Using Search and BI Ask

This topic describes how you can search for objects, projects, and columns. This topic also describes how you can use BI Ask to create impromptu visualizations

Visualizing Data with BI Ask

Use BI Ask to enter column names into the search field, select them, and quickly see a visualization containing those columns. You can use this functionality to perform impromptu visualizations without having to first build a project.

  1. On the Home page, click the Find content or visualize data field.
  2. Enter your criteria. As you enter the information, the application returns search results in a drop-down list. If you select an item from this drop-down list, then your visualized data is displayed.
    • What you select determines the data source for the visualization, and all other criteria that you enter is limited to columns or values in that data source. The name of the data source you’re choosing from is displayed in the right side of the Find content or visualize data field. Note the following BI Ask search and visualization example:

      Description of biask_search_01.gif follows
      Description of the illustration biask_search_01.gif

    • You can use the Find content or visualize data field to search for projects and visualizations or to use BI Ask. When you enter your initial search criteria, the drop-down list contains BI Ask results, which are displayed in the Visualize data using section of the drop-down list. Your initial search criteria also build a search string to find projects and visualizations. That search string is displayed in the Search results containing section of the drop-down list and is flagged with the magnifying glass icon. See Search Tips.

      Description of biask_search_popup_list_01.gif follows
      Description of the illustration biask_search_popup_list_01.gif

  3. Enter additional criteria in the search field, select the item that you want to include, and the application builds your visualization.
    • Enter the name of the visualization that you want your results to be displayed in. For example, enter scatter to show your data in a scatter plot chart, or enter pie to show your data in a pie chart. The visualization types that you can specify in BI Ask are: area chart, bar chart, bubble chart, funnel chart, gauge, geo map, geographical map, heat map, horizontal bar chart, horizontal stacked bar chart, line bar chart, line chart, pareto chart, pie chart, pipeline, pivot table, radar chart, scatter plot chart, stacked bar chart, tree map, vertical bar chart, vertical stacked bar chart, and waterfall chart.
    • Click Change Visualization Type to apply a different visualization to your data.
    • Click Open in Data Visualization to further modify and save the visualization.
  4. To clear the search criteria, in the Find content or visualize data field, click the X icon.

Searching for Projects and Visualizations

From the Home page you can quickly and easily search for saved objects.

Folders and thumbnails for objects that you have recently worked with are displayed on the Home page. Use the search field to locate other content.
Note that in the search field you can also use BI Ask to create spontaneous visualizations. See Visualizing Data with BI Ask.
  1. On the Home page, click the Find content or visualize data field.
  2. Enter your search criteria by typing either keywords or the full name of an object such as a folder or project. As you enter your criteria, the system builds the search string in the drop-down list. See Search Tips.

    The drop-down list contains results that match saved objects, but also can contain BI Ask search results. To see object matches (for example, folders or projects), click the row with the magnifying glass icon (located at the top of the drop-down list in the Search results containing section). Note that any BI Ask matches are displayed in the Visualize data using section of the drop-down list and are flagged with different icons.

    Description of biask_search_popup_list_01.gif follows
    Description of the illustration biask_search_popup_list_01.gif

  3. In the Search results containing section of the drop-down list, click the search term that you want to use.
    The objects that match your search are displayed in the Home page.
  4. To clear the search criteria, in the Find content or visualize data field, click the X icon.

Search Tips

You must understand how the search functionality works and how to enter valid search criteria.

Wildcard Searches

You can use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard when searching. For example, you can specify *forecast to find all items that contain the word “forecast. ” However, using two wildcards to further limit a search returns no results (for example, *forecast*).

Meaningful Keywords

When you search, use meaningful keywords. If you search with keywords such as by, the, and in it returns no results. For example, if you want to enter by in the search field to locate two projects called “Forecasted Monthly Sales by Product Category” and “Forecasted Monthly Sales by Product Name,” then it returns no results.

Items Containing Commas

If you use a comma in your search criteria the search returns no results. For example, if you want to search for quarterly sales equal to $665,399 and enter 665,399 in the search field, then no results are returned. However, entering 655399 does return results.

Date Search

If you want to search for a date attribute, you search using the year-month-date format. Searching with the month/date/year format (for example, 8/6/2016) doesn’t produce any direct matches. Instead, your search results contain entries containing 8 and entries containing 2016.

Searching in Non-English Locales

When you enter criteria in the search field, what displays in the drop-down list of suggestions can differ depending upon your locale setting. For example, if you’re using an English locale and enter sales, then the drop-down list of suggestions contains items named sale and sales. However, if you’re using a non-English locale such as Korean and type sales, then the drop-down list of suggestions contains only items that are named sales and items such as sale aren’t included in the drop-down list of suggestions.

For non-English locales, Oracle suggests that when needed, you search using stem words rather than full words. For example, searching for sale rather than sales returns items containing sale and sales. Or search for custom to see a results list that contains custom, customer, and customers.