Using a table visualization

1. Overview

A table visualization lets you display data from a metric set using a tabular view. A table is also known as a data grid or data table, and it is the default type of visualization control that is used in the Metric Set Designer.

Related video: Introduction to Data Tables

2. Elements of a table

The figure below shows the main elements of a table control.

Elements of a table visualization
Elements of a table visualization

3. Adding a table

3.1. Drag a native database table

One way to add a table control to your dashboard is by dragging a native database table from a data connector in the Explore window, and placing it directly onto the dashboard canvas. This method of adding a table is mostly for previewing data because it uses the Raw Data retrieval format which has some limitations.

Drag a native database table to the dashboard canvas
Drag a native database table to the dashboard canvas

3.2. Drag a metric set

Another way to add a table is to simply drag a metric set from the Explore window that is already visualized as a table. For example, consider a metric set that is configured as follows:

  • MEASURES axis: OrderQty
  • ROWS axis: OrderDate hierarchy
  • COLUMNS axis: Product hierarchy

Example metric set in the Metric Set Designer
Example metric set in the Metric Set Designer

Drag this metric set to the dashboard canvas to see a table control that looks the same as the one in the Metric Set Designer.

Drag a metric set to the dashboard canvas
Drag a metric set to the dashboard canvas

Tip
You can also add a new table from the toolbar, and then drag a metric set onto the empty table.

3.3. Drag measure and dimension columns

The third way to add a table is to drag a measure column from a data connector structure or data cube to the canvas. The measure will appear as a table visualization with a single cell showing an aggregated value.

Drag the OrderQty measure column to the canvas
Drag the OrderQty measure column to the canvas

Then drag other columns (e.g., representing dimensions) onto the table.

Drag the FirstName dimension column to the table
Drag the FirstName dimension column to the table

This way of dynamically building your table results in the creation of an auto-generated metric set, which you'll see if you expand your dashboard item in the Explore window.

4. Row Headers versus Flat Table

There are two ways in which the columns of a table visualization can be presented. 

4.1. Display With Row Headers

Non-numeric data is displayed in expandable row header columns on the left while numeric columns are grouped on the right. To use this mode, click Display With Row Headers in the toolbar or context menu for a selected table.

Display With Row Headers
Display With Row Headers

In View mode, row header cells display tooltips showing the cell value preceded by the level caption name. 

4.2. Display As Flat Table

All data is displayed in columns with interchangeable order. To use this mode, click Display As Flat Table in the toolbar or context menu for a selected table.

Display As Flat Table
Display As Flat Table

5. Table properties

Using the Properties window, you can customize everything from the style of table rows to the appearance of notes (annotations) added to cells. A few of the basic properties are described below to get you started. 

Main table properties
Main table properties

Tip
In the Properties window, hover over a property value to see the description of the property in a tooltip.

5.1. Allow Column Header Merging

When your table has two adjacent columns with the same header text, you can merge the text into one header by using the Main \ Allow Column Header Merging property.

For example, if your table has two Sales columns, one displaying text values and the other showing state indicators, you can use this property to merge the headers into a single Sales header.

Allow Column Header Merging property
Allow Column Header Merging property

5.2. Alternating Row Style

To change the appearance of alternating rows in a table, go to Properties \ Look \ ROWS and click the Alternating Row Style link.

Click the Alternating Row Style link
Click the Alternating Row Style link

Change the background color of the alternating rows, for example.

Changing the appearance of alternating rows
Changing the appearance of alternating rows

5.3. Auto Fit Columns To Fill

By default, columns are automatically sized to fit their content. So when you resize a table wider than is needed, you'll see an area of white space.

Auto Fit Columns To Fill is False
Auto Fit Columns To Fill is False

Set the Auto Fit Columns To Fill property to True to have the columns sized to fit the table's available width.

Auto Fit Columns To Fill is True
Auto Fit Columns To Fill is True

5.4. Cell Note Style

When you add a note (annotation) on a table cell, the note appears as a small, red triangle in the top right corner of the cell. Hover over this triangle indicator in View mode to see the details of the note.

Hover over a cell note to see its details
Hover over a cell note to see its details

To customize the appearance of the cell note, go to the Look tab of the table's properties. Click the Cell Note Style link.

Click the Cell Note Style link
Click the Cell Note Style link

This lets you adjust the size and color of the cell note.

Cell note style properties
Cell note style properties

5.5. Column Type

By default, measure column values are displayed as text. But you can change the column type to something else for a specific column as follows.

Go to the properties for the table control. Under Main \ TABLE \ Columns, locate your measure column (e.g., LineTotal) and click it.

Click LineTotal to customize the corresponding measure column
Click LineTotal to customize the corresponding measure column

Change the Column Type property to Data Bar. The table now shows data bars in the LineTotal column instead of text values.

Change the column type to Data Bar
Change the column type to Data Bar

Supported column types include:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Hyperlink
  • State Indicator
  • Bullet Graph
  • Data Bar
  • Checkbox

Instead of using the Properties window, you can also change the column type from the canvas. To do this, right-click over the table column you want to change.

Context menu for a table column
Context menu for a table column

From the menu, click Re-Visualize, and then select the new column type you want (e.g., Bullet Graph Column).

