Using a play axis filter

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1. Overview

This article shows you how to use a Play Axis filter to automatically progress through filter values along a slider.

A play axis can be used with any type of hierarchy, but is normally used with a time dimension hierarchy so that the data in visualizations changes and animates through time as the play axis progresses.

2. Example preparation

The example shown here uses the Product sales by region over years data set (located in the rich data folder) from the Getting Started with Dundas BI sample project.

We've created a new dashboard and dragged the following data to the canvas and the data analysis panel that appears:

  • Measures: Sales AmountOrder QuantityGross Profit
  • Rows: CountryProduct Category
  • Slicers: Date

The data should automatically re-visualize into a bubble chart. The Play Axis filter can be used with any type of visualization on your dashboard, and in other types of views, just like other filters.

For the effect of data changing over time, you will usually want to place a date/time hierarchy under Slicers and connect it to the play axis.

Create a dashboard with a time dimension slicer
Create a dashboard with a time dimension slicer

3. Creating a play axis

From the toolbar, click Filter and select Play Axis.

Add the play axis
Add the play axis

In the Filter Visualizations panel, an option is normally checked automatically (e.g., Date). You can change which is checked if you want to filter something else.

Connect the filter
Connect the filter

When filtering a time dimension, the play axis automatically selects members relative to the current date. Since the dates in this particular data set is older, the last two members of the axis will have no data in our example.

If you want to adjust what values are included along the play axis, open the Properties window for the play axis and adjust the Shown Members to display specific members.

4. Viewing

Switch to View mode and press play to test the play axis.

You and other viewers of this dashboard (or other view) can use the context menu for some additional options:

  • Right-click the Play Axis (other than the axis line) to clear filtering, and change the level or drill up.
  • Right-click a specific member to drill down or exclude that member from the filter.

If you want to prevent viewers from accessing some or all context menu options, you can disable application privileges the same way as for visualizations. Privileges can be disabled in the Properties window for the play axis or for the dashboard (or other view), or for certain users.

5. Properties

When editing, you can optionally change properties of the play axis to take effect when the dashboard is initially viewed. For example:

  • Shown Members – Select certain members if only some of the values in the hierarchy should be displayed along the axis, or leave un-set to display them all. Setting this property is equivalent to filtering.
  • Parent Member – Set this property to display all the members from the level below that make up the selected member (this will override the Shown Members property). This is equivalent to drilling down on that member.
    Indicate a Parent Member
    Indicate a Parent Member
  • Level – Select the current level of the hierarchy to display along the play axis, if it offers multiple levels. Viewers can also change the level from the context menu. (The displayed members will be filtered by the Shown Members, even if set to a higher level, e.g., setting Shown Members to 2017, 2018 and Level to Month will display only the months between 2017-2018).
  • Enable Play/Pause – If you don't want to allow viewers to press a Play button to automatically progress the slider and Pause to stop, un-check this option. When disabled, the play axis will function only as a slider filter that works for time dimensions.
  • Step Duration – determines how fast the play axis progresses when playing. (You may also need to adjust the animation properties for some visualizations to match).
  • Show Value Tooltips – By default, tooltips pop up automatically with the current value when it changes. You can disable these, or use the property Value Tooltip Duration to indicate how long this tooltip will be visible.

Shown Members and Step Duration
Shown Members and Step Duration

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

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