Looking for answers? Want to dive in and analyze your data? In Explorer, you can investigate and learn from the data in your metrics in a personalized way. The changes you make when exploring won’t affect the underlying metric or its data or be visible to anyone but you.
Our Explorer encourages free-form analysis of single or multiple metrics, all in the same visualization. Select customized options, explore the data, and clear your settings to start over as many times as you want to. The changes you make are remembered and will display the next time you open Explorer. When you hit upon a discovery you want to share with your team, simply save the explored metric to a dashboard for easy access.
- This article assumes you're a PowerMetrics Editor. If you're a PowerMetrics Viewer, there are a few items that won't apply to you, for example, you won't be able to add new metrics to Explorer, access data feeds, edit metrics, or add explored metrics to a dashboard. Learn more about roles and permissions.
- If you want to edit a metric and change the default version of it for everyone, you can do that by opening the metric from your list of metrics or from a metric dashboard. Learn more about editing metrics.
This article includes:
- The Explorer UI
- How do I start exploring?
- What are my exploration options?
- How do I save my explored metrics?
- How do I share my explored metrics?
The Explorer UI
Let’s begin by taking a look at the Explorer UI.
In the top bar, you’ll see options to add an explored metric to a dashboard, download the visualization data as a csv, view queries (for dbt™ Semantic Layer metrics only), and reset Explorer (to remove all current metrics and settings and start over).
Note that the same actions can be accessed via the 3-dot menu. (See below.)
Under the top bar, you’ll see a list of the metrics you’re currently exploring as well as the option to add more metrics. You can explore up to 5 metrics at a time. (See below.)
The tile for each metric indicates the service the metric’s connected to and the name of the metric. Depending on the metric type and configuration, you may also see the aggregation type. (See below.) You can replace a metric tile with a different metric by clicking anywhere in the tile and choosing a metric from the list that displays. Note: For calculated metrics, if you click in the tile you can view the calculation and select each metric to go to its homepage.
If you click the 3-dot menu, you’ll see the option to move the metric right or left (in the list and in the visualization below). You can also select the metric name to open a second menu where you can either click Open to open an overview of the metric in a new tab or click About to see more details about the metric. In addition, you can click Remove to remove the metric from Explorer. For custom metrics, when the option to override default aggregation is enabled, you can view and, optionally, change the aggregation type (note - you can also do this by clicking anywhere in the metric tile). (See below.)
Note: For calculated metrics, the option to change the aggregation type is not available. This is because the values shown for calculated metrics are the result of a formula, and not the result of an aggregated set of values. We don't recommend modifying the default aggregation for instant metrics, as they're created for you using the most appropriate settings.
Note: If you're exploring your data visualized as a scatter, bubble, or combination chart, you’ll see Change metric here instead of Remove. Learn more about exploring scatter, bubble, and combination charts.
Under the metric tiles, you’ll see the metric exploration window. Along the top, the date range displays, along with any filters you’ve applied. To see a tooltip that lists the members for each filter, hover over the filter area. Tip: If your browser window is too narrow to list all of the filters you've applied, click the Filters applied button.
The metric you’re exploring displays as a chart in the main window. The metric settings panel displays on the right. (See below.)
How do I start exploring?
In the Explorer, you can analyze metrics that are already in your account or add new metrics to explore.
- Explorer can accommodate up to 5 metrics at a time. This limit applies to chart types that support adding multiple metrics to a single visualization (all chart types, except pie, donut, summary, ranked table, tree map, and waterfall charts). When adding metrics to Explorer, if you see this message “You have added the maximum number of metric slots in Explorer” and the +Add metric button is inactive, it means you’ve used all of the available metric slots. The Explorer metric slot limit doesn’t apply to scatter, bubble, and combination charts as they each use a specific number of metrics (as defined by their visualization type). Learn more about exploring scatter, bubble, and combination charts.
To start exploring:
- Click in the left navigation sidebar.
- If you haven’t added any metrics yet to Explorer, click the button.
If you’ve already added some metrics to Explorer and want to add more, click the +Add metric button that displays beside the already added metrics. (See below.)
- On the Select metrics page, optionally, use the Search (enter the metric name), Service, and Display filters to narrow down your list of available metrics.
