In this guide, we will go through how to characterize measures and add relationships between measures in the settings module. You can also watch the video on Characterizations Settings to learn more.


You can find measure characterizations by clicking the "Characterizations" tab in the Settings Modal.  Once inside characterizations, you will be able to supply useful context to the extension to allow you to receive much more insightful narratives. We will go through each one of the settings.

Toggle the order of your dimension values

This feature gives you the ability to determine the start and end date in your narrative, based on the "oldest" and "newest" time elements in your dimension (Note: this is only available in a continuous story. 



Consider Values to be...

Here, the narrative and number formatting will adjust based on what the measure is. By default, the narrative will assume that all measure values are numbers and won't perform any additional calculations or apply any special rendering rules.

  • If the values are "Percentage" values and the user chooses "Percentage", the narrative will automatically multiply all of those measure values by 100 and append a "%" to the end of each value. In addition, rather than focusing on "percent changes," as would occur with numerical values, the narrative will talk more logically about "percentage point differences."
  • If the values are "Money", a drop-down will appear that allows users to select their preferred currency formatting option.  The narrative will automatically add this formatting (e.g., “$” prefix to values for USD), and use cleaner references to the values (for example, "$1.3 million" instead of "$1,300,000.00")


Large value suffix

This setting allows you to choose how large numbers (e.g. millions, billions, trillions) are formatted. Oftentimes, it reads better to write 2,900,000 as 2.9 million. You have a range of options to choose from in this dropdown. Numbers under 1 million will not be affected. Note, this is only available for numbers and money.

Decimal places

This setting allows you to choose how many decimal places to round to. "Dynamic" is the default option and rounds to different decimal places depending on how large or small the number is. 

Negative values

Choose to show negative values with either negative/minus symbol or parentheses. Note that when choosing parentheses, you may see nested parentheses in some part of the narrative because the negative value is being wrapped inside parentheses and the value itself may sit within a parenthetical phrase. 

Spell out integers

Integers 10 and under are often spelled out as a standard writing style. This can be disabled by toggling to "no".


Consider larger values to be...

This setting allows you to inform the extension how to treat upward movements in a measure. For example, revenue going up is usually considered a "good" thing. Costs going up might be considered "bad."

In this example, we are measuring "sales," which we consider "money" and select "US Dollar." Larger values are considered "good" and we would like to know about the total across all the periods. Our settings would look like the above. When we click the back arrow to return to the narrative, our story will look like the below:



Choose how to aggregate...

This setting sets the appropriate aggregation method to be used in the various analytics in the story. Generally, you want to choose the same aggregation as what you are using in Tableau, and Quill will make an attempt to guess the correct aggregation for you. 

Note that for ratio measures (some percentages are ratios too), you'll want to choose Average. There is a follow up question to allow you to define the actual ratio by selecting the component measures of that ratio measure. Keep in mind that measures used as components of a ratio must be summable.

For cumulative measures (continuous narratives only) be sure to select Sum and indicate that the measure is cumulative in the follow up up question. Continuous analysis narratives will call out the total of the measure across the series (for example, "the total sales across all 12 months was $1.5 billion"). However, for certain types of measure values, this analysis is not relevant.