Charts are one of the many ways to visualize data in Centerbase.
These charts are essentially Basic Reports with visuals and will create one behind the scenes. As a result, you might see "chart" and "report" used interchangeably on the Chart Wizard. Once they've been created, the report will be saved in a report tab called "Uncategorized" and can be moved to another tab. As of right now, existing basic reports can't be turned into Charts. If you want both a Chart and a Basic Report, you'll have to create it in the Chart Wizard.
Charts created on the Centerbase web with the Chart Wizard can't be edited in the Admin Tool and vice versa. Additionally, for the time being, a Chart can only be edited and deleted by its creator.
Creating a Chart in the Chart Wizard
The Details Page
To create a new Chart*, first, click on the Add Widget button from the Dashboard.
Then, click on the Charts tab and select Create Chart.
Then, select the Item type you'd like the Chart to show and enter a unique name for it.
You can also optionally add a summary to the chart to describe what the chart reports on that will display in the Widgets Library under the Chart information.
On an existing Chart, there will be additional options.
Selecting Edit in Reports Manager will open a new tab with this Chart loaded in the Reports Manager. Changes to the Basic Report that can't be made in the Chart Wizard, such as grouping the data and setting which columns are visible on printing, can be made there.
Selecting Delete will delete the Chart and remove it from any dashboard it was on.
Once you're finished entering in information, select either Next or the Data tab at the top to move to the next page. At any point, you can use either the Next and Previous buttons or the tabs at the top to move between pages.
*NOTE: To edit an existing Chart, click on the pencil icon in the top right corner on the dashboard or underneath the Chart title in the Charts tab.
The Data Page
The next step is selecting fields. If you use a Basic Report, these fields control what the columns will be. If you choose to build a chart, these will be the fields that you can use to create the Chart on the Visualization page. A list of the fields selected will display on the left, and a preview of the Chart will display on the right. The preview grid updates as you change the fields and demonstrates what the data will look like, though it will only show ten rows to keep the site's load time minimal.
You can also reorder or remove the existing columns or add additional columns.
The Visualization Page
Like the Data Page, the Visualization Page has Chart structure controls on the left and a preview of the chart on the right. Click and drag fields from the Available Fields list into the Category, Sub Category, and/or Measured By slots to create the chart. As you add fields, the preview on the right will update immediately. For the chart to display, you'll have to have one Category field, at least one field to measure by, and at least one filter condition.
These are the available chart types to choose from and lets you set up your chart as a line chart, pie chart, bar chart, etc. To see the chart type name, hover your cursor over the icon.
Here is the complete list of available chart types:
- Spline Area
The table chart is special. Instead of displaying visuals, it lists your data. It also has the option of being a summary chart.
When Summarize is not selected, the chart is strictly a table of data and lists each record as a separate row. The columns are controlled by the fields selected on the Data Page and the order they were put in. However, the Category, Sub-Category, and Measured By controls won't change anything on the Chart with this option.
When Summarize is selected, the chart is still a table, but what would be plot points become the rows with the data. Additionally, the Category, Sub-Category, and Measured By controls still decide how the data is grouped.
Category is the primary field that you'd like to report on. It's required and can only have one field. On most chart types, this is what goes on the x-axis, though on bar charts, this will be the y-axis, and on pie, doughnut, funnel, and pyramid charts, this will be the slice. If Category is a date field, there is also the option to set the date range; the default range is monthly.
Note: a number field, such as rate or quantity, cannot be a Category.
Sub Category is an optional secondary field that allows you to break down the data into series further. It can only contain one field, and doughnut, funnel, pie, and pyramid charts don't allow a secondary field. Like Category, if this is a date field, there is also the option to set the date range; the default range is monthly. Additionally, a number field, such as rate or quantity, cannot be a Sub Category.
Measured By is a required field, and there has to be at least one field; only number fields are allowed. You can have multiple fields you're measuring by, but you can't have a Sub Category if you do. Additionally, multiple measures act like series. Doughnut, pie, funnel, and pyramid charts can only measure by one field. You can also change the field's aggregate by clicking on the blue text next to the field name.
These are the aggregate options:
- Total: sums all the values to display the total
- Average: averages all the values and displays
- Minimum: displays the smallest data value
- Maximum: displays the largest data value
Available Fields to Display
The fields listed correspond with the fields that were selected on the Data page. "Count of [Record Type]" is a special option that's always available, no matter what fields were chosen on the Data Page. Drag an option from this list to Category, Sub Category, or Measured By to build the chart. Selecting the trash can icon at any time will move the field back to this list.
