Business Intelligence Tools

More on Column Name Search

  • Would you like to search for column names based on part of the column name?
  • Have you ever wanted to search for column names based on more than one criteria?
  • Did you enjoy the last two posts on searching and limiting columns in data functions and property controls?

Searching has been a popular topic on Data Shop talk recently.  This post is very similar to the last two posts Jason May put out on searching and limiting based on Column Names.  His posts focus on limiting columns in data functions and property controls.  This post takes a slightly different direction and focuses on searching for columns in Spotfire in places like the Filter Panel, Data Panel, and Column Properties.  If you read those posts and this one, you’ll dramatically increase your knowledge on how to find and limit based on column names.

Users put A LOT of data into Spotfire tables.  They also add more than one table.  For example, the current project I am working on has 36 tables in it.  I’m not even going to try to count the number of columns.  Thus, knowing how to employ some of the finer points of searching in Spotfire can be really helpful anywhere you need to search for column names, such as the Filter panel, Column Properties, and the Data Panel. This post will show you two key features of search.

  1. Searching with wildcards (“*’)
  2. Searching using “and” and “or”

Wildcard Searches

Wildcard searches use the asterisk (“*”) to find non-exact string matches.  Without the wildcard, a user must enter the column name exactly.  That can be difficult or impossible if you don’t know how columns are named.  In the example shown below, the search is looking for any column with the string “filter” in the column name.  The exact column name could have other characters before or after “filter”, but as long as it contains “filter”, the column name is searchable.  Removing one of the wildcards would “turn on” exact string matching either before or after the word filter (depending on which asterisk was removed).

Searching With “And” and “Or”

Users may also use the keywords “and” and/or “or” in column name searches.  In the example below, I am using the keyword “or” in order to find columns that have the word “filter” or “flag” in the name.  In this case, I knew I used terminology inconsistently and wanted to go back and correct it.

Additional Applications

As you can see in the last screenshots below, these same search criteria will work in Column Properties, the Filter Panel and the Data Panel.

Spotfire Version

Spotfire 7.12

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