Recently, I added a hierarchical column to a data table only to see a data function break and scream error messages at me as a result. The data function used the table in question and included all of the columns of the data table using “*” in the Parameter Input Search Expression window. However, the data function did not know how to handle a hierarchical column as an input. So, how could I exclude this column while keeping all of the others without hard coding them, so that they would remain dynamic for data replacement purposes? The Search Expression window is the answer.
In the Edit Parameters window, I chose the data table input, then typed “not ColumnType::Hierarchy” in the Search Expression window. Each column has a column type, which we can see in Column Properties.
This Search Expression calls the Hierarchy column type, then excludes it with “not”. That’s all it took to fix my data function!
Search Expressions can be very powerful in limiting data table metadata so that only columns, categories, or certain data types get utilized by different Spotfire capacities. Check out a recent blog I wrote about using Search Expressions in Property Controls to get a more in depth look at different expression terminology.
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.