Gauges 101

Kristian Munoz -

 
 

Gauges are the backbone of the BrightGauge app. They are what turn your raw data into useful metrics, represented in modules that can be used in reports and dashboards.  

Generating a Gauge

While logged into BrightGauge, click on the green "+" on the top right hand corner of the screen and select
"Gauge". 

 

 

Selecting a Dataset

The information represented in gauges is based off the fields pulled in from the datasources by the datasets. Different datasets pull in different data and fields, such as ticketing information, time entry information, machine information, etc. and with custom datasources and datasets, the possibilities are endless. Apart from the data itself, datasets also have different configurations such as how far back in time the data is pulled from and the dashboard refresh cycle frequency.

Once a gauge is generated, you are navigated to the "Pick A Dataset" page, where you are prompted to choose the desired dataset that the gauge will be built from. Using the drop down menus, you must first choose a "Datasource" and then the desired "Dataset". When clicking on the datasets, you are given a brief description of each including its configurations and a preview of each field it pulls in. (For more information on datasets, please feel free to refer to the these articles.)

Once the desired dataset has been chosen, click on the blue "Continue" button on the bottom right hand corner to move on.  

Data Settings

Once you've selected a dataset, you are navigated to the Gauge Builder, where you will construct and configure your gauge. By default, the first section of the Gauge Builder you are redirected to is the "Data" settings page. Here you will configure what makes the gauge actually function, the data components. 

 

 

Chart Types

Under the Data Settings, the first step will be to choose the chart type or style to be represented in the gauge. By default the gauge is set to "Table Gauge", but you can easily change this by clicking on the desired type icon. (Hovering over the icons provides the names of each for reference.)

Depending on the chart type, there are different components that make up the inner workings and configuration of the gauges. When first selecting a chart type for a new gauge, a brief explanation is illustrated on where the key components appear on the chosen gauge type. These different components are explained in further detail below.

 

Measures, Dimensions, Filters

 

     Table        Gauge 

 

Column Chart Gauge

  

  Line Chart   Gauge

  

  Bar Chart   Gauge 

 

Pie Chart Gauge

  

Leaderboard Gauge

These six gauges are made up of three key parts: 

Measures are the mathematical portion of a gauge. (Count, Count Distinct , Min, Max, Sum, Average).(For more detailed information on measures, please feel free to refer to this article. )

Dimensions are what group, or dice up, the data being "measured". This is commonly known as a pivot. (For more detailed information on dimensions, please feel free to refer to this article. )

Filters are what allow you to refine the data to only show what you need.(For more detailed information on gauge filters, please feel free to refer to this article. )

To configure each of the three parts mentioned above, in the Gauge Builder simply drag and drop a field from the list on the left hand side, to the desired slots on the top of the page: measure, dimensions, and/or filter.

Once fields are dropped into either of the three slots, a pop-over will appear for further configurations corresponding to the slot. (Ex. The measure slot will prompt you to choose which operation to use once you've added a field, for instance "Count". The dimension slot might prompt you to specify how you would like to group your dates if using a date field, such as by "week" or "month". Filters will prompt you to select and/or enter the desired condition you would like to filter for.)

Please feel free to refer to this short video. 

 

Note that each field has a symbol that identifies what kind of field it is (Text, Number, Date, or Boolean). For a better understanding of the kind of data each field pulls in, clicking on the green eye icon on bottom right of the screen reveals a table with sample data. (Please note that this is not the raw data from the database, this is simply sample data.)

 

 

Number Gauge

Progress Gauge

Number and Progress Gauges function very similarly to the previous gauge types mentioned, with the only difference being that they do not use a Dimension; they only use a Measure and Filters. The reason for this is because they simply displays one number or value, so there is no function for Dimensions which are what group (or pivot) the data in gauges with axes. Therefore, if a dimension is set on a gauge, the "Number Gauge" and "Progress Gauge" chart types will be disabled and the following message will de displayed.

When configuring a Number Gauge there are some cases where even with a good title, it may be difficult to interpret the data a Number Gauge is actually representing. For this reason, we have included a label that is displayed under the number which you can edit as desired. (An example is shown below, where at first it is not clear what unit of time the gauge is representing.)

 

When configuring a Progress Gauge, there are three main parts:

-The actual value being measured/calculated which is displayed in the center of the gauge (and by the actual bar or fill of the gauge.)

-The minimum and the maximum values (or goals), displayed on the ends of the gauge. (The Min and Max values must be manually configured under the Design Settings for gauge. More information can be found in this section of the article below.)

 

Display Columns

 

List Gauge

Sometimes viewing the raw data is just what you need. This is possible using the List Gauge chart type, which allows you to simply choose the fields you need and list them exactly as they appear in the database. To configure the "Display Columns" for a list gauge, in the Gauge Builder simply drag and drop the desired fields from the list on the left hand side, to the Display Columns bar on the top of page and click apply. Make sure to place the fields in the desired order, as this is how they will appear on the list gauge. Once the columns are all set, you can use filters just like in other gauges to view the exact data that you want to see. (Formatting the column headers for a List gauge, is described in the Formatting section below under "Design Settings".)

