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Focus Areas Widget (EX)

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Qtip: This page describes functionality available to dashboards in Engagement, Lifecycle, and Ad Hoc Employee Research projects. For more details on each, see Types of Employee Experience Projects.

About Focus Areas Widgets

The focus areas widget is used to inform dashboard users about which areas of the organization to focus efforts based on key drivers compared to an outcome metric such as employee engagement. This widget is designed to compare data between specific units and the overall organization through the use of dashboard page filters.

Using the focus areas widget, it’s possible to measure the “Impact,” or the correlation between a driver and the target metric, as well as whether the selected unit is performing better or worse than the overall organization.

Image showing an overview of the Focus Areas widget

Field Type Compatibility

Due to this widget using top box as the method of comparison, this widget requires data that has been mapped as a Number Set in your Dashboard Data. Fields with infinite values do not work well with this widgets, but those set on scales do.

Generally, outcome metrics are fields which have an overall score associated with them while key drivers are specific questions you asked in your survey. See the following section for examples of outcome metrics and key drivers.

Image showing the Outcome Metric and Key Drivers selection screen

Widget Customization

For basic widget instructions and customization, visit the Widgets Overview support page. Continue reading for widget-specific customization.

Basic Setup

To get your focus areas widget started, you will first need to select a source. This is the project from which the data will be pulled. If you have mapped additional sources into your dashboard data, you will have more than one option here. You can only select one source per focus areas widget.

The next field to select is the outcome metric. Generally, these are metrics such as engagement, which are defined in the Categories section of your dashboard settings. The outcome metric is typically some type of overall score you’re evaluating in your survey. Only one outcome metric can be selected per widget.

The other important aspect of the focus areas widget are the key drivers. Key drivers are the factors that drive your overall outcome metric. Usually, key drivers are the individual questions you ask in your survey that contribute to the outcome metric. You may select multiple key drivers to display within one focus areas widget.

Key Drivers Customization

Usually, your key drivers will be labeled by default in a way that is not very useful. It is encouraged to rename your key drivers to create clear, actionable items.

Good key drivers labels often have the following characteristics:

  • Written in third person (i.e. you are telling your team what to improve)
  • Have an action verb (e.g. deliver, keep, run, provide)
  • Reflect the source question in a way that makes sense to your company

To add your key drivers:

  1. Select Add key driver and choose the desired field.
    Image showing how to add key drivers
  2. Click on the newly added field to edit it.
    Image showing how to relabel key drivers
  3. If desired, relabel your key driver in a way that makes the most sense to you.

Configure View & Card Limit

  • Configure View: Determine whether you want the widget to show everything, just strengths, or just opportunities.
  • Card Limit: Set a maximum number of cards to display on the widget.

Widget Filters

You can add filters directly to a focus areas widget as you would any other widget. See Adding Widget Filters for more details.

A focus areas widget; in the upper-right is a little icon indicating a filter can be added.

Focus Areas and Dashboard Filters

Qtip: The focus areas widget does not ignore hierarchy filters.

To work properly, the focus areas widget must be used with dashboard filters. Usually these filters are participant metadata fields, although they can also be fields like questions asked in the survey. For more information about creating dashboard filters, read the Filtering Your Dashboard page.

Example: A common use case for this widget is to compare individual department performance to the company’s overall performance. In the below example, the Marketing team’s score for the statement “Overall, I am satisfied with my workspace” is 14 points higher than the company average. The scores for other departments can be viewed by changing the selected value in the department dashboard filter.
Image showing how the widget works with filters
Qtip: Your cards will rearrange when filters are applied to group opportunities and strengths together.

Hierarchy Comparisons

If no filters are actively applied to the dashboard except for the hierarchy filter, then the inner and outer rings of the Focus Areas widget may match and show the same score. However, if you want the org hierarchy filter to affect only the inner ring, and have the outer ring represent the entire company’s average (ignoring the hierarchy filter), add a comparison with no filters to the widget.

