Create Your Parameter(s)

Each parameter must be added individually to your Data Source. Every parameter that you add will “appear” as a column in your importer template and as a field in your Form. Data will be able to be added to each parameter via three channels: importer, form, and manually through a station.

Parameter Creation Tips and Tricks:

  • Each reading in a sample needs a parameter if you intend to have it displayed on map. For instance, you may want to create parameters for conductivity, dissolved oxygen, pH, and enteroccoci.
  • Keep in mind, each sample consists of readings for each parameter. If you want to record readings at multiple depths in the water column, for instance, you'll need to create a parameter for each level. For example: "dissolved oxygen surface", "dissolved oxygen middle", "dissolved oxygen bottom".

After you've clicked the green plus circle:

Column name (required): this is the un-modified column name that will be found in all source spreadsheets/upload templates. The name must match the templates exactly.

Display name (required): This is your human-friendly parameter name that will appear on forms and any other public displays, such as maps.

Citation (optional): Enter a link where people can learn about this parameter. The link will appear within the parameter details on station cards.

Description: Define the parameter so that your audiences understand why you collect this information or why it’s important to understanding. Maximum of 500 characters.

Unit (Optional): If your parameter has a unit, type it in or select it from existing units here.

Click the green check mark to save your new parameter. 

Repeat these steps for all of the parameters in your data source.

Edit your parameter

Once you've added a parameter, you can return to that parameter to build out the information further. Click on a parameter on the master list page to enter into its information. 

Parameter General Settings

General settings mirror the input fields in the original create a parameter steps. Use this section to update any primary details about the parameter.

Calculations

Do not use the calculations parameter – it does not display correctly at this time.

Column name

Edit this if you need to edit your template 

Display name

This is what collaborators using the form and audiences visiting this data source displayed on applications will see.

Alias

Do you want Water Reporter to use a different name when labeling this parameter on charts, maps, or elsewhere in the platform? Identify this here. 

Citation (optional): Enter a link where people can learn about this parameter. The link will appear within the parameter details on station cards.

Description: Define the parameter so that your audiences understand why you collect this information or why it’s important to understanding. Maximum of 500 characters.

Unit (Optional): If your parameter has a unit, type it in or select it from existing units here.

Delete Parameter

When you delete a parameter, all indicators and thresholds will be deleted too. This action is irreversible.

Parameter Chart settings

Chart settings hold all of the parameter-specific analytics for your data source. Since everything is customizable depending on your desired outcomes, you must add all of the relevant components yourself.

Enable charts and other analytics

Turn this setting on if you want this parameter to be available and visible on maps, stations, cards, and within other Water Reporter analytics.

Scale

Scale refers to the number of decimal digits in a measurement value. For example, the number 6.6268 has a scale of 4 and the number 11 has a scale of zero. By default, Water Reporter does not set a specific scale.

Ranges

Ranges provide lightweight data analysis. All ranges are numerical so if you want to add labels to a non-numeric parameter, the text category will need a numerical field. Refer to the article Collect and visualize non-numeric data for best management practices on this. 

Most parameters with ranges will have a minimum of two entries.

Click “Add Range” to get started. 

Label: What does this range indicate such as “pass”, “fail”, “optimal”, “stressed”, “A, “B”, etc.

Color: What color do you want to appear on the map for the station where the parameter appears. Choose your own hexadecimal color using a tool like this one.

Description: This is for your own internal reference.

Lower bound: Every range must have a lower bound. Use the operators to help define the boundary and then enter in the numeric scores. 

Upper bound: This is optional, leave this blank if there is an upper bound.

Threshold line: Threshold lines are only an option if you choose and upper bound limit. The line will appear on charts for the parameter.

Example inputs for ranges for a single parameter:

Parameter: pH
Enter three separate Ranges within the parameter

Label: STRESSED Lower bound: > 6 Upper bound: empty

Label: OPTIMAL Lower bound: = 6 Upper bound: <= 8

Label: STRESSED Lower bound: >8


Parameter: Enteroccoci
Enter two separate ranges within the parameter

Label: SAFE Lower bound: >=126 Upper bound: empty

Label: UNSAFE Lower bound: >126 Upper bound: empty

Axis limits

Improve the legibility of map popups and other analytical components by controlling the range of values used for display. By default, Water Reporter considers all values when creating axis boundaries. This can sometimes be a problem, especially when displaying quantities that occur on a fixed scale. By adjusting the visual range, you can make sure that readers get a clear view of your data.

Conversely, putting minimum and maximum values onto an axis can result in omitted data if a data point arrives outside of the prescribed ranges. We recommend only using the axis limits for parameters where there are fixed options for the range, for example pH but not enterococci.

Minimum value (optional): This will be the lowest number on the y-axis.

Maximum value (optional): This will be the highest number on the y-axis.

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