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, and there are settings that determine how each element in the data is visualized.

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 - lets you specify values to be displayed in a popup 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 such as bar chart series are displayed side-by-side or on top of others based on matching values

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

Related video: Configuring Metric Sets

2. Metric set editor

2.1. Default visualization

When you create a new metric set from the main menu, the visualization created there acts as a default visualization for that metric set. It serves as a template for a new data visualization when you add this metric set to a dashboard or other view, although from then on the two visualizations are separate. A metric set can be reused in multiple views and by different users, or multiple times on one view, and each visualization customized or visualized differently.

Tip
If you want to reuse a visualization in multiple places and be able to make changes to all of them at once, you can create a dashboard for that visualization and drag it onto other dashboards and views.

In the Visualization tab of the Data Analysis Panel, you can see how the data was set up to be visualized automatically when it was first added to the metric set.

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

In the example below, the LineTotal measure and OrderDate were automatically added under Tooltip for the LineTotal Series.

Visualization tab shows the default visualization displays LineTotal and OrderDate in its tooltips
Visualization tab shows the default visualization displays LineTotal and OrderDate in its tooltips

2.2. Assign data to the visualization

There are several ways to assign data to visualization options for the current visualization.

  • Drag from the Explore window: drag a measure or hierarchy (or one of its levels) from the Explore window and drop it under an option in the Visualization tab (similar to adding elements to the metric set), or drop it onto one of the corresponding labeled areas over the visualization.
  • 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.

For example, click to add under Data Point Label to display data as labels.

Click to add a measure or hierarchy to Data Point Label for a chart series
Click to add a measure or hierarchy to Data Point Label for a chart series

Choose data from the list that appears.

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

The visualization will be updated with the new setting. The 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

If you drag or click to add a new element not previously added to the metric set, it will be added to the metric set as you can see in the Data Analysis Panel after leaving the Visualization tab.

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.

Tip
You can click any green or orange tile in the Data Analysis Panel to configure settings including number formatting. These are metric set settings that take effect everywhere the metric set is reused.

Click the x button next to one of the tiles in the Visualization tab if you want to remove it from that part of the visualization.

3. Editing dashboards and other views

When you add an existing metric set to a dashboard or other view, for example by dragging it from the Explore window onto the canvas, a new data visualization is created based on the metric set's default visualization.

In the figure below, 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 also create a new metric set directly on a dashboard or other view by dragging data from a data connector or data cube directly onto the canvas or onto a new visualization.)

Each visualization's settings can be customized differently even when reusing a metric set. Just like when editing a metric set full screen, you can customize the visualization from the Data Analysis Panel.

3.1. 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 visualization on the canvas and click Data Analysis Panel 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

This Data Analysis Panel is the same as in the full screen metric set editor, but the Visualization tab settings are specific to this data visualization on the dashboard or view and are not saved with the metric set itself. This allows you to reuse a metric set and visualize it differently.

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

A metric set handles the data itself and is separate from its visualizations, so the Data Analysis Panel has a separate tab for the visualization. Metric sets consist of the data-related settings shown when its title reads Data Analysis Panel - Metric Set as well as the options in Data Tools in the toolbar.

3.2. Data visualization drop zones

An easy way to configure the Visualization tab is to drag a measure, hierarchy, or hierarchy level from the Explore window and drop it onto a data visualization drop zone. These labeled overlays that appear over a visualization correspond directly to the visualization settings, allowing you to choose how to visualize the data rather than allowing this to be assigned for you.

These drop zones appear when dragging additional data after some initial data was already added - for example, a LineTotal measure has already been added to the table in the figure below.

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

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

If you added a metric set from the Metric Sets folder to your view, once you've customized its visualization, you can apply its settings back to the metric set's default visualization by clicking the Update button in the Data Analysis Panel.

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

Afterwards, 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.

3.4. Properties

You can use the Properties window or the Quick Access Properties popup for a data visualization to customize its settings, including colors, fonts, or further customizing how the visualization displays data you've assigned in the Data Analysis Panel. For example, you can customize how the colors of the data points should change according to the data. For text properties, you can use the Properties window to customize how the data is formatted into text.

As an example, consider a bar chart that does not have any measures assigned to its Data Point Label visualization option in the Data Analysis Panel. Go to the Properties window for the chart series, click the Text tab, and you'll see that the Data Point Labels property is empty.

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 measure to Data Point Label.

(You can drag this measure from elsewhere in this panel or from the Explore window, or click to add it.)

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

Tip
Click the paintbrush icon next to a heading like Data Point Label to open the Properties window directly to the related settings.

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. You can also add these data label settings yourself as an alternative to using the Data Analysis Panel.

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

Click on the Data Label Settings item 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. You can also optionally customize the value's formatting referred to by the keyword. 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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