Setting Properties for Columns

When you build an analysis, you can edit column properties to control the look and feel of the column. For example, you can specify that values in the Revenue column are displayed with two decimal places and a dollar sign.

  1. Open the analysis for editing.
  2. In the Selected Columns pane, click Options beside the column name, and then select Column Properties.
  3. Specify how you want column values to be displayed. See Applying Formatting to Content.
  4. Format column headings and custom text, and add data display conditions. See Formatting Columns.
  5. Specify what action you want to happen when a user clicks a column heading or value. See Adding Interactivity to Analyses.
  6. Set default column formatting. See Setting Default Formats for Your System.
  7. Click OK.

Applying Formatting to Content

You can apply basic formatting to values in many types of content including columns, views, and dashboard page sections.

For example, you might want region names in a column to be displayed as Arial 14 point and red. You might also want state names to be displayed as Calibri 12 point and blue.

  1. Open the analysis and open a column for format editing. The Column Properties dialog, Style tab is displayed.
  2. Specify the style characteristics of the column such as font, cell alignment, and border.
  3. Optionally, save the formatting for this column as the system wide default format. See Setting Default Formats for Your System.
  4. Optionally, at the top of the dialog, click Clear Cell Format to remove the specifications that you have made and to return the settings to the values that they had when defaults were last saved. To format multiple objects in the same way, click Copy Cell Format, and then paste the formatting to the appropriate place.
  5. Click OK.

Formatting Columns

When you create an analysis, you can edit properties for columns to control their appearance and layout. You can also specify formatting to apply only if the contents of the column meet certain conditions.

For example, you can specify that values that exceed $1 million in the Revenue column are displayed with a green background.

  1. Open the analysis and then open the column for format editing.
  2. In the Column Properties dialog, click the Column Format tab.
  3. To hide the column in the analyses without affecting value aggregation, select the Hide check box.
    For example, you might want to build an analysis that includes only Illinois customers. You can hide the Customers.State column because you only added this column for filtering purposes and its appearance adds no value to the analysis.
  4. To enter your own values in the Folder Heading and Column Heading fields, select Custom Headings . You can use these fields to reference variables and format the heading values. These values identify the column in the analysis. See Advanced Techniques: Referencing Stored Values in Variables.
  5. (Administrators only). To customize headings with HTML markup, including JavaScript, select Custom Heading, then select Contains HTML Markup, and then enter the HTML markup you want to apply. See Advanced Techniques: Formatting with HTML Tags.
  6. To affect the display of repeating data values for the column, select one of the Value Suppression options.
    When the same value occurs in multiple consecutive rows, you can specify to show that value only once. When you do this, it can make it easier to see the relationships in the data. For example, suppose that one column lists customer names and another column lists the regions that those customers are in. The region data could be repeated for each customer row. If you specify to not display repeated values, then the distinctions in that data can be more apparent.
  7. To override the default display of data for the column, click the Data Format tab.
    The options on the tab differ depending on the data type. For the text data type, the tab includes the Treat Text As and Custom Text Format fields. From the Treat Text As list, you can select to display the values as plain text, HTML, or a link. Based on your choice, the Custom Text Format field displays the applicable HTML string used to display the data.
  8. To specify if column values are displayed in a certain way based on certain criteria, click the Conditional Format tab. Conditional formats can include colors, fonts, images, and so on, for the data and for the cell that contains the data.

    Note:

    You can’t apply conditional formatting to the data cell background or font color in a heat matrix.
  9. Click Add Condition, and then select a column. The New Condition dialog is displayed.
  10. Select an operator such as is equal to / is in or is greater than.
  11. Specify a value for the operator by either entering a value directly (such as 1000000) or by selecting a value from the list.
  12. Optionally, click Add More Options to add a variable to the condition. See Advanced Techniques: Referencing Stored Values in Variables.
  13. Specify the formatting to apply when the condition is true. See Applying Formatting to Content.
  14. Click OK.

Making Your Analyses Dynamic

You can specify what you want to happen when a user clicks a column heading or value in an analysis. For example, you could specify that when a user clicks the Product column value, it drills down into the data that was summed to create the column value.

Adding Interactivity to Analyses

In analyses, views that display data aren’t static. You can make views dynamic by specifying the interactions that are available to those who left-click in a view or right-click to display a popup menu.

The default primary interaction is a left-click that drills down to detail in the data, if data is hierarchical.

Other interactions are available as options on a right-click popup menu. These interactions can include displaying a web page and linking views such that one view drives changes to data in one or more other views. You can also specify that no interactions are available.

For example, you can specify the default primary interaction (the left-click action) for the Region column as Drill. This enables you to drill down to information by state by left-clicking in the column.

  1. Open the analysis for editing.
  2. In the Selected Columns pane, click Options beside the column name, and then select Column Properties.
  3. In the Column Properties dialog, click the Interaction tab.

    The default primary interaction for column headings and values in views is Drill, which enables users to drill down to more detailed information.

  4. Optionally, select an interaction from the drop-down menu in the Column Heading section.
  5. Optionally, select a primary interaction from the menu in the Value section.
    Interaction Action More information

    None

    Disables all interactions on the column.

    None

    Drill (Default)

    Displays a deeper level of detailed content if the data is hierarchical. If no hierarchy is configured for the column, then drilling isn’t enabled.

    Drilling in Results

    Action Links

    Opens a web page or navigates to supporting BI content.

    Adding Actions to Analyses

    Send Master-Detail Events

    Links views so that one view drives changes in one or more other views.

    Linking Views in Master-Detail Relationships

  6. Click OK.

    You can specify the interactions that are available at runtime when you right-click a dashboard column or data cell. Here’s an example of the available interactions when you right-click a product name in the Products column. This column is in a Top Product Performers Based on Revenue table.

    Of the selections shown, you can set Drill, Create Group, and Create Calculated Item.

Making Interactions Available

When you add interactions to analyses, you then make those interactions available to others in popup menus.

  1. Open the analysis for editing.
  2. Click either the Criteria tab or the Results tab.
  3. Click Edit Analysis Properties on the toolbar.
  4. Click the Interactions tab.
  5. Select the interactions that you want to make available for that analysis.
  6. Click OK.

Setting Default Formats for Your System

If you have the appropriate privileges, then you can save the formatting of a column as default formatting. When you set a system-wide default, it can provide users with a more consistent experience and save them time when working with analyses.

For example, suppose that your organization decided to use Arial as the font family for all text columns in all analyses. Suppose that a decision is later made to switch to Times New Roman for all text columns. You can simply save Times New Roman as the system-wide default for text columns. All existing analyses that contain text columns in which the font family is specified as Default (Arial) are updated automatically. You specify a specific value, such as Arial, only when you’re certain that you want that value rather than the system default value.

A best practice is to change the default value rather than overriding the default with specific values.

  1. Open an analysis for editing.
  2. In the Selected Columns pane, click Options beside the column name, and then select Column Properties.
  3. In the Column Properties dialog, specify how you want columns to be formatted by default.
  4. Click Save as Default, and select the appropriate Save as... option.
    Option Purpose

    Reset dialog values to column defaults

    Returns the property values for the column back to the last saved default values.

    Save as the system-wide default for this column

    Save the properties as the system-wide default for this column in all analyses in which it’s used.

    Save as the system-wide default for this data type

    Save the properties as the system-wide default for all columns that have the same data type as this column.

    Note:

    You can’t save and restore the settings on the Column Properties dialog, Conditional Format tab.

    You can change a column format option if the value is set to Default (System). The column acquires whatever is currently set as the system default value.

  5. Click OK.