 

Design Settings

Once you've configured the Data Settings for your gauge, you can give it a more personalized feel by configuring its Design Settings. 

To access the Design settings page, in the gauge builder, click on the "Design" option under the BrightGauge logo on the top left of the screen.

 

On the "Design Settings" page, you will see the following sections on the left hand side bar:

 

Formatting

In this section, you see a list of all the fields being used in the gauge under their original names (or labels) as they appear in the database, along with the kind of field they are (number, text, date, or boolean). For certain charts, the labels and formats of these fields are used within certain visual parts of the gauge and must sometimes be formatted or renamed in order to better fit the gauge.

Table and List Gauges use these fields as column headers.

Layered gauges create series' that are also displayed in these fields. The names of these fields can then appear in the gauge's Legend and/or Tool Tip.

The labels for these fields can all be edited by simply clicking on them, typing the desired text, and then clicking "Apply".

Apart from changing the labels for Number fields, the number formatting itself can also be edited.

Whether if it is to include decimals, computer notations, or percentages, we have multiple number formats to fit your needs. 

For more detailed information on how to configure number formatting, please refer to this article. 

 

Colors and Thresholds

Please note that we are currently updating our videos, so the location/positioning of a few things may be different, but the functionality is still the same. Thresholds and colors no longer reside under the "Advanced" tab, they are now a part of the "Design" settings tab.

When viewing a gauge, it is sometimes easy to overlook or skim past a piece of information that might be showing some key information. What better way to prevent this then by highlighting certain information based on conditions using colored thresholds or icons. 

To set a threshold, simply click on the desired field on the list on the left hand side, configure the conditionals, along with the color/icon, on the popover that appears, and click on on "Apply". 

Currently thresholds can only be set for the following field types:

Numbers - by using logical and comparison operations (>,<, =, etc) to set a condition.

Text - by using an EXACT text string to set a condition. (Wildcards (%) are not supported.)

Multiple thresholds can be added for the same field but with different conditionals by using the green "+" icon on the popover. (To remove a conditional, simply click on the "Remove" button below the desired conditional and click "Apply".)

Please note that Tables, Bar Charts, Column Charts, and Lists support thresholds for both of the field types above, Number and Progress Gauges support only number fields, and Pie Charts only support text fields. 

 

 

 

Global Settings

In this section, you will see a list of further features that can be configured for the design of the gauge. Depending on the chart type, different Global Settings are available to be customized: 

Tooltip Display - Available for Column, Line, and Bar charts, this is a label, or "tip", that is available to help view and interpret specific values on graphs easier.

By default the Tooltip will show the X and Y values for a specific category/section, but this can be edited using the text box in the popover. There are available tokens that can be used to format the Tooltip or hard written text can also be entered. (A list of available tokens can be viewed by hovering over the "Tooltip Formatting" link.) A neat formatting command that can be used in this text box is the "bolding" feature, to outline certain parts of the tooltip. To bold text or tokens, simply wrap them with 4 asterisks, two before it and two after it.
( Ex.  **{x_val}**: {y_val}  -->  Admin: 207 )

The Tooltip feature can be toggled to be visible "Always" or "On Hover" over values. 

An example of editing the tooltip, including changing the tokens, is shown below. In this dual dimension gauge we might want to view each section of a bar (or series name) broken down individually, rather than the information for the bar as a whole. 

Label Format - Available for Pie charts, this serves the same function as the "Tooltip Display" explained above, but with slight differences.

Compared to the Tooltip Displays, the Label Format is used for the same purpose and can be edited in the same manner. The two differences are:

-The tokens that are available to be used, as Pie Charts depict data differently then other graphs. (Particularly the percentage of a whole aspect.)

-The Label Format can not be toggled to "Always" or "On Hover" like the Tooltip Display. The reason for this is that pie charts need these labels "Always On" to correctly depict data, as they do not have any axes.

Show Legend - Available for Column, Line, Bar, and Pie charts, a legend is available to help view and interpret sections/groups on graphs easier. By default this feature is turned off, but can be toggled on with a simple click.

Sort - When representing data in any of our gauges, it is sometimes best to display it sorted in a certain manner. To sort the data in a gauge, click on the "Sort" option, select the field you would like to sort by and whether you'd like to sort in Ascending or Descending order.

Description - Customizable for all gauges, this section is designed to include a brief description about the purpose/configuration of the gauge. To include a description for a gauge, click on the description option, enter the desired text into the text box, and click "Apply". The description can be viewed on dashboards or the gauge list, by clicking on the "i" icon next to the gauge titles an also by hovering on over the gauges list when editing a dashboard or report.

