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Numeric metrics

Last modified on 07-Dec-22

Use a numeric metric in a check to perform basic calculations on the data in your dataset.
Read more about SodaCL metrics and checks in general.

checks for retail_products:
  - avg(size) between 100 and 300 
  - avg_length(manufacturer) > 10
  - duplicate_count(product_id) = 0
  - duplicate_percent(user_id) < 2%
  - max(size) <= 500
  - max_length(manufacturer) = 25
  - min(size) >= 50
  - min_length(manufacturer) = 5
  - row_count > 0
  - percentile(size, 0.95) > 50

checks for retail_orders_postgres:
  - stddev(order_quantity) > 0
  - stddev_pop(order_quantity) between 3 and 4
  - stddev_samp(order_quantity) not between 3 and 4
  - sum(discount, order_quantity) < 120
  - variance(discount) > 0
  - var_pop(discount) between 0 and 5
  - var_samp(discount) not between 0 and 5

Define checks with numeric metrics
    Failed row samples
Optional check configurations
List of numeric metrics
List of comparison symbols and phrases
Change-over-time thresholds
Go further

Define checks with numeric metrics

In the context of Soda check types, you use numeric metrics in Standard checks. Refer to Standard check types for exhaustive configuration details.

You can use the row_count metric in checks that apply to entire datasets.

checks for dim_reseller:
  - row_count > 0

You can use all numeric metrics in checks that apply to individual columns in a dataset. Identify the column(s) by adding one or more values in the argument between brackets in the check.

checks for dim_reseller:
  - duplicate_count(phone, address_line1) = 0

You can use some numeric metrics in checks with either fixed or change-over-time thresholds. See Change-over-time thresholds for more detail.

checks for dim_reseller:
# a check with a fixed threshold
  - duplicate_count(phone) = 0
# a check with a dynamic threshold
  - change avg last 7 for row_count < 50

Failed row samples

Checks that use the duplicate_count or duplicate_percent metrics automatically collect samples of any failed rows to display Soda Cloud. The default number of failed row samples that Soda collects and displays is 100.

If you wish to limit or broaden the sample size, you can use the samples limit configuration in a check with a validity metric. You can add this configuration to your checks YAML file for Soda Core, or when writing checks as part of an agreement in Soda Cloud.

checks for dim_customer:
  - duplicate_count(email_address) < 50:
      samples limit: 2


For security, you can add a configuration to your data source connection details to prevent Soda from collecting failed rows samples from specific columns that contain sensitive data. Refer to Disable failed rows sampling for specific columns.

To review the failed rows in Soda Cloud, navigate to the Checks dashboard, then click the row for a check for duplicate values. Examine failed rows in the Failed rows tab; see Examine failed rows for further details.

failed-duplicate-count

Optional check configurations

Supported Configuration Documentation
Define a name for a check with numeric metrics; see example. Customize check names
Add an identity to a check. Add a check identity
Define alert configurations to specify warn and fail thresholds; see example. Add alert configurations
Apply an in-check filter to return results for a specific portion of the data in your dataset; see example.
Exception: you cannot use filters in checks with the duplicate_count or duplicate_percent metrics.
Add an in-check filter to a check
Use quotes when identifying dataset or column names; see example.
Note that the type of quotes you use must match that which your data source uses. For example, BigQuery uses a backtick (`) as a quotation mark.
Use quotes in a check
  Use wildcard characters ( % or * ) in values in the check. -
Use for each to apply checks with numeric metrics to multiple datasets in one scan; see example. Apply checks to multiple datasets
Apply a dataset filter to partition data during a scan; see example. Scan a portion of your dataset

Example with alert configuration

checks for dim_reseller:
  - duplicate_count(phone):
      warn: when > 5
      fail: when >= 10  

Example with check name

checks for dim_reseller:
  - duplicate_count(phone) = 0:
      name: Duplicate phone numbers

Example with in-check filter

Known issue: In-check filters on numeric checks is not consistently applied.

checks for dim_employee:
  - max(vacation_hours) < 80:
      name: Too many vacation hours for sales territory US
      filter: sales_territory_key = 11

Example with quotes

checks for dim_reseller:
  - duplicate_count("phone", "address_line1") = 0

Example with dataset filter

filter CUSTOMERS [daily]:
  where: TIMESTAMP '{ts_start}' <= "ts" AND "ts" < TIMESTAMP '${ts_end}'

checks for CUSTOMERS [daily]:
  - duplicate_count(phone) < 10

Example with for each

for each dataset T:
  datasets:
    - dim_product
    - dim_customer
    - dim reseller
  checks:
    - row_count > 0

List of numeric metrics

Metric Description Supported data type Supported data sources1
avg The average value in a numeric column. number all
avg_length The average length in a text column. text all
duplicate_count The number of rows that contain duplicate values.
Include one column in the argument to compare values relative to that one column.
Include more than one column in the argument to compare values across columns. See also: Duplicate check
number
text
time
all
duplicate_percent The percentage of rows in a dataset that contain duplicate values.
Include one column in the argument to compare values relative to that one column.
Include more than one column in the argument to compare values across columns.
number
text
time
all
max The greatest value in a numeric column. number
time
all
max_length The greatest length in a text column. text all
min The smallest value in a numeric column. number
time
all
min_length The smallest length in a text column. text all
percentile The value below which a percentage of observations fall within a group of observations.
For example, percentile(distance, 0.7).
number PostgreSQL
Snowflake
row_count The number of rows in a dataset or column, if specified. number
text
time
all
stddev The calculated standard deviation of values in a numeric column. number Athena
Redshift
Big Query
PostgreSQL
Snowflake
stddev_pop The calculated population standard deviation of values in a numeric column. number Athena
Redshift
Big Query
PostgreSQL
Snowflake
stddev_samp The calculated sample standard deviation of values in a numeric column. number Athena
Redshift
Big Query
PostgreSQL
Snowflake
sum The calculated sum of the values in a numeric column. number all
variance The calculated variance of the values in a numeric column. number
time
Athena
Redshift
Big Query
PostgreSQL
Snowflake
var_pop The calculated population variance of the values in a numeric column. number
time
Athena
Redshift
Big Query
PostgreSQL
Snowflake
var_samp The calculated sample variance of the values in a numeric column. number
time
Athena
Redshift
Big Query
PostgreSQL
Snowflake

