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Color coding of cell values

Color coding cells based on variable thresholds facilitates the analysis of complex multi-criteria tables.

1 Color coding of ratings

Enable color coding of rating values (the score) and select the type of threshold you want to apply.

1.1 Color coding 'by Value range %' (default)

This expresses the threshold relative to the value range of the rating. This is useful when analyzing results across multiple rating methods with different scales.

For example, in a rating with possible values ranging from 0 - 10, "top 20%" will identify and highlight all values 8.0 or higher. Ratings on a scale of 0 - 5 would highlight values of 4.0 or higher.

Choose 'by value range %' if you want to highlight all high scores regardless of rating method.

1.2 Color coding 'by Value threshold'

This sets thresholds as (absolute) values irrespective of rating method or numerical scale.

For example, "High ratings ≥ 8" identifies and highlights values 8.0 or greater as 'high' regardless of rating method. If rating occurs on a numeric scale of 0 - 10, values 8.0 through 10.0 would be highlighted. In budget allocation any allocation at or above 8 units would be highlighted while for rating on a scale of 0 - 5 even a perfect score of "5" (=100%) would fail to meet the threshold.

Absolute thresholds (only) work well if you use one rating method across all criteria (i.e. ratings, columns) of the table (as is recommended).

1.3 Color coding 'by Rank range %'

This expresses the thresholds not in terms of the value of the cell (the mean rating) but by the rank associated with that value in the list of items. Moreover, the rank is not expressed by an absolute number but by a percentage of all items listed in the table.

For example, in a table of 50 items, "Top ranking 20%" identifies the "Top 10" items. In a list of 200 items, "Top 20%" would identify the "Top 40" items.

Note that any highlighting based on rank (rather than values) will identify items as "Top" even if their score is mediocre. "Top X%" simply means the best X% on the list by that criterion. 

1.3 Color coding 'by Rank'

This expresses the thresholds as absolute values for the rank regardless of the number of items on the list or the actual rating on that criterion.

This is like the Olympics: The best 3 athletes get a medal no matter how good they actually were or how many athletes compete. However, unlike the Olympics, MeetingSphere will highlight more than X results if multiple values qualify for that rank.

Note that there is a difference between "Rank number" and "Rank". A high rank comes with a low rank number e.g. "1. Rank". A low rank comes with a high number e.g. "299. rank". This is why top ranks are identified by rank numbers smaller than the threshold.

2 Color coding of Standard Deviation

Normalized Standard Deviation (SD) is a measure of consensus.

Enable color coding of (normalized) Standard Deviation to spot patterns of consensus and dissent at a glance.

Thresholds for (normalized) SD are set as absolute values within the range of 0.0 (no SD = absolute consensus) to 0.5 (maximum SD = complete dissent).

By default

  • the top range is defined as up to 0.2 indicating 'general consensus'
  • the bottom ranges is defined as from 0.3 indicating 'strong dissent'

Adjust these thresholds for your purpose. For instance, you may wish to lower the threshold for consent to 0.1 to indicate 'rock solid consensus' rather than just 'general consensus'.

3 Color schemes

The default color schemes are

  • for results cells
    • dark blue (high scores)
    • medium blue (intermediate scores)
    • light blue (low scores)
  • for Standard Deviation (SD)
    • green (low SD indicating consensus)
    • yellow (intermediate SD indicating some dissent)
    • red (high SD warning of strong dissent)

Click on the color indicators to adjust the color scheme to your methodology or purpose.