Functions For Referring to Past Time Periods
The following MAQL functions allow you to create metrics showing a time over time comparison (for example, month over month, or quarter over quarter) of past time periods:
Differences Between FOR Previous and FOR PreviousPeriod
The difference between the Previous( ) and PreviousPeriod( ) functions becomes clear when the date attribute in an insight is more granular than the date attribute specified within the function’s parentheses.
FOR Previous( ) strictly follows the date attribute specified by the metric author within the parentheses of the function.
On the other hand, FOR PreviousPeriod( ) adapts to the context of the insight. Regardless of the date attribute specified by the metric, the PreviousPeriod( ) function takes on the date attribute of the smallest granularity in the insight.
In the following example, even though the metric in the final column has
been defined as
FOR PreviousPeriod(quarter), the function returns
values from the previous month, as month is the most granular date
attribute in this insight.
The Previous( ) function strictly follows the date attribute specified within the function’s parentheses. PreviousPeriod ( ) takes on the most granular date attribute that is contained within the insight.
Even if PreviousPeriod( ) automatically takes on the granularity of the smallest date attribute in an insight, it is still important to specify a date attribute within the PreviousPeriod( ) function as a way of specifying the date dimension of interest. This is because workspaces often have multiple date dimensions, such as Date(Lead Created), Date(MQL Qualified), or Date(Snapshot).