Creating an attribute based on existing objects: Derived attributes

You can create and add derived attributes to a dashboard, based on dataset objects that already included in the dashboard. For example, you can combine the geographical region attribute with the state attribute to produce a result like Chicago, Illinois. (To do this, you would use the concatenation function.) A derived attribute works the same as any other attribute. You can add it to a visualization, drag it into a text field to display it as a label, or use it as a filter.

You can easily create a derived attribute that:

Changes the data type of an existing attribute. The derived attribute can be a string, number, or date. The original attribute is not modified and remains on the dashboard. For steps, see To change the data type by creating a derived attribute.
Changes a existing metric to an attribute. Each value in the metric is displayed as a separate value in the attribute. The original metric is not modified and remains on the dashboard. For steps, see To create a derived attribute based on a metric.
Creates additional date-related attributes, for any date attribute. This allows you to improve the depth of time-related information available for your data by generating attributes containing higher levels of time data based on an existing attribute in a dashboard. For example, if the attribute contains month data, the Year attribute, which contains the year of each month, can be generated. For steps, see Time Attribute dialog box.

You can also create more complex derived attributes, using the functions available in the Attribute Editor. For example, your dashboard contains the Employee attribute, which contains separate attribute forms for the first name and last name of each company employee. (An attribute form is a descriptive category for any data that you save about any of its attributes.) You want to display the first initial and last name of each employee. You can create a derived attribute based on Employee, using the Concatenation function to combine the first letter of the first name and the last name. The derived attribute has the following definition:

Concat(Leftstr(Employee@First 
 Name,1),.,

When the derived attribute is displayed in a visualization, it displays each employee by first initial and last name.

You can use a derived attribute to turn a Salary metric into a Salary Range attribute. Define the attribute’s values as salary bands, such as 20K and 50K. Create a derived attribute with the following definition:

Concat(LeftStr(toString(Salary), (

To display the salary bands in thousands, change the definition to the following:

Concat(LeftStr(toString(Salary), (

For steps, see Attribute Editor.

By default, a derived attribute contains only the ID attribute form, but you can define additional attribute forms for the derived attribute. Any attribute forms besides the ID attribute form must be based on the value of the ID attribute form.

Sorting is one reason to create an additional form rather than another derived attribute. For example, your dataset contains a Date attribute in the format MM/DD/YY. You need to display the days of the week rather than the date. You can create a derived attribute that performs this transformation, returning values of Monday, Tuesday, and so on. If you sort these values alphabetically, Friday would display first. You want Sunday, the first day of the week, to display first, followed by Monday, and so on. You can create the derived attribute with these two forms:

The ID form contains the default sorting order, defined as:
DayOfWeek(Date@ID)
The Desc form contains the description, defined as:
ToString<Pattern=ddd>(Date@ID)

The derived attribute, when displayed in a visualization, sorts according to the ID form.

Steps to define attribute forms are included in Attribute Editor.

Prerequisite

The steps below assume you have already created the dashboard to add the derived attribute to. For steps, see Creating a dashboard.

To change the data type by creating a derived attribute

1 Click the name of the dashboard to run it.
2 When you create a derived attribute, you can also add the derived attribute immediately to a specific visualization to be displayed. Do one of the following:
To create the attribute without adding it to a visualization, from the Datasets panel, right-click the attribute to use to create the derived attribute, point to Data Type, and select the data type.
To create the attribute and add it immediately to a specific visualization, from the visualization’s Editor panel, right-click the attribute to use to create the derived attribute, point to Data Type, and select the data type.

Your derived attribute is created and added to the dashboard.

To create a derived attribute based on a metric

1 Click the name of the dashboard to run it.
2 In the Datasets panel, right-click the metric and select Duplicate as Attribute. A new attribute is created based on the metric and displayed in the Datasets panel. Each value in the metric is displayed as a separate element in the attribute. The original metric is not modified and remains on the dashboard.
If the Datasets panel is not displayed, from the View menu, select Dataset Panel.

Related topic

Creating a dashboard
Dynamic links in a Grid visualization