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Guide to the leaderboard visualization

Use a leaderboard to display where people rank in relation to their peers.

Updated over a week ago

Leaderboards are a visualization of achievement. The purpose of a leaderboard is to show people where they rank in a gamified system. The leaderboard shows them where they stand in relation to their peers.

leaderboard widget

When to use a leaderboard

Leaderboards serve many purposes, but three powerful ones are:

  1. Measuring Progress / Achievement: Leaderboards provide a way to visualize your skill progression. As you improve, you get higher scores, and you're able to compare them with past performances.

  2. Status: Many people are motivated to keep improving because seeing your name on a leaderboard provides status.

  3. Providing a sense of what's possible: In a global, absolute leaderboard, the highest score gives you a sense of what's possible. If you know the person at the top has a score of 900 points, you'll know it's at least possible to increase your skill to reach that higher score.

Leaderboards should always be encouraging, never discouraging.

Example uses of a leaderboard

If you have a data set that is best represented by an ordered list and find it especially useful to indicate which items have risen and fallen in relation to other items in the list, then a leaderboard is an ideal and robust choice.

A common use for a leaderboard could be to represent a sales team. Each item in the list would represent a salesperson and their sales over a period of time.

A leaderboard could also be purposed to display the downloads of software products from a company's website: each product would be listed with the total number of downloads in a given term and, if you choose, how each product has increased or decreased in popularity in comparison to the other products.

Tips for creating leaderboards

One advantage of Google Sheets over Excel is that some of these tools can run in the background even when your spreadsheet isn’t open.

Decide on a clear title. The title should be a brief description of the data that you want to show.

To make your leaderboard truly engaging and motivational, you can sort it. Leaderboards can be sliced in several different ways:

  • Locally: Players see their rank in relation to that of others in their geographic area.

  • Contextually: Sets up the leaderboard to show leaders by category.

  • Time: Sets up the leaderboard to show, for example, weekly or monthly leaders.

Use the Decimal Places feature to manually set the precision of numbers in your widgets, so that you can show the level of detail appropriate for your dashboard.

If needed, you can also override our automatic settings for what abbreviation and unit to show. Abbreviation, Decimal Places and Unit are part of the "Fine-tune" settings.

  • Abbreviation: Numbers can be shown in their raw state, or as Thousands (K), Millions (M), or Billions (B).

  • Unit: Allows you to manually enter any prefix or suffix up to 3 characters long. This means if you’d prefer to display your currency differently to our default option you now can. As examples, you might want Swedish Krona to show as 100 Kr instead of SEK 100, or New Zealand Dollars to just have the $.

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