Data preview: what it is and how it works
While going through the four main steps of the topic creation process, to make sure we are not leaving anything behind, the Preview function helps us to keep track of the topic and confirm what we are going to publish in the advisor.
The preview area is made of two main areas: data and visualization. We will explore each area in detail.
The first type of preview you can see is the data in a table format. You will find two categories of preview: the connected data and the configured data. The connected data represents the columns in the tables you connected to the topic.
The configured data shows only the columns that were selected to build your topic. As you move forward configuring your topic and adding filters, the configured data table will grow.
In the visualization tab, you will see the visual representation of your topic.
For example a line chart, a donut or a table ranking. The type of visualization you can choose depends on the objective selected: each objective can be represented with one or more visualizations. If you want to know all the visualization types available, see Objectives and visualizations.
Note that you will see the visualization preview only after you have filled all the mandatory fields in the configuration step. If you click on Visualization before you have completed all the configuration steps, you will get an empty view.
Now, let’s see how and when to use the data preview function during each specific step of the topic creation process.
In the first step of the topic creation project you must start by selecting a connected data source and then one or more of its tables with the necessary data for your topic. Check out more information on connecting data sources.
Click on Preview: in the connected data view you will see all the total sales columns. The configured data and visualization views will be empty, because no configuration has taken place yet. Click on close to go back to the connect view.
When you move to configure step, you will be asked to select an objective for your topic.
Now we will select the over time objective, because we want to know the progression of sales over years. To continue with your topic creation, you will have to complete the configuration step by filling up all the mandatory fields.
Once you have selected all mandatory fields for your topic configuration, you can see the visualization tab populated with the visual representation of your data.
Every change you are going to make will be shown in real time in this tab.
In this case we have selected an over time objective and its visualization corresponds to a single line chart.
As you proceed with the topic creation flow and you decide to add filters to your topic, you will find them in your preview. For example, we may decide to filter our sales over time by European countries.
By adding the country filter, this change will be represented in the preview in two places: above the visualization and as an additional column to the configured data table.
Also in the final train step, if new entities have been used to configure your topic, aliases will need to be assigned. Once saved, these new labels might have an impact on the content of the visualization tab. Where as if you are not adding new entities, the preview data view will not be updated in this step.
After the topic creation is completed, you will have the chance to review your data and visualization together with all the other items configured in the steps of the topic creation in the topic recap page.
From this view you can also preview once again your topic’s virtual table and visualization before publishing it.