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Subscription Metrics

Reporting and Analytics KPI Metrics

Subscription metrics track changes to recurring or transactional items, like creation, termination, price/quantity modifications, to display the recurring revenue or growth/churn rates for individual subscriptions on a monthly base, producing MRR values. Subscription metrics are related to the account and the subscription.

MRR metrics or cash metrics?

The decision whether to create MRR metrics or cash metric depends on your reporting requirements. Investors or shareholders of a business may want forecasts on recurring revenues. In this case, you would create account metrics or subscription metrics and build reports based on the produced MRR and churn data. A business's directors or managers, however, may rather need a cash flow forecast – so you would create cash metrics and build reports upon them.

For details on configuring the subscription metrics creation, see Subscription Metrics.

Subscription Metrics Data

Relevant values, which you are likely to use in your reports, include:

Actual
The actual amount (MRR value) of this metric, the sum of Previous + Initial + Change
Initial
The initial MRR value, set only on the first metric record of a metric chain
Previous
The MRR value of the previous metric record in the metric chain
Change
The change of the MRR based on the previous MRR
Smooth Change
The "combined" changes of two consecutive metric records (created within two days), used to "smooth out" large swings in chart representations
Expansion
The absolute expansion (raise of the MRR value) if Change is positive
Churn
The absolute churn (decline of the MRR value) if Change is negative
Complete subscription metric data model
Field Description
Account The related account (secondary master-detail); the metric record is deleted when the account is deleted.
Actual The actual amount of this metric
Previous + Initial + Change
Change The change of the MRR based on the previous MRR.
Churn Rate (Gross) The gross churn rate is the ratio between Churn and Actual.
IF(Actual=0,1,Churn/Actual)
Churn Rate (Net) The net churn rate is the ratio between Change and Actual.
IF(Actual=0,1,Change/Actual)
Churn The absolute churn if the change is negative.
IF(Change < 0,ABS(Change),null)
Date The effective date of this metric, depends on the kind of change (add/subtract) and the service period/next invoice date of the item.
Expansion The absolute expansion if the change is positive.
IF(Change > 0,Change,null)
Growth Rate The growth rate is the ratio between Change and Previous.
IF(Previous=0,null,Change/Previous)
Initial Holds the initial MRR value. Only filled if the change date equals the start date of the first subscription.
Is Latest (checkbox) Marks the latest metric record for a particular item criterion.
Item Criterion The criterion shows which items have been aggregated to this metric.
Items The names of the related items that caused the current change.
Next Metric Links to the next metric record, which supersedes the current record.
Previous Metric Links to the previous metric record, which is superseded by the current record.
Previous Holds the MRR value of the previous metric record.
Retention Rate The opposite of the gross churn rate. The sum of the two is always 100%.
1-ChurnRateGross
Smooth Change The smooth change formula allows to report two consecutive metrics (within two days) as one (like -50 and +70 is reported as +20)
Subscription The related subscription (primary master-detail); the metric record is deleted when the subscription is deleted.

Subscription Metric Generation

Generally, the account metric generation and the subscription metric generation are nearly identical. They use the same subscriptions and items as input and follow the same rules that trigger the metric creation.

The difference is:

  • Metric data for subscription metrics is aggregated on subscription basis.
  • Metric data for account metrics is aggregated on account basis, that is, for all subscriptions of an account.

The decision whether to create subscription metrics or account metrics is controlled via the global setting Subscription Metrics Scope.

Generally, the following item actions produce new or changed metric records:

  • Creating a recurring item
  • Creating a transactional item with expected revenue
  • Ending a subscription or item using an end date

    You can set the end date retroactively within one month to trigger the end metric creation.

