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Data and Business Intelligence Glossary Terms

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Measure

What is a measure?

A measure is a numerical attribute of your data, and can be broken out by one or more dimensions. These are the fields in your database containing numerical values that can be calculated or aggregated. Measures are quantitative; you can perform calculations on them like sums, averages, or standard deviations.

Example measure

If we have a table in our database that stores product information, the field containing each product’s price is a measure.

Measures vs. metrics

On its own, a measure won’t give us a very well-rounded view of our data — that’s where metrics come in. Metrics are a kind of measure; they’re the calculations that you perform on your raw data (your unaggregated measures). While a product’s price is a measure, the standard deviation of all our products’ prices is a metric. The KPIs that your organization tracks are metrics too, like each month’s average order totals.

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