- Click the button for each existing metric you want to explore. You can fill up to 5 metric slots.
- You can also create new metrics for exploration on this page by clicking the Add new metrics button.
- When you’re finished selecting metrics, click Done.
What are my exploration options?
In Explorer, you modify your personal view of one or more metrics. There are too many customization options to list them all (they’re described in detail below). Here are just a few: Choosing different chart types and styles, segmenting your data to break it down and see it from different perspectives, applying filters, and selecting different date ranges. As you select options, your changes are instantly reflected in the visualization.
This section includes:
Choosing a date range
The metric’s date range displays in the top left of the metric exploration window. (See below.)
This is where you choose the date range you want to display for your metric. Select from our pre-set options, for example, "Auto", "Maximum date range", "Today", "Yesterday", "Month to date", "This year", and "Year to date" or click "Custom" to apply a unique date range. Learn more about the difference between “Auto” and “Maximum” date range filters.
You may notice some date ranges are not available. That's because the range of historical data you can access is dependent on your pricing plan. Learn more about stored data history and the date range window.
Note: When you select “Since” as a custom date range setting, you choose a start date. The end date is based on the last day in your metric’s data or the last day that’s available to display based on your plan limit - whichever comes first.
Metric filters display beside the date range in the top of the metric exploration window. Filter your data by selecting the members to include for each dimension. For example, if the dimension is "Channel", you might choose to filter on "Email", "Organic Search", and “Referral” to see data for those specific channels. See the example below. If your metric includes a lot of members, you can use the Search feature to quickly find them.
Note: If there are filters that only apply to some of the metrics you’re exploring, you can see those details by clicking the filter information area, as shown below:
Choosing metric settings
Explore your metric by selecting options in the metric settings panel (located on the right side of the metric exploration window). The metric view dynamically updates with each choice you make.
This section describes all metric setting options. Note, however, that the availability of options depends on the metric data and chosen chart type/style.
Metric setting options:
- Aggregation - Aggregating data is a process wherein many values are returned as a single value, for example, as a sum, an average, a count of rows, a max, and a min. Available aggregation methods depend on the type of data in your metric.
Note: When metrics are created, they’re automatically visualized using the most appropriate aggregation type. We don’t recommend changing the default aggregation type for a metric visualization as doing so also changes the meaning of the data being shown.
For custom metrics, where the option to override default aggregation is enabled, you can see the aggregation setting in each metric tile (above the metric exploration window). Either click the aggregation type in the metric tile, for example, or click the 3-dot menu and select Aggregation.
- 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. This option is accessed by clicking the 3-dot menu and selecting Aggregation.
Note: This choice is available for custom metrics when the option to “override default aggregation” is enabled. Showing data as a cumulative sequence is not applicable to instant metrics or dbt™ Semantic Layer metrics or for any metric with the aggregation set to average, count rows, max, or min.
- 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. Learn more about our chart types and styles.
- Wrap text - For all table styles, choose to wrap the text in columns. For pivot tables, you can define the number of wrapped rows (2 to 5) to maintain a consistent row height across the table.
- 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. This option is available for line charts and radar plots.
- Show values as labels - Display values as labels in your chart. This option is not available for tables, summary charts, or scatter / bubble charts.
- Show points - Choose to display points in the visualization. This option is available for the following chart types: Line and combination charts.
- Line thickness - Choose line thickness for line and area charts. For area charts, you can also choose “none” to remove lines from the chart.
- Fill area - Choose from a gradient (the default choice) or solid fill area. Applicable to area charts only.
- 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.
- 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. 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. PowerMetrics 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.
Note: Quarterly time periods are designated as follows: Q1 starts Jan 1st, Q2 starts Apr 1st, Q2 starts Jul 1st, and Q4 starts Oct 1st.
- Goal - If a goal has been added to the metric, you can display it in Explorer by clicking the drop-down arrow under Goal and selecting the goal to display. If you don’t want to display a goal, select None.
Note: If the goal doesn’t display, you’ll need to align the visualization settings with those of the goal by clicking Match settings. If you want to return to the previous visualization settings, you’ll need to do so manually. The settings won’t auto-revert if you stop displaying the goal.
