Spotfire Property Controls like drop-down menus and list boxes can become cumbersome when a dataset has numerous variables and/or multiple data types. What if we don’t want all columns to be available to the user for industry reasons (some columns wouldn’t make sense) or simply efficiency reasons (too many columns to sift through)? What if only certain data types would be appropriate to use? Fortunately, Spotfire lets us limit these list Property Controls via Search Expression.
Maybe you’ve seen those little search boxes in Spotfire which allow you to search for data (columns, categories, etc). Maybe not, as I’m finding out even many Spotfire experts haven’t. Search Expressions act distinctly from Custom Expressions. These expressions do not use mathematical operations. They do not use brackets to denote a column. You cannot use another Document Property within the limiting expression. These expressions serve only to search for strings using a simplified language (usually with the goal of selecting or limiting something). Property Controls, Data Function Parameter windows, and the Information Designer are a few of the places you might find a Search Expression window and today’s discussion on Search Expressions will most likely apply to all of the scenarios.
So, let’s take a look at how we can use Search Expressions in different ways to control and limit the options in our list based Property Controls.
Jason is a Junior Data Scientist at Ruths.ai with a Master’s degree in Predictive Analytics and Data Science from Northwestern University. He has experience with a multitude of machine learning techniques such as Random Forest, Neural Nets, and Hidden Markov Models. With a previous Master’s in Creative Writing, Jason is a fervent believer in the Oxford comma.