Setting up the visualization

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1. Overview

For every data visualization in Dundas BI, there is an underlying metric set that encapsulates the data that is being visualized, and settings that determine how each element in the data is used in the visualization.

The visualization options are different depending on the type. A bar chart, for instance, has a number of options for each series of bars, such as:

  • Bar Height - lets you specify the measure that determines the height of each data point bar
  • Horizontal Axislets you specify what values determine the position of each data point bar along the x axis
  • Descriptionlets you specify what measures or hierarchies should identify this series in the legend or a series label
  • Tooltip Text - lets you specify values to be displayed in a tooltip when the user hovers over or long-taps a data point
  • Data Point Label - lets you specify values to display in data point labels
  • Color - lets you change the colors of data points based on the values you select
  • Notelets you specify values to display as notes, the same way user-added notes or annotations are displayed
  • Series Groupinglets you specify or remove hierarchies used to group this series into multiple series
  • Side-By-Side Position - lets you specify a hierarchy that determines if series are displayed side-by-side or on top of other series based on matching values

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

The visualization options are always specific to that instance of a visualization. A metric set created in the full-screen editor can have different visualization settings than the same metric set dragged onto the dashboard and then customized in the dashboard editor. A metric set can also be dragged onto a dashboard multiple times and each can be visualized differently.

2. Metric set editor

2.1. Default visualization

When you create a new metric set from the main menu, you have the ability to configure a visualization for that metric set. This visualization serves as a template for a new data visualization instance when you drag this metric set from the Explore window onto a dashboard canvas, although from then on the two visualizations are separate.

You can set up how each metric set element is visualized by clicking the Visualization button in the Data Analysis Panel.

Click Visualization to switch to the Visualization tab
Click Visualization to switch to the Visualization tab

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 LineTotal measure and the OrderDate hierarchy were automatically added under Tooltip Text for Series 1.

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 a visualization option.

  • Drag from the Explore window: drag a measure or hierarchy (or hierarchy level) from the Explore window and drop it under an option in the Visualization tab (similar to adding elements to the metric set.
  • Drag within the Visualization tab: drag a measure or hierarchy already selected elsewhere in the Visualization tab and drop it where you want to add it. Note that if you press the Shift key while you drag within the Visualization tab, this will actually move the measure/hierarchy from one option to another.
  • 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 DATA POINT LABEL for series 1
Click to add a measure or hierarchy to DATA POINT LABEL for series 1

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

The visualization 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 where the visualization is using this measure/hierarchy, and change metric set settings for this measure. 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, these settings are part of the metric set itself and not the visualization. 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. Editing dashboards and other views

When you drag a metric set from the Explore window to the canvas of a dashboard or another view, 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 click away. 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 full-screen metric set editor, except that in the Visualization tab you're viewing and editing settings specific to this data visualization on the dashboard (instead of the metric set's own 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 window 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 where data has already been assigned. 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 window

You can use the Properties window for a data visualization to customize the settings of the visualization itself, including further customizing how the visualization displays data you've assigned in the Data Analysis Panel. 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 window 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 option to another
Drag the LineTotal measure from one option to another

Now go back to the Properties window 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 has been automatically populated based on the data you assigned, but you are able to change it to include any arbitrary text in addition to one or more placeholder keywords (such as the name of a measure or hierarchy) enclosed in square brackets. See Formatting Text for details on how you can set text properties using placeholder keywords.

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

4. See also

 

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
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Toronto, ON, Canada
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