  1. Go to your dashboard settings.
    Button that says Settings and has a gear icon
  2. Go to the Comparisons page.
    Comparisons section of dashboard settings.
  3. Click Add Comparison.
  4. Keep Include page filters unchecked.
  5. Name the filter to indicate it’s an overall company performance comparison.
  6. If you have multiple sources mapped to your dashboard, select the source(s) of the hierarchy.
  7. Return to your dashboard.
  8. Edit your focus areas widget.
    Clicking edit in upper-right of focus areas widget
  9. Under Comparisons, select the overall comparison you just created.
    Focus areas widget has changed to match comparison selected on far-right of editing pane
Qtip: In the dashboard used in the screenshots above, the hierarchy filter 2019 Hierarchy: Majory K is applied. Notice how the data in the focus areas widget changes from Step 7 to Step 9, when we add the comparison.

Widget Interpretation

The focus areas widget shows at a glance the areas in which your department can improve, as well as if the selected key driver has a high or low impact on your department. Multiple key drivers can be added to a single widget to see how different drivers impact a single department of your company. Each key driver is represented in its own card, but only one card can be viewed in full at a time. In the widget below, two key drivers, “Provide customers the opportunity to submit useful feedback” and “Engage customers at their skill level,” are displayed in the widget. “Engage customers at their skill level” is the currently selected key driver.

image of multiple cards in the widget

Strengths and Opportunities

Each card will be labeled as a strength (overperforming compared to the overall company average), highlighted in blue, or as an opportunity (underperforming compared to the company average), highlighted in gold / orange.

For example, in the widget below, the key driver “Engage customers at their skill level” is a strength for your department, meaning your department overperformed in this area compared to the company overall.

image of the strength and opportunity labels


Impact is the correlation of your performance to the outcome metric.

For example, in the widget below, “Engage customers at their skill level” has a low impact for all departments in your company, meaning there was not a clear pattern of responses for this specific key driver.

Image of the impact label

  • High Impact: Participants give a good overall score and are consistent in their rating of the key driver (either high or low).
  • Low Impact: There is not a clear pattern of responses. Some participants may give a good overall score and rate an area highly while other participants may rate the same area poorly but still give a good overall score.

Impact is an r-value, which measures the correlation coefficient between each item in the table and a chosen outcome metric. Impact calculates the score for the category first, and then a correlation calculation is performed against that score using the standard Pearson Correlation.

The size of the impact is based on the absolute value of the correlation. For example, a strong negative correlation is still a strong correlation and thus a strong driver of your engagement outcome.

If a respondent skips the question used as the impact measure, or any of the items in the table, their response won’t be included in the correlation calculation for the question(s) they skipped. Thus, impact follows a standard statistical approach called pairwise deletion, where missing data points are excluded from the calculation.

Attention: A given card will base its impact on the current filter if there are 100+ responses, or at an organization level if there are fewer. This ensures that there is enough data to return a statistically valid result.

Comparison Ring

The comparison ring will show you how your selected unit compares to the company average. Only one comparison ring can be viewed at a time. Click on a specific card to see its comparison ring.

Image of the Comparison ring

Qtip: If your rings match, you likely still need to apply your dashboard filter for your department or group.

Order of Cards

The focus areas widget allows you to compare your performance on your key drivers to your organization or an industry benchmark. Using that comparison, Qualtrics determines the “room for improvement,” or your score minus the comparison score. If no comparison is set, then Qualtrics determines “room for improvement” by subtracting your score from 100%. Qualtrics then multiplies the “room for improvement” by the impact to prioritize your key drivers. The most impactful drivers with the most room for improvement are shown first, making it easy to know where to focus.

Action Planning

When you have guided action planning enabled, a new button will appear on your focus areas widget. Click Improve to create an action plan based off of that focus area.

blue improve button on bottom of opportunity

Both strengths and opportunities allow you to improve.  A focus area card will be missing the Improve button if you have not made that item available for action planning.