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Data Analysis ≠ Data Visualization: "Why" Behind Fluctuations In Key Performance Metrics

Sean Zong
Product Evangelist
Aug. 08, 2023

Kyligence Zen has recently launched some useful features. In this article, we'll discuss the "Root-cause Analysis" functionality. At the end of the article, there will be an opportunity to sign up for a free trial.


Have you experienced a sudden decrease in product sales revenue? Has there been an abnormal drop in website traffic? Or have cloud expenses increased significantly? If you're facing any of these issues, the "Root-cause Analysis" feature can help you quickly identify the underlying causes of key performance metric anomalies.

Root Cause Analysis

Need help with Root Cause Analysis? Kyligence Zen has got you covered! As depicted in the image, Kyligence Zen assists users in conducting a one-click Root Cause Analysis of abnormal fluctuations in various metrics. Say farewell to tedious processes and ineffective communication, as you can quickly gain valuable insights.



What to do with Fluctuating Metrics?


Metrics serve as quantifiable measures that reflect a company's operational status, providing data support for business decision-making. When continuously monitoring key metrics, it is common to pay attention to their changes and fluctuations over time. However, these changes merely reflect historical states. Uncovering the reasons behind these fluctuations is crucial to assist business departments in identifying and solving problems.


Different scenarios and factors may trigger similar changes in the same metrics. For example, critical metrics like "average order value" may decrease. Still, if it is due to the expansion of low-priced product categories or an increase in new customer proportion, it could be considered a normal fluctuation range. On the other hand, if it is caused by stock outs or a decline in the average order value from existing customers, it requires further problem identification and timely improvement.


We refer to the factors influencing metrics changes and fluctuations as "influencing factors." By scientifically analyzing these influencing factors qualitatively and quantitatively, companies can gain insights into the key factors behind abnormal fluctuations in metrics. One of the most common approaches is "Root Cause Analysis."

Business Insight

Root Cause Analysis has a wide range of applications across various industries. In the financial sector, it is used to assess the impact of investment decisions on investment returns. The healthcare industry can utilize Root Cause Analysis to evaluate the effects of different treatment plans on patient health conditions. In the retail industry, Root Cause Analysis can be applied to assess the impact of various factors on sales revenue. Different promotions, seasons, or product categories can influence sales revenue. Through Root Cause Analysis, businesses can determine which factors impact sales fluctuations more, providing more scientific and reliable references for business decisions.


However, "Root Cause Analysis" is often more complex in real-world scenarios than the explanation above. When facing abnormal fluctuations in metrics, business personnel typically need to collaborate with the data analysis team, and data analysts must perform multidimensional decomposition, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, and other tasks. Sometimes, it may take several days to conclude, making it challenging to support business departments in making efficient decisions.


One-click Root Cause Analysis, Guiding Decisions Swiftly


Kyligence Zen is the low-code metrics platform to define, compute, and analyze your business metrics. It empowers users to connect their data sources quickly, define their business metrics, uncover hidden insights in minutes, and share them across their organization. Users can build their company's KPI system within Kyligence Zen and directly analyze their metrics. The functionality of Root Cause Analysis is introduced in the latest version of Kyligence Zen. Users can perform one-click Root Cause Analysis on basic, composite, and derivative metrics with abnormal fluctuations, swiftly obtaining valuable insights.


With the one-click Root Cause Analysis feature in Kyligence Zen, businesses can streamline uncovering the factors influencing metrics fluctuations. This empowers decision-makers to make well-informed and timely choices, avoiding lengthy and tedious communication with data analysis teams. The easy-to-use and efficient nature of this feature enables business departments to respond quickly to changes in metrics and make data-driven decisions effectively.

Root Cause Analysis

Users can quickly select a specific time range to explore the reasons behind metrics fluctuations. In the Root Cause Analysis report, the system will sort the selected dimensions based on their correlation with the metrics fluctuations and present the results for each dimension in bar charts and tables.


Next, we will use the sample data provided by the system to illustrate the specific steps of conducting Root Cause Analysis in Kyligence Zen.

  1. After logging into the system, you will see several example metrics from the retail industry. By clicking on the "Total Sales" metrics card, you can open the details page of that particular metrics. We observe an abnormal decline in the metrics after December 25, 2018. We can proceed with the Root Cause Analysis to explore the reasons behind this fluctuation.
Abnormal Decline

2. Click on the "Root Cause" tab, choose the time range and dimensions for analysis, then click "Analyze." After the analysis is completed, in the analysis report below, we can see that after December 25th, the sales decreased by 77%.


In the Root Cause Analysis report, the system will present the contributing factors that influenced the sales decline. These factors are sorted based on their correlation with sales fluctuations, highlighting the most significant contributors to the decline. The report may include insights such as the impact of specific promotions, changes in product categories, customer behavior, or external factors like economic conditions or seasonal effects.


By clearly breaking down the contributing factors, businesses can quickly understand the reasons behind the sales decline and take appropriate actions to address the issue. This process helps streamline decision-making and empowers businesses to respond efficiently to changes in key performance metrics.

Break Down Contributing Factors

By clicking on the dimension names on the left side, you can observe the contribution ranking of the influencing factors on the sales decline from different dimensions. For example, within the "item_category" dimension, the "Beverages" category accounts for 26.3% of the declining sales, worth paying attention to.
With this step, you have completed the Root Cause Analysis quickly.


Through Root Cause Analysis of the metrics, you can swiftly identify which factors have significantly impacted the metrics' results, providing valuable references for future decision-making. Additionally, Root Cause Analysis can help users identify which factors are insufficient to support the ultimate goal and provide directions for optimization recommendations.


#03 AI-Powered Copilot for Root Cause Analysis


In addition, we would like to introduce a revolutionary approach to performing root cause analysis with ease. Our latest feature, Kyligence Copilot, allows you to visualize yourself in a natural environment and convey your requirements directly to the metrics platform, resulting in unmatched productivity.


Kyligence Copilot is an AI Copilot for data that is built on the foundation of the Kyligence Zen metrics platform. It leverages the power of a large language model powered by Azure OpenAI, allowing users to search for metrics, conduct in-depth analysis, gain valuable insights, and enable the automatic creation of dashboards using intuitive, natural language conversations centered around business metrics. This seamless integration significantly reduces business users' barriers to leveraging data, boosting their work efficiency.


Simply type in, "Why did sales drop sharply after Dec. 25, 2018?" and see what will happen!


By utilizing Kyligence Copilot, we can seamlessly employ natural language to initiate analysis and gain valuable insights on metrics. In addition, by instructing Copilot to perform root cause analysis, users can quickly understand changes in metrics and discover the hidden reasons buried in the data. Not only that, but Kyligence Copilot also extends its capabilities to assist business users in remaining proactive towards diverging goals and effortlessly generating customized dashboards based on past analysis outcomes.


Kyligence Zen is now offering a free trial! You can visit and experience the go-to low-code metrics platform to define, collect, and analyze your business metrics. During the trial, you can access massive KPI templates across various industries. Don't miss this opportunity to try it out!