Setting up the Visualization

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1. Overview

For every data visualization that shows data on your dashboard, there is an underlying metric set that encapsulates the data that is being visualized, and a set of connections between various parts of the data visualization and data elements.

The connection options are different depending on the type of data visualization. They are organised by Series; A bar chart for instance has a number of options in each series, such as:

  • Bar Height - lets you specify the measure that determines the height of each data point bar
  • Bar Horizontal Positionlets you specify the hierarchy that determines the position of each data point bar along the x axis
  • Descriptionlets you specify the legend or series label
  • Tooltip Text - lets you specify measures and hierarchies to be displayed in a tooltip when the user hovers over a data point
  • Data Point Label - lets you specify a measure or hierarchy to use for data point labels
  • Color - lets you specify the measure or hierarchy to be used for setting up color rules
  • Notelets you specify a measure or hierarchy to use for note labels next to data points
  • Series Groupinglets you specify a hierarchy to cluster sets of bars
  • Side-by-side Position - lets you specify a hierarchy that determines the position of bars in a cluster

Other chart types and other data visualization types have different options (although there may be some in common). 

While the same type of data visualization has the same options, the actual connections (i.e. mappings to measures/hierarchies) are specific to each pair of a metric set and an instance of a data visualization. Two data visualizations connected to the same metric set on a dashboard, each have their own settings.

2. Metric Set Designer

2.1. Default visualization

When you create a metric set using the Metric Set Designer, you have the ability to configure the default visualization for that metric set. The default visualization serves as a template for a new data visualization instance when you drag the corresponding metric set from the Explore panel to a dashboard canvas.

In the Metric Set Designer, you can configure the default visualization by clicking the Visualization button in the Data Analysis Panel.

Click Visualization to switch to the Visualization tab, which lets you edit the mappings for the default visualization
Click Visualization to switch to the Visualization tab, which lets you edit the mappings for the default visualization

In the Visualization tab, you can see the various mappings that were assigned automatically when measures and hierarchies were first added to the metric set. In the example below, the Tooltip Text field in the Series 1 group has been configured with the LineTotal measure and the OrderDate hierarchy. 

Visualization tab shows the tooltip text of the default visualization is assigned the LineTotal measure and the OrderDate hierarchy
Visualization tab shows the tooltip text of the default visualization is assigned the LineTotal measure and the OrderDate hierarchy

2.2. Assign elements to an option

There are several ways to assign a measure or hierarchy to an option.

2.2.1. Drag from the Explore panel

Drag a measure or hierarchy (or hierarchy level) from the Explore panel and drop it onto the field you want in the Visualization tab (similar to adding elements to the metric set).

2.2.2. Drag within the Visualization tab

Drag a measure or hierarchy from an existing field in the Visualization tab and drop it onto the field you want. Note that if you press the Shift key while you drag within the Visualization tab, this will actually move the measure/hierarchy from one field to another.

2.2.3. Click to add

Use the click to add link in the Visualization's drop region and select the measure or hierarchy you want from a list.

Click to add a measure or hierarchy to the DATA POINT LABEL in series 1
Click to add a measure or hierarchy to the DATA POINT LABEL in series 1

Select the LineTotal measure to add it
Select the LineTotal measure to add it

The default visualization in the Metric Set Designer will be updated with the new setting. The default bar chart visualization now displays the LineTotal value at each data point.

Series 1 Data Point Label is configured with LineTotal measure
Series 1 Data Point Label is configured with LineTotal measure

Next, if you drag this metric set onto the canvas of a dashboard, the resulting bar chart will also display data point labels because of this setting in the metric set's default visualization.

Note
If you use a measure or hierarchy that is not part of the metric set to configure the Visualization tab, the metric set will be automatically updated with the new measure/hierarchy. You can see this by clicking the Metric Set button at the top of the Visualization tab, which takes you back to the Metric Set definition.

2.3. Configure a measure or hierarchy

From the Visualization tab, click the Edit button of any measure or hierarchy to configure the corresponding metric set element. 

Click the Edit button to configure the LineTotal measure for this metric set
Click the Edit button to configure the LineTotal measure for this metric set

This opens the Configure Metric Set Element dialog, which lets you see what settings are using this measure/hierarchy, set up sorting for the measure/hierarchy, and modify formatting such as Format and Symbol. For example, you can specify a dollar sign as a symbol that appears before LineTotal values.