1 Soda has not validated metric functionality for any data source labeled as “Experimental”.

List of comparison symbols and phrases

 = 
 < 
 >
 <=
 >=
 !=
 <> 
 between 
 not between 

Change-over-time thresholds

Requires Soda Cloud

Numeric metrics can specify a fixed threshold which is not relative to any other threshold. row_count > 0 is an example of a check with a fixed threshold as the threshold value, 0, is absolute. Refer to Checks with fixed thresholds for details.

Only checks that use numeric metrics can specify a change-over-time threshold, a value that is relative to a previously-measured, or historic, value. Sometimes referred to as a dynamic threshold or historic metrics, you use these change-over-time thresholds to gauge changes to the same metric over time. Most of the examples below use the row_count metric, but you can use any numeric metric in checks that use change-over-time thresholds.

If you have connected Soda Core to a Soda Cloud account, Soda Core pushes check results to your cloud account. Soda Cloud stores the measured value of each metric that a check result produces during a scan in a Cloud Metric Store. Over time, these historic values accumulate and you can reference them to detect anomalous values relative to historic values for the same metric. Therefore, you must have a Soda Cloud account to use change-over-time thresholds.

The most basic of change-over-time threshold checks has three or four mutable parts:

a metric
an argument (optional)
a comparison symbol or phrase
a threshold


The example below defines a check that applies to the entire dataset and counts the rows in the dataset, then compares that value to the preceding value contained in the Cloud Metric Store. If the row_count at present is greater than the previously-recorded historic value for row_count by more than 50 or less than -20, the check fails.

Use between for checks with change-over-time thresholds as much as possible to trigger check failures when the measurement falls outside of a range of acceptable values. This practice ensures that you get visibility into changes that either exceed or fall short of threshold expectations.

Note that checks with change-over-time thresholds define a failed state for data quality. This is unlike all other SodaCL metrics and checks in which you define a passing state.

checks for dim_customer:
  - change for row_count between -20 and +50
metric row_count
threshold between -20 and +50


You can also use use a change-over-time threshold to compare check results relative to the same day in the previous week. The example below uses change-over-time to compare today’s value with the same check result from last week to confirm that the delta is greater than 10.

checks for dim_customer:
  - change same day last week for row_count > 10
metric row_count
threshold > 10


The example below defines a check that applies to the entire dataset and counts the rows in the dataset, then compares that value to the preceding value contained in the Cloud Metric Store. If the row_count at present is greater than the previously-recorded historic value for row_count by more than 50%, the check fails.

For example, the previously-recorded historic measurement for row count is 80, and the newly-recorded value is 100, the relative change is 25%, which is less than the 50% specified in the threshold, so the check passes.

  • Percentage thresholds are between 0 and 100, not between 0 and 1.
  • If you wish, you can add a % character to the threshold for a change-over-time threshold for improved readability.
  • If the previous measurement value is 0 and the new value is 0, Soda calculates the relative change as 0%. However, if the previous measurement value is 0 and the new value is not 0, then Soda indicates the check as NOT EVALUATED because the calculation is a division by zero.
checks for dim_customer:
  - change percent for row_count > 50%
metric row_count
comparison symbol >
threshold 50 %


The example below applies to only the phone column in the dataset and counts the rows that contain duplicate values, then compares that value to the preceding value contained in the Cloud Metric Store. If the number of duplicate phone numbers at present is greater than the preceding historic values for duplicate_count by more than 20, the check fails.

checks for dim_customer:
  - change for duplicate_count(phone) < 20
metric duplicate_count
argument (phone)
comparison symbol <
threshold 20


A more complex change-over-time threshold check includes two more optional mutable parts:

a calculation type (optional) avg, min, max
a historical value definition (optional) 7
percent (optional)
a metric
an argument (optional)
a comparison symbol or phrase
a threshold


checks for dim_customer:
  - change avg last 7 for row_count < 50
  - change min last 7 for row_count < 50
  - change max last 7 percent for row_count < 50

The example above defines three checks, one for each type of calculation available to use, avg, min, and max, all of which apply to the entire dataset.

The first check counts the rows in the dataset, then compares that value to the calculated average of the preceding seven measurement values for that metric contained in the Cloud Metric Store. If the row_count at present is greater than the average of the seven preceding historic values by more than 50, the check fails. The only valid historical value definiton you can use is seven.

calculation type (optional) avg
a historical value definition (optional) last 7
percent (optional) -
metric row_count
argument (optional) -
comparison symbol or phrase <
a threshold 50


The second check in the example determines the minimum value of the preceding seven historic values, then uses that value to compare to the present measurement value.

calculation type (optional) min
historical value definition (optional) last 7
percent (optional) -
metric row_count
argument (optional) -
comparison symbol or phrase <
a threshold 50


The third check in the example determines the maximum value of the preceding seven historic values, then uses that value and the present measurement value to calculate the percentage of change.

calculation type (optional) max
historical value definition (optional) last 7
percent (optional) percent
metric row_count
argument (optional) -
comparison symbol or phrase <
a threshold 50

Go further


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Last modified on 07-Dec-22