Change the column type to Bullet Graph by re-visualizing
Change the column type to Bullet Graph by re-visualizing

The LineTotal column now shows bullet graphs.

LineTotal column shows bullet graphs
LineTotal column shows bullet graphs

5.6. Corner Area Style

The corner area of a table visualization is the portion that is above the row headers and to the left of the column headers. To edit the corner area properties, go to Properties \ Look \ HEADERS and click the Corner Area Style link.

Corner Area Style
Corner Area Style

For example, set the Text Align property to Center in order to center the header text in the corner area.

Set Text Align property to Center
Set Text Align property to Center

Note
The Vertical Text Align property is a new feature for Version 3.0.2.

5.7. Custom Text

Select a table column, click Properties, and then go to the Text tab to see text-related properties of the column.

Custom Text property for a table column
Custom Text property for a table column

Under ROWS, the Text property is read-only and indicates what data this column is bound to (i.e. what data is dropped onto the column binding for this table column).

If you want to change the text that is displayed in the cells of this table column, use the Column Text property. By default, this property is unset, which means it will display the data dropped onto the column binding for this column. You can set a value in the form of a placeholder keyword consisting of the data element name and optional format string. See Display date only on column instead of date/time for an example.

5.8. Expander Color

Use the Expander Color property under Row Header Style properties to change the color of the expander buttons for row headers.

For column header expanders, go to Column Header Style properties to find the Expander Color property.

Expander Color property
Expander Color property

5.9. Freeze Total Rows

Use the Freeze Total Rows property to display the grand total and subtotals at the edge of the table even when scrolled out of view.

Freeze Total Rows property
Freeze Total Rows property

5.10. Highlight Cell Value Changes

When underlying data changes in value, and corresponding cells in a table change value, the changed cells can be animated with a highlight color for a brief duration.

To use this feature, open the Data Binding Panel for the table visualization and click Edit. Make sure the Bypass Data Cache option is checked.

Go to Properties for the table visualization and set a value for the Data auto refresh interval (seconds) property, such as 10 seconds.

Then go to the Look section and scroll down to find the Highlight Cell Value Changes property. Enable it and optionally change the highlight color or duration of the animation (i.e., duration for the highlight color to appear and then fade away).

Highlight Cell Value Changes property
Highlight Cell Value Changes property

Switch to View mode and effect a change in the data to see the cell value animation. The cell(s) will be highlighted in color which then fades away after the specified duration.

Cells that changed value are animated
Cells that changed value are animated

5.11. Row Header Layout

Under Layout \ TABLE, you'll find the Row Header Layout property. By default, this is set to Separate Columns, which means that when you expand a row header, the headers corresponding to different hierarchy levels will appear in separate columns.

Row header layout is set to show expanded headers in separate columns (Year, Month, Day)
Row header layout is set to show expanded headers in separate columns (Year, Month, Day)

When the row header layout is set to Single Indented Column, row headers are displayed compactly in the same column and indented according to the corresponding hierarchy level. In this compact mode, totals are always displayed at the top.

Row header layout is set to show row headers in the same column (Row Labels)
Row header layout is set to show row headers in the same column (Row Labels)

Note that the Single Indented Column option requires the following:

  1. Totals must be enabled on the metric set. Open the Data Binding Panel, click Edit, and then look for the Shown Totals field.
  2. The table's Show Totals At Bottom property must be unchecked.

5.12. Show Column Headers

By default, a table displays headers above the columns. To hide all column headers, uncheck the Show Column Headers property under the MAIN \ HEADERS section.

Show Column Headers property
Show Column Headers property

Column headers are hidden
Column headers are hidden

5.13. Show Expanders Only On Hover

Under the Main \ HEADERS section, select the Show Expanders Only On Hover option if you want to show the expand and collapse buttons for row headers only when hovering over them or after tapping.

5.14. Show Redundant Column Headers

A table with a COLUMNS hierarchy such as Product will repeat a single column header (e.g., OrderQty) for each columns hierarchy value (e.g., for each Product value). This results in a row of redundant column headers which you can hide by unchecking the Show Redundant Column Headers property.

Redundant column headers are displayed
Redundant column headers are displayed

Redundant column headers are hidden
Redundant column headers are hidden

The above functionality will work even if two column headers have been previously merged into a single column header via the Allow Column Header Merging property.

5.15. Show Totals At Bottom

By default, a table displays totals (e.g., Grand Totals) at the top. You can have the totals displayed at the bottom instead by setting the Show Totals At Bottom property to True.

Show Totals At Bottom property
Show Totals At Bottom property

5.16. Tooltip

When a user hovers over a table cell in View mode, a tooltip appears which shows the hierarchy and measure values associated with that cell/data point. You can customize the text of this tooltip as follows.

Go to Properties \ Main \ TABLE \ Columns and click the column (e.g., OrderQty) corresponding to the table cell. Then go to the Text tab to see the Tooltip property, which contains regular text and placeholders or keywords for inserting measure and hierarchy values.

Tooltip property
Tooltip property

6. See also

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
500-250 Ferrand Drive
Toronto, ON, Canada
M3C 3G8

North America: 1.800.463.1492
International: 1.416.467.5100

Dundas Support Hours: 7am-6pm, ET, Mon-Fri