How to Use the Cohort Feature

This article discusses how to utilize the cohort feature leveraging the MHP's vast pool of data to provide relevant normalization and context to improve interpretation.

One powerful component of the Movement Health Platform (MHP) is leveraging the vast pool of securely stored data across Sparta Science users. The platform capabilities allow the application of advanced big data techniques used in other industries to derive insights and intelligence relevant to Movement Health. In terms of Cohorts, one of the features powering these insights, this depth and breadth of data enables us to apply population statistics to the most relevant subpopulations to show where users fall relative to various groups. 

While many Movement Health related metrics are commonly used and easily interpretable, like Resting Heart Rate, BMI, or Jump Height, many derived metrics are less familiar to practitioners and more challenging to interpret without context. Comparing a score to a cohort can help practitioners and users get context on a metric they may be unaccustomed to and aid in gaining intuition and interpretation around more metrics. 

How do cohorts work to compare users?

Throughout the MHP, normalized values are utilized to adjust most metrics to a standard scale to ease interpretation and understanding. The result of this normalization process transforms raw measurements into t-scores and percentiles with respect to different available Cohorts, or subpopulations. The broadest level of normalization, the cohort termed 'All Users,' compares metrics to the entire population of Sparta Science users, also taking into account sex at birth.

Other cohorts apply this normalization to more specific subpopulations, allowing us to interpret metrics within the context of observed values within a particular group. Comparing to a different cohort, for example, 'Users Aged 18-40,' means that the t-scores and percentiles are calculated in terms of this smaller group, acting as a filter for data points inapplicable to the group and thus giving context on where a raw score falls compared to the cohort. This is particularly powerful when a cohort's raw scores fall into a distinctly different range from the population, like seniors, elite athletes, or military personnel.

Note: All cohorts currently take into account sex at birth for normalization.

For example, a 68-year-old female patient performing a balance screening may see a score of 39, falling into the 16th percentile for 'All Users.' However, when compared to a more relevant cohort of 'Users Aged 65 and Older,' their score adjusts to 49, or the 46th percentile, which can be interpreted as a typical score for that population. Alternatively, youth athletes may display relative strength or performance-related metrics reflecting they are well above average for their age range. Changing the cohort to 'Division I Athletes' can provide powerful insight reflecting how they rank relative to users at higher competitive levels.

Where can I compare to a cohort within the MHP?

Comparing a user to a given cohort is as easy as toggling a dropdown from the User Profile, Metric Details, or Scan Details pages within the MHP Admin App. For organizations utilizing the Sparta Scan Kit, cohorts can also be selected on the Results Screen in the Scan App. These dropdowns display all cohorts enabled for your organization. Contact your Customer Success representative to enable more or inquire about other available cohorts.

When a cohort from this dropdown is selected, the scores on the screen will update to the score normalized to the cohort. Comparing to a cohort serves as a filter and will only affect the scores displayed on the page you are viewing for that session. This means that if you select a cohort from the Profile page and then navigate to the Team Users table, the default scores will be unaffected and shown. Additionally, the cohort dropdown currently only applies to the user-based views; Dashboards, Reports, and the Users Tables do not have the functionality to toggle between cohorts. 

Can the default cohort be changed?

It is possible to switch the default scores for your organization to be calculated in terms of a chosen cohort instead of the 'All Users' cohort. When a cohort is set as the default, all scores within the MHP ecosystem of applications—including Dashboards, Reports, and the Users Tables—will be in terms of the cohort and the starting state for the user-based views (Scan App Results, User Profiles, MOVE App) will be this cohort. If this is desired for your organization, don't hesitate to contact your Customer Success representative.