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Using the State Indicator

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Modified on Fri, 02 Nov 2012 07:02 PM Categorized as Data Controls, State Indicator
Click to return to: Documentation | Designing Dashboards | DV Controls | State Indicator


Elements of a state indicator

The figure below shows the main elements of a state indicator control. By default, the background of a state indicator is transparent, and no border is visible.

Elements of a state indicator.

Elements of a state indicator.


Usage

Set up a KPI or dataset with states

In order to use a state indicator, you must first define a KPI or dataset that has a state group and some states within that group. See the article, Defining States, for more details.

As an example, consider a Total Downloads 2008 single-valued KPI which defines the following state group and states:

  • KPI: Total Downloads 2008
  • State group: DownloadStates
  • States:
    • Bad: from 0 to 5000
    • Good: from 5000 to Infinity

Setting up states in the KPI Designer.

Setting up states in the KPI Designer.


Add a KPI or dataset

Once you've defined a KPI or dataset with states, add it to a state indicator as follows:

  1. Go to the toolbox in the Dashboard Designer.
  2. Expand the Data Controls folder and select the State Indicator item.
  3. Drag the state indicator item to the dashboard canvas. The state indicator is displayed with a default appearance which indicates that no data (&ie; KPI or dataset) has been added to the control yet.
    Drag state indicator from toolbox to canvas.
  4. Expand the KPIs folder in the toolbox and select the KPI item you want to add.
  5. Drag the KPI item from the toolbox and drop it on top of the state indicator control on the canvas. The state indicator changes appearance to show its default indicator shape.
    Drag KPI from toolbox to state indicator.

You can now preview your dashboard to see the state indicator in action. The color of the indicator depends on the state that the KPI value falls into.

Indicator turns green when KPI value is in the Good state.

Indicator turns green when KPI value
is in the Good state.


Change the indicator shape or color

Follow these steps to change the shape or color of the indicator on a per-state basis:

  1. Select the state indicator control on the canvas.
  2. Go to the Properties grid and locate the Indicators property. If you added a KPI with a state group, this property should have one item in its list.
    The Indicators property.
  3. Click the ellipsis button of the Indicators property to open the Indicators properties dialog. On the left of the dialog is a single indicator with the same name as your KPI. The indicator's States property contains items which match the KPI states one-for-one.
    The Indicators properties dialog.
  4. Click the ellipsis button of the States property to open the States properties dialog. On the left is a list of items which correspond to your KPI states one-for-one. The properties of the selected item in the list appear on the right.
    The States properties dialog.
  5. To change the color of the indicator for a particular state:
    • In the States properties dialog, select a state item from the list on the left. Its properties appear in the grid on the right.
    • Set the Shape Fill property as desired.
  6. To change the shape of the indicator for a particular state:
    • In the States properties dialog, select a state item from the list on the left. Its properties appear in the grid on the right.
    • Scroll down to find the Shape property.
      The Shape property.
    • Click the dropdown to choose a shape from the following list:
      • Arrow Down/Left/Right/Up
      • Check
      • Cross
      • Diamond
      • Ellipse
      • Rectangle
      • Star
      • Triangle Up/Down
  7. Save, then preview your dashboard.

Changing the indicator to a Star shape.

Changing the indicator to a Star shape.


Tip: You can give each indicator state its own color and/or shape.

Skinned shapes

Instead of the standard shapes shown above, you can use a skinned shape which is pre-styled indicator that gives you a nicer-looking visualization. The indicator state's Skinned Shape property lets you choose from the following list:

  • Arrow Down/Left/Right/Up
  • Check Cross
  • Checkmark
  • Circle 2/3/4/5
  • Cross
  • Diamond
  • Face Happy/Neutral/Sad
  • Harvey 2/3/4
  • Plus
  • Square 2/3/4
  • Star
  • Triangle

Using a skinned shape.

Using a skinned shape.


The figure below shows some of the available skinned shapes. The last row of shapes represents harvey balls.

Examples of available skinned shapes.

Examples of available skinned shapes.


Start and end values for a state

Each of the indicator's states has a Start Value property and an End Value property. If your KPI value falls within the range defined by these start and end values, the indicator will display according to the corresponding state.

By default, the following start and end values are set based on your KPI states:

  • Start Value - The start of the data range for determining whether the state should be applied or not.
  • Start Value Exclusive - Indicates whether to exclude the start value itself from the range or not.
  • End Value - The end of the data range for determining whether the state should be applied or not.
  • End Value Exclusive - Indicates whether to exclude the end value itself from the range or not.

Start and end values for a state.

Start and end values for a state.


Link between indicator state and KPI state

The linking from an indicator state to a KPI state is determined by the indicator state's KPI/Dataset State property.

KPI/Dataset State property.

KPI/Dataset State property.


If you subsequently set this property value to (None), the name of the indicator state in the States properties dialog changes (from the name of the KPI state) to a generic, index-based name such as State2.

Using a legend

Add a legend to your dashboard and connect it to your state indicator by setting the state indicator's Legend property. When you preview the dashboard, the legend will be configured automatically with items that correspond to indicator states and their respective start-end value ranges.

State indicator with a legend.

State indicator with a legend.


Tip: The Other legend item corresponds to the indicator's Default State properties.

To display a category heading above the legend items:

  1. Use the state indicator's Legend Category property to specify the category text.
  2. Set the legend's Category Visibility property to True.

If you want to customize the text for each legend item:

  1. Open the properties for the corresponding indicator state.
  2. Set the indicator state's Legend Text property as desired.

Legend Text property for an indicator state.

Legend Text property for an indicator state.


Blinking indicator

If the indicator is using skinned shapes for its states (&ie; the indicator state's Shape property is set to None and its Skinned Shape property is set to a value other than None), then you can enable blinking for the indicator as follows:

  1. Use the indicator state's Blink Color property to set the color of the indicator when it blinks ‘off’.
  2. Specify the time duration between each transition via the Blink Duration property, using format hh:mm:ss.
  3. Set the indicator state's Enable Blinking property to True.

Tip: If you want to have blinking but use non-skinned shapes, a possible alternative that achieves a similar effect would be to use a skinned shape still (such as Circle), but set the indicator shape's Glass Visibility property to Collapsed. This will give it the appearance of a non-skinned shape. See DashboardState Class.

Related topics


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