Here’s today’s thoughts on some quick ways to clean up a dashboard or workflow.

Use Spotfire Out-of-the-box Features

It’s sort of a no-brainer but it’s easy to fall into the trap of turning visualizations into widgets. Take for example the workflow below:

The table visualization is being used as a selector for a workflow that includes three steps. As the ultimate objective is to review the job time logs, why we don’t reduce the reliance on marking by incorporating filtering.

This way we don’t have a visualization that’s width dependent, which is better for exporting the analysis to multiple platforms.

Descriptive Table Naming

It can be frustrating to manage multiple data sources in a single DXP, especially if you find yourself merging multiple tables and trying to sustain both live and embedded tables.

Here is a list of tables, but which are embedded and which are not?

Use descriptive naming to show their source. And if you need to join an embedded table to a live table, make a separate table. For example:

[WellView] Jobs × [Embedded] Well Locations = [Joined] Well Locations and Jobs

The reason to make a separate table for a joined data table is that for whatever reason, it could become frozen after the merge. Once a table is frozen it can’t be refreshed! And it’s much easier to rebuild your join table not the original table.

Adding a Stylesheet

The new Spotfire 7 has great features for editing the coloring and spacing of visualization headers. If you want to apply a style for inside text boxes, you manually have to include style tags inside the Edit HTML dialog (the below example is from Spotfire 6.5):

If your dashboard has many pages with many text boxes this can become a nuisance to update. Maybe instead you can hide a stylesheet somewhere?

Using jQuery, you can append styles to the text area stylesheet. Since JavaScript scripts are global throughout the analysis, any changes that you make to the JavaScript will affect all the text boxes incorporating it.

That’s all for now, have a great week!

Written by Lucas Wood
I am unable to explain to my family and friends what I do for a living. ---DataShopTalk, editor., admin., data analyst.