- 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 exploration must be set to a time period that enables a comparison. For example, if you set the date range to Auto or Maximum date range, it will not be possible to compare to a different time period. If you choose to display a legend for the chart, the comparative period will display as the last item (when reading from left to right). You can click its name in the legend to show and hide it in the chart.
For line and area charts, the comparative period's data displays as a grey dashed line.
For bar and column charts, the comparative period's data displays as lighter-coloured bars and columns.
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. For more information, hover over the value to see a detailed tool tip.
- 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. Note: If an asterisk (*) displays after the value, this indicates the comparison period is incomplete. Hover over the value to see a detailed tool tip.
- When comparing, if there is no difference in values, no data available to compare to, or the time period set for the exploration is not suitable for a comparison (for example, the date range is set to “Auto” or "Maximum date range") then the chart displays “--”.
- Sort - Sorting options depend on the selected chart type and style. For example, with stacked area charts, you can sort the x-axis and legend items, with pie charts, you can sort the order of slices in the pie, and with pivot tables, you can sort the order of rows and columns. For list and pivot tables, you can also apply sorting dynamically by clicking on the column headers in the visualization.
If, after applying sort to a visualization, you want to return to the original data order, re-select your previously selected sort options.
Note: The sorting feature is not applicable to summary, scatter, and bubble charts, or tree maps. Ranked tables have their own built-in sorting.
- Analyses - Here you’ll find several options for analyzing data trends. To see the current data without any analytic overlay, select No analysis. To see a straight line, indicating the general direction of your data, select Linear trend. To smooth over fluctuating data select Moving average. To look at past behaviour and identify outliers (values outside the normal range), select Normal range (paid plans only). Learn more about normal range analysis. To see a prediction of future metric performance, select Forecast (paid plans only). Learn more about forecast analysis.
For Moving average and Linear analysis: The trend line is added to the horizontal axis title and a dashed line is added to the chart. If you also select “Show as cumulative” the trend line is drawn using cumulative data. Trend lines are applicable to bar, column, and line / area chart types (but not their stacked variations). A metric that doesn’t have multiple time values will default to a bar chart instead of a line chart. For these options to be available, dates must display on the x-axis (unless it's a horizontal bar chart, in which case, dates must display on the y-axis).
For Normal range analysis: The range is added to the horizontal axis title and a shaded area indicating the range of expected (normal) data is added to the chart. Outliers (values that are outside the normal range) display as red (below normal) and green (above normal). The colours associated with above and below normal depend on whether you selected to show ascending or descending values as positive when creating or editing the metric and configuring its favourable trend settings. This option is applicable to unsegmented, non-cumulative bar and line charts that have time on the x-axis (or on the y-axis for horizontal bar charts). Note: The Normal range option is not available if you also select “Show as cumulative”.
For Forecast analysis: The forecast data is added to the horizontal axis title and a shaded cone-shaped area and dotted line are added to the chart. This option is applicable to unsegmented, non-cumulative line charts that have time on the x-axis. Note: The Forecast option is not available if you also select “Show as cumulative”.
- Hide blank periods - For list and pivot tables that include a date/time column, under Columns, choose to hide or display blank time periods.
How do I save my explored metrics?
Only one exploration can take place at a time. If you want to save an explored metric and its settings, add it to a dashboard.
To add an explored metric to a dashboard:
- In Explorer, click the drop-down arrow in the Add to dashboard button and either add it to an existing dashboard or to a new, empty dashboard. (See below.)
- On the dashboard, click Save.
How do I share my explored metrics?
When you’re ready to share your explored metrics, add them to a dashboard (see above) and share from there. When you share metrics via a dashboard, you can give edit or view only access to recipients so they can actively interact with them based on the permissions you’ve granted. Learn more about sharing metrics and dashboards.
- Exploring scatter, bubble, and combination charts
- Segmenting and filtering your data (video)
Note: We’ve made a few changes to the UI since this video was recorded. Most importantly, filter settings are now located in the metric exploration window (instead of in the metric settings panel on the right). In addition, options in the metric settings panel are all listed together, instead of being divided under separate tabs.