Count elements, data columns and rows in a project

Updated at October 31st, 2023

A project inventory element is a list of project details like the number of rows and columns in the data and the number of elements in the project setup.

The project inventory element is not static. It will reflect updates if you remove rows/columns or delete elements in the project. This list enables us to review the project details as needed. 

Practical use for project inventory

If your project has a longer than usual load time, we'll typically check the inventory for number of blank cells and unreachable elements. 

Typically trackers with many waves is the type of the project that will have a high percent of blank cells and unreachable elements. If this is the case, our team will programmatically identify any columns that are entirely populated with blank cells and all the unreachable elements and recommend them for deletion to optimize the project. 

The following table describes the project inventory element: 

Field Description
Rows The number of rows in the data file. For most surveys, this number also represents the sample size.
Columns The number of columns in the data file. 
Total cells The number of data points in the file (# of rows x # of columns). 
Blank cells The percent of total cells that are blank. Cells are typically blank when there is a skip pattern for the question.
All elements This number represents the total elements in the project. Charts and tables in Protobi are called elements, even the project inventory list itself is an element. 
Unreachable elements The percent of elements that are stranded and not referenced in the current version of the project.        

Often times, when there's a high percent of stranded elements its' because the survey has changed significantly over many waves and there are a significant number of questions that have been removed. Or there are many unused elements that were created in the data process that someone tried to delete by removing them from reference in fields.      

Unreachable elements are different than deleted elements because the unreachable elements still exist in the project, we simply have to reference the element to see it and typically the element will still have text titles and formats.      

Often times, if you have a high percent of stranded elements we will suggest you permanently delete them to optimize project performance. 
Reachable elements The number of project elements that are currently in use. These are listed out per top-level tab.

Add the project inventory element

1. To add a new element, simply press on the plus sign on the top-level, or within any tab to create a new element.

2. Give the new element any name that will indicate it's the inventory list

3. Once you create the new element, go to the JSON dialog to set chartType. The inventory chartType is not yet available in the chartType dialog.                                                               


4. On you're in the JSON dialog, set the chartType attribute to “Inventory” (case sensitive). If the chartType attribute doesn't exist, then simply add it using the same syntax that you see on line 3 in the below image. 

Press “Ok” on the JSON dialog to apply changes. 


5. The result is a detailed inventory element: 



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