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When a 5 Star Rating Isn't Enough: Why We Created Advanced Inspections

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When we first created inspection ratings in Cartegraph, we focused on a 5-star rating system. It’s easy to understand and it’s familiar to most consumers— used for everything from vehicle inspections to hotel quality. There are other forms of the 5-star system as well. Think about the grading scales used in school: A = 5, B = 4, C = 3 (and let’s hope we didn’t get to 2 or 1). 

Over time, we realized we needed to go deeper. While the standard rating works in many cases, there are times when Cartegraph users need more detail and more depth. That’s where Advanced Inspections come in.

Condition Category Types

On basic inspections in Cartegraph, all Condition Categories have a 5-star rating system. With Advanced Inspections, you have options of Condition Category Types: 5 Star, Quantity, Number, Option, or Index Value. Your administrators can choose which is most appropriate for a particular characteristic of an asset. All Condition Category Types map back to a consistent 0-100 scale, so they are evaluated on an equal playing field.


The Quantity Condition Category Type is helpful for many inspections. For example, it can be difficult to apply a star rating to the flow output rate on a pump. It’s much easier to enter the exact quantity of GPM.

Let’s say the designed operating rate is 1200 GPM. Your Cartegraph admin would map that to an index value of 100 and map the minimum acceptable flow rate to an index value of zero, along with other values in between. The person completing the inspection would then enter the exact quantity of the flow output rate. That quantity would look to the mapped index values and the condition would be accurately rated.


The Number Condition Category Type allows your administrator to map any number to an index value. For example, your team could establish the number of acceptable defects for an asset. Zero defects would be mapped to an index of 100; three defects could be mapped to an index of 65; five defects could be mapped to 40, and ten defects could be the maximum defects allowed and mapped to an index of 0. As the inspection is conducted, the index value is interpolated based on the number of defects recorded.


The Option Condition Category Type allows your administrator to create a list of values to choose from. Again, each option in the list is mapped to a corresponding index value. This allows your team to select a value from a predefined list while performing an inspection — providing consistent results each time the asset is inspected.

For example, you can define your list to be “Acceptable” with an index value of 75, “Minimally Acceptable” with an index value of 50, and “Unacceptable” with an index value of 25. During the inspection, your crew will select from the list of options: Acceptable, Minimally Acceptable, or Unacceptable. The corresponding index value would be recorded in Cartegraph.

Index Value

If the other types aren’t quite right for what you’re trying to do, you can choose the Index Condition Category Type. This is a direct entry of the index value and can be used for any asset type. It allows you to have more granularity than selecting a star or even a half star, but it also requires the inspection team to be familiar with what each index value means.

Other Features of Advanced Inspections

In addition to the Condition Category Type, Advanced Inspection users can record extra Condition Details during an inspection. For a pump inspection, you might want to record additional data that helps justify the condition you set, such as hours of operation, temperature, pressure, RPM, or other notes.

Advanced Inspections also work with our Cartegraph One and Cartegraph for iPad app. Use the mobile apps to record the asset condition as you complete the inspection in the field. If you discover an issue that requires follow-up work, you can create a work task in the middle of an inspection without missing a beat.


If basic inspections are all you need in Cartegraph, stick with the standard 5-star system. When you are ready for more detail and more granularity, upgrade to Advanced Inspections and unleash the flexibility to record asset conditions in a way that makes sense to you.