On November 4-8, as part of the JRC Week on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards, the JRC launched the COIN Tool, an Excel-based software tool to help develop and analyse composite indicators and scoreboards.
The COIN Tool, which was developed by European Commission's Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards (COIN), is the first dedicated software tool to aid developers and users of indicators, composite indicators, scoreboards and dashboards. It is aimed at policy makers, research institutions, international organisations, European Union institutions, and national and local governments.
What is a composite indicator?
A composite indicator is an aggregation of indicators which aims to measure a particular concept. Examples include innovation, human development, and environmental performance, among many others. Composite indicators allow simple comparisons and rankings between countries and other units, and have become very popular in recent years, regularly featuring in the media.
Why the COIN Tool?
Composite indicators are powerful practical tools that can help policy makers summarise complex and interdependent phenomena. They provide the big picture, are easy to interpret and communicate, and are attractive for the public. They are also drivers of behaviour and of change by forcing institutions and governments to question their standards.
On the other hand, caution is needed to avoid situations where composite indicators may send misleading or partial policy messages because they are poorly constructed or misinterpreted. The COIN Tool aims to provide a powerful yet accessible platform for developers to build, analyse and adjust their composite indicator. This can help to build high-quality composite indicators that are methodologically sound and legitimate to end users.
The developers of composite indicators have a very wide range of backgrounds, from scientists, statisticians and data analysts to lawyers and policy-makers. At the same time, properly constructing a composite indicator is a delicate process which can be subject to criticism, due its subjective nature. It is therefore essential to the legitimacy and accuracy of the composite indicator, that it is constructed as carefully as possible, including a statistical analysis.
Recognising this fact, the COIN Tool aims to provide an accessible platform for developers to build and analyse composite indicators. It is deliberately constructed in Excel, and although this places some limitations on what can be done, it ensures that it is accessible to the widest range of users. Currently, this seems to be the only tool that addresses this need. The COIN Tool aims to guide you through a series of simple steps which help to build and visualise your composite indicator, to analyse relationships between indicators, test variations in methodology and check the robustness to certain assumptions.
Download the COIN Tool
There are two versions of the COIN Tool: the Full version, and the Lite version. The Lite version is the same as the Full version but has some functionalities removed in order to make it run faster. Both versions can be downloaded with or without example data. The COIN Tool also comes with a full User Guide.
- Full version with example data
- Full version without example data
- Lite version with example data
- Lite version without example data
- User Guide
- 21 november 2019