  • Deactivating an item

  • Changing the price/quantity of an item
Workflow details

Subscription metric records and account metric records are created on subscription or item change if the following conditions are met:

  • Subscription

    • Status is set to Inactive, Canceled or Upgraded
  • Recurring item

    • Billing type is Recurring, Recurring Prorated or Recurring Prorated AVG
    • Item is created
    • Quantity or price is changed
    • Item is deactivated
    • End date is set
  • Transactional item

    • Billing type is not Recurring, Recurring Prorated, Recurring Prorated AVG or One-Time
    • Item is created
    • Expected revenue is changed
    • Item is deactivated
    • End date is set

In addition, the following rules apply:

  • Each change results in a new metric record that is linked to the previous record.
  • If the change date equals the start date of the first subscription, the field Initial is set.
  • Subsequent metric records have filled the fields Previous and Change.
  • The first record is set to the start date of the item or subscription.
  • Subsequent metric records are set to the next invoice date of the item.
  • A final metric record for an item is created only if the end date of the item actually reached (that is, if the end date equals the current date or a previous date), or if the subscription is canceled.
  • The final metric record is set to the end date of the item.
  • Metrics are continued from upgraded subscriptions (related via the subscription field Previous Subscription).

Subscription Metric Chains

By default, JustOn aggregates the items of a subscription to one metric chain, where the metric records have a predecessor and a successor. Optionally, the subscription metric records can be grouped by an item criterion, for example, the product group. The resulting metrics are organized in metric chains per criterion. This allows you to build reports that reflect changes that result in growth or churn based on a specific criterion.

MRR chain
Applying an item criterion, JustOn produces metric chains per criterion

Subscription Metrics Examples

Single subscription
The following example illustrates the subscription metric generation on a basic level, that is, without applying criteria. This produces a single metric chain.
There is a subscription with the start date set to 2019-01-01 and the following items:
MRR_items
Start and end dates trigger subscription metric record creation
Based on the given subscription items, the subscription metric builder job produces these metric records:
MRR_metrics
Produced subscription metric records
# Event Modification
1 REC1 start date 50,00 initial MRR value
50,00 actual amount
2 REC2 start date 270,00 (positive) change
270,00 expansion value
320,00 actual amount
3 REC3 start date 30,00 (positive) change
30,00 expansion value
350,00 actual amount
4 REC2 end date -270,00 (negative) change
270,00 churn value
80,00 actual amount
5 REC1 end date -50,00 (negative) change
50,00 churn value
30,00 actual amount

If there are end dates set for items, JustOn produces the corresponding end metrics.

Subscription cancellation
Now assume you cancel the subscription before an item end date is reached. This forces JustOn to generate one end metric record for the current metric chain that includes all items, irrespective of their end date settings.
MRR_metrics
Produced subscription metric records after cancelling the subscription
# Event Modification
1 REC1 start date 50,00 initial MRR value
50,00 actual amount
2 REC2 start date 270,00 (positive) change
270,00 expansion value
320,00 actual amount
3 REC3 start date 30,00 (positive) change
30,00 expansion value
350,00 actual amount
4 subscription end date -350,00 (negative) change
350,00 churn value
0,00 actual amount
Subscription upgrade
Let us consider a subscription upgrade: There is a subscription with one item of 100 Euros, then you upgrade this subscription, raising the item's price to 125 Euros. There will be two subscriptions with their metric records. But because they all originate from the same item, the metric records will be aggregated in one metric chain, which allows for tracking the MRR for the item.
MRR_metrics_subscr_upgr_1
Produced subscription metric records of one subscription after upgrading it
MRR_metrics_subscr_upgr_2
Produced subscription metric records of the second subscription
# Event Modification
1 item start on subscription 1 100,00 initial MRR value
100,00 actual amount
2 subscription 1 end -100,00 (negative) change
100,00 churn value
0,00 actual amount
3 item modification on subscription 2 125,00 (positive) change
25,00 smooth change (= combined previous -100,00 change and current 125,00 change)
125,00 expansion value
125,00 actual amount

Metric Fields on Subscriptions

The subscription includes the field Initial MRR. It shows the sum of the initial MRR values of active recurring items at the subscription start.

You can define additional fields on the subscription that summarize subscription metric data. Use this to calculate the current or future MRR values, like Current MRR or MRR in One Year.

Example metrics-related fields on subscriptions
Field Purpose
Last MRR Update Shows the date on which the MRR fields were last calculated.
Current MRR Shows the current MRR over all recurring items.
MRR in One Year Shows the MRR in one year, based on the last MRR update.

The MRR fields are set up individually for your org by an administrator. Be aware that the field labels as well as the count/month configuration may vary.