Exploring a metric

After you create a metric, the discovery process begins! If you haven't created one yet, go here to learn how.

This article describes how to modify and create different views of a metric. When exploring a metric, the changes you make are only visible to you.

Note: If you want to reconfigure a metric and change the default version of it for everyone, you can do that in a metric's Explore View or from a metric dashboard (with the dashboard in Edit mode). Learn more here.

This article contains the following sections:

Exploring your metrics

After you create a metric, it automatically displays in your Metric List page where you can select individual metrics to open them in their Explore View. From the Explore View, you can modify your view of a metric, applying different types of aggregation, experimenting with visualization types, and segmenting your data to break it down and see it from different perspectives. You can also apply filters based on time span (for example, yesterday, today, last 30 days) and compare your displayed data to a previous time period.

When you explore a metric, you're not altering its underlying data - you're selecting different options for viewing and processing it in an experimental, investigative way.

The changes you make to a metric while in its Explore View are visible only to you. Your modifications are remembered and will display the next time you log in.

To enter the Explore View for a metric:

  1. In the left navigation sidebar, click Metrics to display the Metric List page.
  2. Select the metric you want to explore.

Recent and Starred metrics display in the left navigation sidebar for quick access.

  1. Modify your view of the metric by selecting options in the right-side panel.

Tip: Watch this video to see how you can segment and filter data while exploring your metrics:

Exploration options

This article describes all metric exploration options, however, the options you can select from vary depending on the chosen metric's data and chart type.

As you select options, your changes are instantly reflected in the metric.

Individual metric options

When you open a metric in its Explore View, its personalization panel displays on the right and includes access to the following options:

In the Display tab:

  • Chart Type and Style - Choose a combination of chart type and style to display your data meaningfully. For example, if you want to display data in a chart with stacked columns, select Bar / Column as the Chart Type and Stacked Column as the Style.

Available chart types are: bar and column charts, line and area charts, pie and donut charts, tree maps, radar plot charts, waterfall charts, heat maps, summary charts, and tables. Available styles depend on the chart type chosen.

  • Display Top or Bottom - For ranked tables, choose whether to display the Top or the Bottom rows from your data and the Number of rows to display.

  • Break lines for blank values - When there are gaps in data, for example, if data is not refreshed during a time period, you can choose to break the chart lines to show the gaps in data. Alternatively, you can display a continuous line, where a line is drawn between known data points to fill in the gaps. By default, we break lines for blank values but you can deselect this option if you'd rather see a continuous line.

  • Show values as labels - Display values as labels in your chart. This option is not available for tables or summary charts.

  • Legend position - If your visualization includes a legend, choose to display it at the bottom, right, left, or top of your chart. You can also remove the legend by selecting None.

  • Comparison - Choose to either apply no comparison or to compare your data to other time periods (vs a previous period, vs the same period (last year), or vs a custom period). Comparisons are made between equivalent time period types. For example, if the date range selected is "today", then the previous period will be "yesterday". Note that the date range for the dashboard and for the individual metric you are working with must be set to a time period that enables a comparison. For example, if you set the date range for a dashboard to Auto or Maximum date range, it will not be possible to compare to a different time period.

For line and bar charts, the previous period's data displays in the background as a grey dotted line.

Note: The comparison setting is only applicable to bar, column, and line / area chart types. However, this setting does not apply to line charts or stacked bar or column charts when the chart is segmented. For the comparison option to be available, you must set your segmentation to “None” and dates must display on the x axis (unless it's a bar chart, in which case, dates must display on the y axis).

For summary charts and ranked tables:

  • There are a few options to choose from. You can display the percentage change or value change between the current value and the previous value (the delta), or you can show a comparison value (both values display together). Green is used to show a positive trend and red is used to show a negative trend.
  • When comparing data from a partial period, we compare it to a previous partial period. For example, if you are halfway through a month and want to compare to the previous month, your metric will be compared to the same period of the previous month.
  • When comparing, if there is no difference in values, no data available to compare to, or the time period set for the dashboard, or the metric, is not suitable for a comparison (for example, the dashboard time range is set to “Auto” or "Maximum date range") then the chart displays “--”.

  • Trend line - To more easily see data trends over time, you can apply a trend line to your visualization. Select Moving Average if you want to smooth out fluctuations in data so you can more clearly gauge patterns and trends. Select Linear if you want to see a straight line, indicating the general direction in which your data is heading. When you select either option, a line is added to your chart. If you also select Show as cumulative, the trend line is drawn using cumulative data. Trend lines exclude data from incomplete, partial periods.

Notes:

Trend lines are only applicable to bar, column, and line / area chart types. However, they do not apply to the stacked variations of bar, column, and area charts. If your metric includes trend lines, your visualization will default to a column chart.

For the trend line option to be available, dates must display on the x axis (unless it's a bar chart, in which case, dates must display on the y axis).

  • Colours - Choose to apply colours to a metric either by data label, where the same colour will be used for all data labels with the same name (for example, every instance of “Canada” will display as “red”), or by display order, where colours are applied to data labels in the order in which they display (beginning with the first colour in the palette being applied to the first data label in a chart, and continuing through the palette colours and data labels in order).

In the Data tab:

  • Aggregation - Choose how you want the metric's value to be aggregated over time. Available aggregation methods depend on the type of data in your metric. The selected default aggregation is based on the choice you made when creating your metric.

  • Hide blank periods - For list and pivot tables that include a date/time column, under Columns, choose to hide or display blank time periods.

  • Show as cumulative - Select this option if you want to view your metric data as a cumulative sequence. Viewing your data from this perspective illustrates growth over a time period.

  • Segment by - Choose the dimension(s) by which you want to segment your data. Breaking down your data enables you to see your business performance from different perspectives. For example, you might choose to segment your sales data based on region, sales rep, or product type.

Note: To optimize clarity in your visualization, we recommend building your metric using fewer than 20 members. If your metric includes > 20 members, all members above the first 20 will be grouped together under “Other” in your visualization.

  • Over - Choose how you want your data to be grouped. Klipfolio® automatically sets the time periodicity to use for your metric based on the date range you selected. For example, if you're viewing a date range for your data for the "Last 7 days", the auto-periodicity will be set to "Auto (Daily)". If your date range is "Last 8 weeks", the auto-periodicity will be set to "Auto (Weekly)". You can override the auto-selected time periodicity by choosing an alternate option from the drop-down list. By default, the x axis displays time but bar charts enable you to select either a time dimension to group by or a non-time-related dimension.

In the Filter tab:

  • Filters - Filter your data by selecting the members to include for each dimension. For example, if the dimension is "City", you might choose to filter on "Kingston" and "Ottawa", to see data for those specific cities. See the example below. If your metric includes a lot of members, you can use the Search feature to quickly find them.

Explore View window options

The following option displays above the metric in its Explore View window:

Learn more

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