SlicingDice Documentation

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3. Creating a Chart

On this page we explain how to create and customize a new chart using our Data Visualization module.

Charts are the basis of data visualization. Creating simple charts with our data visualization module takes less than a minute, but they are deeply customizable. We will show some key chart concepts and detail every aspect of charts in the following pages.

Working with measures, dimensions and calculations

To create charts, you have to be familiar with three key concepts:

  • Measures are numbers, or quantitative values. For example, number of orders, number of users, Profit, Price and so on.

  • Dimensions are categories by which you group your measures, for example country, product category or employee.

  • You can also add Calculations in the place of Measures. Calculations are mathematical formulas applied on measures, so you can have refined results shown on your charts. Example: [Total number of sales] - [Total number of returns]


Do not mistake chart creation dimensions, which are qualitative data columns, with your database dimensions, which are groups of columns.

Watch this quick video below to learn step-by-step how measures, dimension and calculations are the fundamental aspects of chart creation.

How to create charts

Watch this quick video below to learn step-by-step how to add a data chart using the Control Panel. We'll detail it step-by-step below.

Creating a chart step-by-step

Step 1 - Open the Chart designer

There are several ways to get to the charts designer:
For this example we will click on the green "+" button on the bottom right of the screen and click on "Saved Chart"

You can also access it:

  • From the Dashboards page, click the plus button in the bottom right corner. Select Blank. From the Dashboard editor, choose INSERT button and click Chart.
  • From the Saved charts page, click the plus button in the bottom right corner.
  • From the Presentations page, click the plus button in the bottom right corner. From the Presentation editor, choose INSERT button and click Chart

NOTE: Dashboards are groups of charts, text and media content. We will show you how to create dashboards and presentations further along our documentation.

Step 2 - Choose a dataset

Next, you will have to select where your data is coming from.

Select a database and the select the dataset you want to use to create your chart.

Step 3 - Choose a chart type

Once you chose the data source, you’ll see the Choose a chart type dialog window. Be sure to explore all the different chart types to choose the that best suits your needs. For this example, we will create a bar chart.

20+ chart types to choose from.

20+ chart types to choose from.

Step 4 - Working with measures and dimensions

Then, add a dimension (qualitative) for the Category axis.

Decide which measure (quantitative) you wish to focus on for the chart, and then select the appropriate aggregation type for your measure (for example, sums for total sales or averages for a percentage).

5 clicks !

5 clicks !

Done. Your chart will appear on the screen.

Whenever you're finishing editing your chart, just click DONE at the top right corner of the Chart editor. The chart will be added to a dashboard/saved charts/presentation (depending on the way you start the chart creation). You can always get back to chart editing by selecting the chart and clicking Edit chart from the gear wheel menu.

Do not forget to save your chart/dashboard on the disk icon next to it's name.

Optional chart configuration and refinement

As our data visualization module is deeply customizable, you have a lot of options to edit and refine charts. You can add filters, sorting, or customize the chart. To do that, select the appropriate tab in the *Edit Chart menu or select the option you wish when clicking the gear wheel icon.

Step 5 - Add filters (optional)

Filters are an important feature of the data visualization module that enables you to choose information you don’t want to include in your data analysis, and that should not be displayed on the chart. You can add filters to an entire dashboards or just to individual charts.

To add a filter to a chart, from the Filters page of the Chart editor, select a measure or a dimension.

There are 3 types of filters in the data visualization module:

  • Filter by measure
  • Filter by dimension
  • Filter by time and date

Let’s go through each of them.

Filter by Measure

When applying a measure to filter field, SlicingDice automatically generates the following dialogue:

By default, filters use aggregated values which are displayed on the chart. To use raw values from the source, enable the Apply filter to raw data option.

Under the Show values which are menu the following filter types available:

  • Greater than – shows data with values greater than your input.
  • Greater than or equal – shows data with values greater than or equal to your input.
  • Less than – shows data with values lower than your input.
  • Less than or equal – shows data with values lower than or equal to your input.
  • Equal – shows data with values equal to your input.
  • Not equal – shows data with values not equal to your input.
  • Between – shows data with values greater or equal than your 'from' input and lower or equal than your 'to' input.
  • Not between - shows data with values lower or equal than your 'from' input or greater or equal than your 'to' input.

Filter by Dimensions

When you add a dimension to filters, the data visualization module automatically generates the following dialogue:

To select individual elements that should be included or not, use the Select tab. Check all the elements you need. And remember the search tool is there to help you.

To select the elements that match an expression (string), click the Wildcard tab. You can include or exclude elements that contain/start/end/match an expression. For example, you can select all URLs that contain /share/.

To select top/bottom N elements from your dimension, choose the Top tab. Then choose Top or Bottom from the pane, how many elements are to be selected and the measure by which they will be aggregated. You can check "Show excluded items" to reverse the filter and show data that does not match these conditions.
Please note that these elements won’t be included into sorting and will be always displayed at the end of charts (for pie charts – at the top left).

Filter by Time and Date

In the "Filter" menu you can also filter the chart by time periods. Simply select a date index and choose any period option you need. A "floating range" is a time period that varies with the current date (i.e. "From 10 days ago to 2 days ago")

Don’t forget to click APPLY at the top right corner of the pane when the filter is ready.

Since time and date are also dimensions, you can switch to the List view, specify the level and choose separate years/months/days in the filter.

NOTE: You can’t add more than 3 date filters to one chart.

Step 6 - Add sorting

The data visualization module offers the ability to sort and order data in various ways. This is when you have a table and you would like, for example, the top sales to be in the top rows. Also, you can use this to order a bar chart so that the longest bars are at the top and the shortest ones are at the bottom.

To sort / order data, go to the Sort page of the Chart designer and select one of the dimensions which are added to a chart.

The data visualization generates the following dialogue:

  • Data source order – the default sorting of elements of a selected dimension. They appear as they come from the dataset.
  • Alphabetic – you can order elements by the alphabet ascending (from A to Z) or descending (from Z to A).
  • Measure – sort elements ascending or descending by measure.
  • Manual – you can move elements up and down to let them go as you want.

Don’t forget to click APPLY at the top right corner of the Sort pane to add sorting to a chart.

Step 7 - Customize your chart

SlicingDice's data visualization module allows you incredible freedom in customization options. Select colors, tooltip style or enable drilling from the Chart tab of the Format page. Change the title, labels style or add trendline from the Elements tab. Save the chart style as a template for future charts on the Style tab. Those menus are detailed but very self-explanatory. We will detail them further over the next pages of our documentation.