Configure Metric Set Element dialog for the LineTotal measure
Configure Metric Set Element dialog for the LineTotal measure

Note that when you're configuring a metric set element in this way, you're actually modifying the metric set. This means that in order to view or change certain settings for the metric set element, the corresponding metric set must be checked out to yourself. In addition, changes to the metric set element, such as adding a symbol or changing the format string, will apply to all data visualizations connected to the metric set.

Tip
Use the Hidden property if you do not want a measure to be shown on the control, but still be usable for calculations such as formulas. Data for it will not be sent to the client or export.

3. Dashboard Designer

When you drag a metric set from the Explore panel to the dashboard canvas, a new data visualization instance is created with the default visualization settings and appearance. For example, in the figure below, observe that the newly added bar chart displays data point labels just like the metric set's default visualization.

Drag a metric set from the Explore window to the dashboard canvas
Drag a metric set from the Explore window to the dashboard canvas

You can further customize the settings from the Data Analysis Panel.

3.1. Launching the Data Analysis Panel

The Data Analysis Panel is open by default when adding a new data visualization instance, but will close if you select a different visualization, click elsewhere, or click the Data Analysis Panel option from the toolbar or context menu. To open the Data Analysis Panel, use the context menu, or select the data visualization on the canvas and click the Data Analysis Panel button in the toolbar.

Open the Data Analysis Panel from the toolbar or context menu
Open the Data Analysis Panel from the toolbar or context menu

The Data Analysis Panel is the same as the panel in the Metric Set Designer, except that in the Visualization tab you're viewing and editing settings specific to this data visualization instance (instead of the metric set's default visualization).

Click Visualization to view and edit the settings for this data visualization instance
Click Visualization to view and edit the settings for this data visualization instance

3.2. Data visualization drop zones

An easy way to configure the Visualization tab is to drag a measure or hierarchy (or hierarchy level) from the Explore panel and drop it onto a data visualization drop zone. These drop zones are overlays that appear over a data visualization and correspond directly to the visualization settings. The available drop zones are different depending on the type of data visualization, whether you're adding a measure or hierarchy, and what settings have already been mapped. Note that drop zones only appear if some initial data has already been added to the data visualization beforehand. For example, in the figure below, a LineTotal measure has already been added to the table.

Table visualization drop zones correspond directly to the Visualization settings
Table visualization drop zones correspond directly to the Visualization settings

Drop zones for a bar chart when adding a measure
Drop zones for a bar chart when adding a measure

3.3. Update the default visualization

Once you've customized a data visualization instance, you can apply the settings back to the metric set's default visualization by clicking the Update button in the Data Analysis Panel. After the update, the next time this metric set is dragged to the canvas, the newly added data visualization will be of the same type and have the same settings as the updated default visualization.

Updating the default visualization for the underlying metric set
Updating the default visualization for the underlying metric set

3.4. Properties panel

You can use the Properties panel for a data visualization to alternatively or further customize settings. As an example, consider a bar chart that does not have any measures assigned to its Series 1 Data Point Label setting. Go to the Properties panel for the chart series, click the Text tab, and you'll see that there are no data point labels for this chart.

Chart series text properties without any data point labels
Chart series text properties without any data point labels

Next, open the Data Analysis Panel for this chart, click Visualization, and then assign the LineTotal measure to the Series 1 Data Point Label.

Drag the LineTotal measure from one field to another
Drag the LineTotal measure from one field to another

Now go back to the Properties panel for the chart series, click the Text tab, and you'll see that data point label settings have been automatically added. Alternatively, you can add these data label settings manually to the chart series.

Chart series text properties with data point label settings added
Chart series text properties with data point label settings added

Click Data Label Settings to customize the placement of the labels, and the text to display. The Text property accepts arbitrary text in addition to placeholder keywords (such as the name of a measure or hierarchy) enclosed in square brackets.

Customize the placement and text of the data point labels
Customize the placement and text of the data point labels

Tip
Placeholder keywords support an optional format string preceded by a colon that can be used to customize the numeric or date/time format that comes from the metric set. For example: [MeasureName:N0]

4. See also

 

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