Composite indicators

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Composite indicators are based on sub-indicators that have no common meaningful unit of measurement (e.g., percentages or centimeters) and there is no obvious way of weighting these sub-indicators.

For instance, doing social media measurement one faces the challenge that the units of measurement are different. An example is when one might want to use the Google PageRank versus number of new posts on the blog during last week or unique number of visitors during last month. Here the units of measure are not based on the same metrics.

Bottom line
Composite indicators are a way of simplifying complex issues into into manageable concepts. Nevertheless, composite indicators are simply a starting point for further discussing and exploring issues to make better use of scarce and sometimes finite resources (e.g., drinking water, energy, human resources, financial budget, time).

Resources
Michela Nardo, Michaela Saisana, Andrea Saltelli, and Stefano Tarantola (2005). Workpackage 5 Input to Handbook of Good Practices for Composite Indicators’ Development Deliverable 5.2. Joint Research Centre, Ispra.

Find out more information about the Methodology here: — Composite indicators you are here ( How raw data are normalizedHow rankings are calculatedWhat about missing values?, Trend time series,  Weighting) — ComMetrics rankings (Method behind the numbers)