view that state’s ranking by month over time or across different sales channels? The ranking system answers these questions by providing three useful ways to view a specific element’s “rank.”

You can find the “ranking” options in step 3 of the chart creation wizard. Simply choose “Show an element’s rank within its category” from the drop-down list and you’ll be presented with a straightforward set of options:

Rank within Category

"Ranking" Options in Step 3 of the Chart Creation Wizard


The most basic ranking output is a simple scalar number that tells you where the item in question falls on an ordered list of its peers. If you have chosen not to view your chart by time and selected “show overall rank” for the “rank within categories” option, your output will be a scalar number. As always, you can set restrictions in Step 4 of the Chart Wizard to further customize a rank’s criteria and peers.  Below we see a basic scalar output:



If you want to take things a step further and see, for example, the ranking of a specific category across different subcategories, you simply choose to “show rank within a subcategory.” Here, we’ve chosen to view the rank of a paricular product (the “Feats of Strength” bracelet) within the subcategory “US State.” The result is a chart showing us where this particular ranks in sales in each US State (we have also restricted which states to show in Step 4):

 Rank by Category


Naturally, you can also choose to view a rank over time simply by choosing a time interval and date rank in Step 2 of the RJMetrics Chart Creation Wizard. Here, we see how purchases in the Socks category have ranked for the past several years:




Rankings can be particularly valuable when we try to understand the evolution of customer preference. For example, keeping an eye on rankings can be a good way to track diversification initiatives or observe the growth of a new offering as it begins to compete with your existing portfolio of products or services. When affiliate programs or other sales channels are added to the mix, rankings become a quick and easy way to detect the leading drivers of growth.

While a rank doesn’t always tell the whole story, it does provide an easy way to cut to the punchline. And, of course, you can always access the underlying data using RJMetrics.

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