Limit - When representing data in any of our gauges (with the exception of number gauges), it is sometimes useful to limit the data in a certain manner. Selecting a limit, determines the numbers of results that a gauge will show. For example, combining this limit setting along with the sort option, we can create a metrics such as "25 Most Installed Applications" or "Top 10 Active Clients". 

Min, Max - When Using a "Progress Gauge", the Minimum and Maximum values for the gauge must be entered manually here in this section. (Minimum being the smallest value possible and maximum being the "goal".)

 

As of 10-Mar-2017, Line Charts now have a new option where you can show the charts as cumulative.  

Screen_Shot_2017-03-12_at_2.34.04_PM.pngScreen_Shot_2017-03-12_at_2.34.14_PM.png

As of 17-Mar-2017, you can now put a Goal Line in your line charts from Design Settings.

Screen_Shot_2017-03-27_at_4.45.34_PM.png

Axis Configuration

Configurable for Column, Line, and Bar Charts, this section allows you to edit the axes settings including the labels and scale.

Clicking on the "X Axis" option, brings up a popover with the following options:

-A text box that allows you to edit the main label of the axis. This title is used to give a better understanding on what the axis is displaying. (By default this will be the name of the field used as the dimension of the gauge.)

-A checkbox to select the option to "Angle Labels". This option toggles whether the individual labels for the sections of the graph will be vertically oriented or angled. This option is normally used to make the labels a bit easier to read, along with accommodating them to prevent them from taking up too much space on the graph. Using option usually depends on the lengths of the labels and/or the number of groups being shown in the graph. (By default this will be checked on.)

-A checkbox to select the option to "Show Labels". This option toggles whether or not to show the X Axis labels on the graph. Depending on the size of the graph along with where and how it is being used, some might opt to not show these labels on the X Axis itself, but better on the "Tooltip Display". (Information on "Tooltip Display" can be found in the previous section, "Global Settings".)

Clicking on the "Y Axis" option, brings up a popover with the following options:

-A text box that allows you to edit the main label of the axis. This title is used to give a better understanding on what the axis is displaying. (By default this will be the name of the field used as the dimension of the gauge.)

-A text box that allows you to edit the "Minimum" number displayed on the scale. This number is initially determined automatically depending on the values being displayed on the graph, but you are given the option to edit this to best fit your needs. 

-A text box that allows you to edit the "Maximum" number displayed on the scale. This number is initially not configured (meaning there is no limit on the scale), but you are given the option to edit this to best fit your needs. 

-A text box that allows you to edit the "Interval" in which the scale is counting by. This number is initially determined automatically depending on the values being displayed on the graph, but you are given the option to edit this to best fit your needs. 

 

Drilldown

When viewing a gauge, it is sometimes best to be able to view a breakdown of what data exactly makes up the metric. For example, in a Column Chart Gauge displaying a count of currently open tickets by client, viewing a list of the actual tickets for each client could be very useful. 

The Drilldown feature allows just this, by allowing you to configure a "list" that pops up when clicking a value on a gauge. By default this feature is not activated on gauges, but can easily be configured for all gauge types (with the exception of List Gauges. Reason being that Drilldown is a essentially a "list gauge", therefore any field that you would want to see in the Drilldown, can be added to a List Gauge itself.)

To access the Drilldown settings page, in the gauge builder, click on the "Drilldown" option under the BrightGauge logo on the top left of the screen.

 

To configure the "Columns" to be displayed in the Drilldown, simply drag and drop the desired fields from the list on the left hand side, to the "Columns" bar on the top of page. As the fields are dropped in the "Columns" sections, you are prompted with a popover that allows you to edit the field name as to how you would like it to appear on the column header. Once you're done editing the field, click "Apply". Make sure to place the fields in the desired order, as this is how they will appear on the list gauge.

Please feel free to refer to this short video.

Once a gauge is saved with Drilldown, the feature can be accessed on either Dashboards, Reports, or the Gauge Builder, by simply clicking on any gauge value. As demonstrated below, while viewing the Drilldown for a gauge, the information can be temporarily sorted for better analysis by clicking on the desired column header. 

 

Usage

Curious to know if a gauge is being used somewhere? The "Usage" tab highlights where exactly in the app a gauge is being used. If you click on one of the links, it will take you to that section of the app where the gauge is being used in a new tab.

 

 

Video Tutorials 

For more information on our Gauge Builder, please feel free to refer to the following article to view our guided video tutorials with audio commentary.

Building Gauges [Quick Video Tutorials]

 

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Derek Leichty

    Is there a way to format how a text column displays? We have a report we run where clients respond to surveys. Sometimes they leave comments, but sometimes they just give a score. We would like "null" to display as whitespace, but need those results to still show in the gauge.

  • Avatar
    Jess Pchajek

    It would help if this information was more current. The screenshots must be showing info from an older version, I don't have "Advanced Settings", mine says "Usage". I'm looking for the instructions on how to configure conditionals, but they don't seem to function the same way as they used to.

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