This article will cover:

  • What are hierarchical segments?
  • Viewing hierarchical segments
  • Configuration of hierarchical segments

What are hierarchical segments?

It is possible to set-up hierarchies between attributes and their segments. This means that if you have an attribute for division and an attribute for department and another for team, you’d be able to relate all three attributes together, with division being at the top of the hierarchy. This is particularly useful when viewing the heatmap, as it makes analysing survey results by hierarchy more streamlined, since an increased level of granularity can be achieved by simply clicking on the segment to reveal the related segments. 

In the example below, I can have a quick overview of the AMER region and identify any offices with lower engagement scores.

Another advantage is that adding managers to segments is made easier since managers that are added to the parent attribute’s segment, will also have access to all related child attribute’s segments.  

Viewing hierarchical segments

Hierarchical segments can easily be viewed within the segment page of your Peakon dashboard. When viewing the heatmap, the drop-down arrow in the segment selection indicates there are related segments - the column in the left. Clicking on the drop-down arrow will reveal related segments and their scores directly on the heat map. 

What segments will managers see?

Managers will only be able to see segments that they have access to. Only segments that meet the minimum segment size will be displayed in the heat map and on dashboards.

When viewing the heat map, there will also be an option to allow all child segments to be added to the heat map, where applicable. Child segments will always be within the selected dashboard context and allow managers to easily add the segments beneath the current segment's context.

In the example below, a senior manager is viewing her team dashboard. Three of the senior manager's two direct reports have their own reports and therefore break out into manager segments. As these are child segments of the overall context she is using, she is able to quickly split her data down to these segments. 

Adding managers to segments

Adding managers to segments means they will also be able to view any child segments, where a hierarchical relationship has been setup. It's therefore possible to add managers to only the parent attribute's segments and in doing so they will gain automatic access to any related child attribute segments. 

Configuration of hierarchical segments

Hierarchical segments are set-up by account administrators who are able to create, edit, and delete hierarchies. Peakon will automatically detect any relationships between attributes making the setup quick and simple. Administrators can also edit relationships within the hierarchy at any time. 

Attributes can be used to create several hierarchies, even if they have already been chosen as parent or child attributes in other hierarchies.

Hierarchies can not be created with date or number type attributes. 

Creating a new hierarchy:

  1. Go to Administration and then Attributes
  2. Select the child attribute (relationships are setup from the child attribute. For example, to link the "Country" attribute and the "City" attribute, "City" is the child attribute)
  3. Select the Hierarchies tab and click on the green Add new hierarchy option
  4. Select the parent attribute to which the current attribute will be related ("Country" in this case)
  5. Click the green Next step option for Peakon to automatically detect relationships between the two attributes
  6. Click Use identified relationships to proceed with Peakon’s selection (these can always be edited), or click on the Discard and select manually to manually set the relationships
  7. If using the identified relationships, you will be able to make any edits to the relationships by either deleting relationships or adding more relationships. If manually selecting the relationships, you will need to select the parent segment and child segment and then click on Add more to add more relationships before clicking on the green Create relationships option.

In the example below, Business Unit is the parent attribute and Department is the child attribute. To create a hierarchy between the two, I will go into Department attribute and select Business Unit as the parent attribute.

Editing a hierarchy:

It’s possible to edit any of the existing hierarchies. For example if more attributes or segments have been added to the attribute, you may want to update the hierarchy to reflect these changes.

  1. Click on Administration and go to Attributes, then the Hierarchies tab
  2. Choose the hierarchy you would like to edit

There are several things you can edit within hierarchies:

  • Click on the Add more option to add more relationships to an existing parent child group
  • Click on the Add new relationship option to create a new parent child group
  • To delete a group, select the group and then click on the Delete option
  • To delete the entire hierarchy click on the Delete option without having selected any segments

Peakon will attempt to suggest new identified relationships which can be used in the hierarchy. To use the identified relationships, simply click on the green Use identified relationships option. 


  • When suggesting relationships, Peakon will only suggest segments containing 2 or more employees 
  • In order for a segment to be automatically suggested in a hierarchical relationship, every single employee must follow the hierarchy
  • It is possible to manually add segments to hierarchies, however it would be advisable to double check employee records first due to the second point

Is this feature available on my plan?

Hierarchical segments are available for customers on Peakon's Premier tier. If you would like to have this feature enabled, please reach out to your customer success manager, or to our support team at, who will be happy to assist further. 

Article: Granting segment access to managers

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