Yellowfin 7 Tutorial Part 2 – Creating a chart

by | Jun 26, 2014

When creating a chart in Yellowfin there are multiple sources to get data in, we’ll explain each one as the tutorials go on. In this tutorial we’ll be focusing on CSV based data and existing views. Throughout the tutorials we’ll be referring to the Main Toolbar. This is the collection of buttons along the top that look like this:
Yellowfin Toolbar
Login to your Yellowfin instance and to create a report, click Create from the Main Toolbar then Report. This will take you to a screen to choose the dataset you want to create a Report from. If the dataset or view already exists in Yellowfin you can choose it from the list of available views – this will appear when you’ve selected Drag and Drop Builder from the Create Using menu. This will include any pre-defined views and any previously uploaded CSV files.
If you have a new dataset in a CSV file, you can choose CSV Import and specify the file to upload. More information about this can be found in this blog:
Click the dataset you want to use and you’ll be taken to the next screen which allows you to define the fields you want to create a report from:
Create a Chart
Linked fieldsThe section on the left lists the fields which are available from the view. Fields that can be used for drill through are linked together, choosing the highest aggregate will allow you to click through to others in the chart. In this example, choosing year, will allow you to drill through to month then day.
The middle section allows you to define Sections, Filters and chart settings, details on these can be found here:
Sections –
Filters –
Co-display –
Drill Through –
Report Data SettingsThe Report Data section allows you to customise further and shows you the dataset you’ve selected.
The Active Row Limit is the number of rows it will use for the report, this works the same as ‘Select Top 100’ in SQL. Setting this value to 0 (zero) will bring back unlimited rows. This is also something that can be setup at a data connection level, if you find you’re not getting all of your results and have it set to unlimited, this might be why. You can change the setting in the data source via Administration > Admin Console > Data Sources > Choose Data Source > Max Rows Returned value.
You can select duplicate records to be shown. They will be removed by Default (or at least it’s the default in our setup).
Switching Auto-refresh on will allow you to refresh the report at intervals on a dashboard. The refresh interval is set when saving the report.
Setting a low Preview Row Limit will speed up the time it takes to preview data and charts.
Sub Query ButtonYou can add in a second data source by using the Sub Query menu on the left. This will allow you to join two datasets together on a common identifier. It allows you to specify the way the data is joined based on standard joins in SQL. A separate blog will be posted on the advanced settings for reports which covers this.
Once you’ve setup all the data sources, it’s time to drag the fields in to either the columns or rows depending on how you want the data to display. There’s a good post in the Yellowfin wiki that explains them:
As you drag the fields across, a table will show you the data and layout.
As mentioned in the link just above, there are Dimension fields, which are normally dates or text values and Metrics that are typically currency or number values. Metrics allow you to do more calculations, Dimension fields will only allow counts. These fields are identified by their symbols:
Dim IconDimensions
Metric IconMetrics
Once you have the fields across in the columns and rows sections, you can apply some advanced functions. Hovering over the field will display an arrow, clicking it will bring up a menu where you can configure the field:
Yellowfin Field Menu
AGGREGATION & TOTALS – aggregation will give you options for grouping the data by the other fields you’ve brought through. More info can be found at:
SORT – this allows you to choose to sort either ascending or descending for this field.
ADVANCED FUNCTION – This allows you to do a calculated field. More information can be found on the Yellowfin wiki here:
FORMATTING – These options allow you to set-up the formatting for the field, along with conditional formatting based on values.
The majority of the work is done – your data is ready to go, now it’s time to visualise it.
Click Charts at the top and this will take you to the next step. Yellowfin has a function called Auto Chart, this will choose the best type of chart based on the data you put in. This can be changed by clicking on the arrow next to Auto Chart and selecting the chart type that you want. Some options are only available for certain charts, so if an option you want isn’t available, try a different chart type. More information about the varying chart types can be found here:
Drag in the fields from the left to the required axis and the chart should populate. Certain charts allow you to use colours and sizes too which are great for understanding where hotspots are.
The toolbar along the top allows you to setup the chart including formatting for all aspects of it. This link shows you the different parts you can change:
Once you’ve finished formatting the chart, you should end up with something similar to this:
Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 3.37.50 pm
That’s the basics of charts in Yellowfin. Have a play with the different settings for the chart types, changing colours, line thicknesses etc. has a huge impact on the visuals and help you get familiar with the way Yellowfin works.
One last thing – to save your chart click on the report menu at the top left, Save As will allow you to save it as a copy or Save will save over the original. You’ll find a few more options when you click them, allowing you to customise security which we’ll cover in later tutorials.
Part 1 of this blog series Yellowfin Navigation can be found here.
Keep exploring! – Daniel.

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