Guide to using the leaderboard visualization

Leaderboards are a visualization of achievement. The purpose of a leaderboard is to show players where they rank in a gamified system. Those at the top enjoy the notoriety it brings; as for everyone else, the leaderboard shows them where they stand in relation to their peers.


In this article:


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 become a better player, you get higher scores, and you're able to compare them with past performances.
  2. Status: Many players are motivated to keep playing and improving because seeing your name on a leaderboard provides status. Most players feel pretty good when they see they're better than a bunch of other players.
  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 best player has 300,000 points and you're 'stuck' at 200,000, you will know it's at least possible to increase your skill to reach that higher score. The caveat here is that if the leaderboard displays cheaters (like pretty much every iOS game center leaderboard I've seen), you completely lose this benefit - and this goes from being a positive to a negative. If the highest score is outside of the realm of possibility, or *everyone* has it, then it's not a realistic measure of potential skill.

Leaderboards should always be encouraging, never discouraging.


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Example uses

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 sales person 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. 


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Anatomy of the leaderboard



A leaderboard consists of a ranked list of items each with a label and optionally a value. As well, in our Custom Leaderboard Widget, each item may have a previous ranking value to which the current value is compared and indicated with either a green up arrow for an item that has risen in rank or a red down arrow for a list item that has fallen in rank. (Please note this feature is not available in Salesforce or Spreadsheets integration leaderboards.)

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Tips for creating leaderboards

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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API and integrations


You can build leaderboards using the API (custom widgets).

For detailed information on how to display a leaderboard using custom widgets, please visit our Developer Documentation.


The leaderboard visualization is available for most pre-built integrations. Notably, for the Spreadsheets and Salesforce ones.

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