Formatting KPI number output

You can choose how KPI numeric values are displayed in, including the reports it generates.

Numbers can be expressed in three significant digit format or you can format them with a format mask.

Three significant digit formatting

Three significant digit (TSD) formatting is a way of summarising numbers without losing too much detail. Numbers of 1,000 or more are divided by 1,000 until they are no longer greater than or equal to 1,000. A 'k' or 'm' are then appended to the number to indicate if the result represents thousands or millions.

For example:

  • 1,234,567.89 becomes 1.23m
  • 123,456.78 becomes 123k
  • 12,345.67 becomes 12.3k
  • 1,234.56 becomes 1.23k
  • 123.45 becomes 123
  • 12.34 becomes 12.34

TSD numbers flow more easily in conversation and help the reader and listener to ignore less relevant detail. The underlying detail within the system, however, remains.

You can choose to use TDS numbers on your strategy scorecard.

Format masks

You can use a format mask to indicate how you would like numbers displayed when not using TSD format (see above).

Format masks are quite flexible and can include:

  • 0: (zero) replaces the '0' with the corresponding digit if one is present; otherwise, zero appears in the output.
  • #: (hash) replaces the '#' with the corresponding digit if one is present; otherwise, no digit appears in the output.
  • .: (decimal point) determines the placing of the decimal separator in the output.
  • ,: (comma) determines the placing of the thousands separator in the output. If 2 or more commas are used in a row, then each additional comma causes the number to be divided by 1,000.
  • %: (percentage) multiplies the number by 100 and inserts a localised percentage sign in the output.
  • \%: (escaped percentage) inserts a localised percentage sign in the output without multiplying the number by 100.
  • ‰: (per mille) multiplies the number by 1000 and inserts a localised per mille sign in the output.
  • ;: (semi-colon) optionally separates the mask into up to 3 groups with the first used for positive numbers, the second for negative numbers, and the third for zero.

Any other letters, numbers and symbols are included in the output unchanged. In this way, you can include currency symbols, or put negative numbers in brackets, etc.

For example:

  • #,##0.00;(#,##0.00) would cause -1234.5 to be displayed as (1,234.50)
  • £#,##0.00 would cause 1.2 to be displayed as £1.20
  • #0.##% would cause 0.086 to be displayed as 8.6%

The default format mask, if you don't set it yourself, is "#,##0.####". That is, up to 4 decimal places. Target and actual values of KPIs are valid up to 4 decimal points of precision. Up to 4 decimal points of precision will be used in calculations and for display on charts, if they are entered, regardless of whether they are displayed using the format mask.

If any part of this text is not clear to you, please contact our support team for assistance.

Most popular articles:

  1. Goals, objectives, KPIs, targets, initiatives and actions
    How do you use goals, objectives, KPIs, targets and initiatives to ensure your strategy is action-oriented, gets done and delivers results?
  2. The "Strategy House"
    The "Strategy House" is a simple but effective way to summarise and communicate some key aspects of your strategy.
  3. Examples of Strategy Canvases
    The Strategy Canvas shows how an organisation can carve out a unique position in the market, free of the ravages of competition.
  4. How to use
    We hope you'll find easy to use. But if you need some help, you'll find it here.
  5. Examples of PESTEL Analyses
    Draw inspiration from examples of PESTEL Analyses for well-known organisations like Uber and Apple.

Sign up now for your FREE account at

Sign Up

Do you need a little extra help developing and executing your business strategy?

We offer a range of value add services for you to choose from.