This button is located in the top right corner, and clicking it opens a small panel with different options for each chart type.
The options include the following:
- Show Legend: pertains to multi-series charts; shows and hides the legend at the bottom explaining the series.
- Show Labels: shows and hides the Category labels; this is checked by default.
Example with hidden labels:
- Show Data Labels: shows and hides the text, which explains the value, next to the plot points; hiding this text can help declutter the chart. Note: stacked charts with the data labels hidden may still appear to show the data labels; the remaining label is the sum of the stacked data and, for now, cannot be hidden.
- Stacked: has to do with multi-series bar and column charts; if this is checked, it will group the series data for a category into a single bar/column.
Stacked unchecked (default):
- Scroll Chart: if there are many data points, checking this box will space out the data points and provide a scroll bar at the bottom to make the data easier to view.
Scroll unchecked (default):
- Show Anchors: this is available on line and spline charts; if this is checked, there will be a small circle for each data point, and if unchecked, it won't display the circle.
The Filter Tab
Both the Data and the Visualization pages provide a tab that allows you to make changes to the chart's filter.
The Filter view is a modified version of the query search seen in other parts of Centerbase.
Updating the query will immediately update the preview on the right side.
Almost every record type has a default report filter set up except for custom record types. If you don't have the default report filter set up for a particular record type, you may see an error stating that "a Chart must have at least one filter condition". If you're unsure how to do that, the instructions can be found here. The filter is always named "Report - [Chart Name]" and may show in other filter lists. However, it can only be edited from the Chart Wizard.
Editing the Basic Report
Some changes to the Basic Report in the Reports Manager won't affect the Chart, such as reordering the columns (unless the chart is an unsummarized table chart), setting which columns can print, and creating groups. Upon saving, a dialog will pop up asking for confirmation if you remove a column, change the field of a column, or change the Item type of the Basic Report.
If the Chart's Category, Sub Category, or Measured By is cleared as a result of changes to the Basic Report, the chart will show an error explaining why it can't display. The error can only be resolved by editing the Chart in the Chart Wizard.
If you change the type of the report from Basic to another type, a dialog will pop up saying that the Chart will be deleted. This is because Charts must have an associated Basic Report.
Setting the Default Columns Per Record Type
To set the default columns for a record type, go into the System Settings, find the Reports Manager tab, and select Set Default Columns from within the tab.
Most record types will already have fields selected, though if your firm has custom record types, there won't be any fields selected the first time you go to those settings. Clicking Save will save the default column settings for all record types. Additionally, a new Chart will load the default columns and can be tweaked.
Left and Middle Columns:
To edit the default columns for a record type, first, select the record type from the leftmost column. Then, select the fields you would like to be the default columns from the middle column. Finally, the rightmost column will have all of the fields that will be default ones and they can be reordered, or you can select the trash can icon to remove a field.
Setting the Default Filter Per Record Type
To set the default filter for a record type, go into the System Settings, find the Reports Manager tab, and select Set Default Filters from within the tab.
Like the default columns, most record types will already have filters set, though if your firm has custom record types, there won't be a filter set the first time you go to those settings. Unlike the default column settings, clicking Save will only save the default filter for the current record type. New Charts will load the default filter for the record type and can be tweaked. The default filter may show in other filter lists in Centerbase, but it can only be edited in the System Settings.
To edit the default filter for a record type, first select it from the left column. Then, set the filter conditions in the right column. Charts require at least one filter condition, so a good place to start is with "where Active Status is Active".
Some filters are more efficient than others; a good filter will reduce the load time for your charts. If possible, include at least one date range in the filter and try to make it as small as possible.
Other Things to Consider
Possible Changes to the Basic Report
Similar to how changes in the Reports Manager can affect the chart, some changes made in the Chart Wizard can affect the Basic Report. Upon saving, you'll get a pop-up dialog asking for confirmation if you do any of the following: changing the record type and adding or removing a column. As a result, you may have to update the Basic Report.
Clicking on any plot point will navigate you to a search results page that displays the data making up that point.
Clicking the pencil on legacy charts will still edit them the way it did before; additionally, drill-down works the same.