Linked calculations allow for data collected in one form to be linked to another. The reason that this is done is to facilitate quicker, more efficient workflows; commonly repeated information doesn’t need to be re-entered if it can be drawn from elsewhere in the site. This saves time, but, importantly, also maintains data consistency. Fields can be linked into a form from other event forms (linked calculations) or profile forms (profile linked calculations).
Linking data from event forms can be useful when summarising information from several areas of Smartabase into one place, allowing this information to be combined and compared directly. For example, a GPS session form may link in the athletes’ rating of perceived exertion (RPE) value from an RPE survey, and be used in conjunction with the session duration or other GPS metric to calculate the session load. Similarly, an Availability form may link the athlete’s current injury status and training restrictions from an Injury Record, so the coach can be informed about the athlete’s training capabilities without having full access to medical data.
Linking profile information into a form generally allows the user to understand more about the person they’re looking at, without having to review the specific profile forms where the data originated from. These calculations can also be useful for filtering in reports and dashboards. Some examples of fields that could be linked from profile forms include nationality, contact information and, in the case of athletes, sport specific information such as sport type, level, team and position.
The linked calculations that are available are:
- Linked value calculation: can be used to display numeric values entered by a user in answer to a question in another event form
- Linked text calculation: can be used to display text entered by a user in answer to a question in another event form
- Linked option calculation: can be used to display an option entered by a user in answer to a question in another event form
- Linked date calculation: can be used to display a date entered by a user in answer to a question in another event form
- Linked time calculation: can be used to display a time entered by a user in answer to a question in another event form
- Profile linked value calculation: can be used to display a value entered by a user in answer to a question in a profile form
- Profile linked text calculation: can be used to display text entered by a user in answer to a question in a profile form
- Profile linked option calculation: can be used to display an option entered by a user in answer to a question in a profile form
- Profile linked date calculation: can be used to display a date entered by a user in answer to a question in a profile form
A date field can be referenced by a linked value calculation to return the date and time (in milliseconds) of the linked event form; however, the index number that results will default to 12 pm of the relevant date. If the event date is referenced, then the result will include information about the time as well.
There is no limit to how often a value can be linked to and the linking calculation can filter to a minimum, maximum, first or last value if there are multiple records; however, in the current version of Smartabase, linked calculations only reference data from records saved on or prior to the date of the current form. That is, a form displaying a linked value will not contain values saved with more recent dates.
The Linked Update Range property can be modified for all linked calculation types to further specify which data is returned by the field. The option selected will determine the point up until which data can be linked into the field. Setting this property carefully can help ensure that the correct result is returned, particularly in cases where the event form is filled out multiple times in one day. The options that are available are:
- End of previous day
- Start of previous day
- Start of current day
- End of current day
- Start of current event
- End of current event
Profile linked values, text, options and dates have no association with a date or time and will display in all records regardless of whether the profile information was saved before or after the event form that the user is filling out.
You are also able to link data from another record based on a specific matching criteria using the Group By and Match To settings. When these settings are used, the linked calculation will only link information where the Group By value (in the linked form) exactly matches the Match To value (in the destination form).
Using group by and match to
In this example, we’re going to look at our GPS session event form. For this workflow, the athletes will participate in the session, which will be recorded by a third-party GPS unit, and integrated into Smartabase automatically. Directly after the completion of the session (before the data is uploaded into the GPS platform), each player will log in and record their RPE for the session in a form called RPE. They also specify that the RPE value is for the day’s field session, which will come into play later.
Next, we want to pull this RPE value into our GPS session form to help calculate the session load. However, because an athlete may have more than one training session per day, we need to make sure we only reference the RPE value recorded for the field session. To do this, we’ve added an option calculation to the GPS session form called Session Type, which simply returns Field Session.
Once this is set up we can create a new linked value calculation, which we’ve called Linked RPE Score. This calculation references the RPE Score field from the RPE form. In the advanced properties, the linked update range is set to End of current day so any data up until the end of that day can be linked into the form.
Importantly, we’ve chosen the Session Type field from the RPE form as the Group By, and the Session Type field from the GPS Session form as the Match To. This means the field will only link data from an RPE record where Session Type is equal to Field Session. Finally, we instruct the calculation to return the newest value, and restrict to today’s data only. This means if an athlete didn’t fill out their RPE for the session, the calculation won’t pull through a value from a field session on a previous day.
Now that the RPE value is correctly linked into the GPS Session form, we can calculate the Session Load as the RPE multiplied by the Session Duration.