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Annotations

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Modified on Fri, 24 May 2013 03:55 PM Categorized as Annotations, Viewer
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Overview

Click the Annotate button in the Toolbar to create a user annotation and attach it to a data point (or data range) on the dashboard you are currently viewing.

Image

A user annotation is a comment that you attach to a data visualization in order to add context or to communicate with other users viewing the same data. For example, you may want to add a personalized remark to a data point on a data visualization to provide background information or to raise concerns.

A user annotation.

A user annotation.


Annotation groups

When you create a user annotation (while viewing a dashboard), you have the option of choosing its annotation group, which can be thought of as a folder for organizing and limiting the scope or visibility of your user annotations. For example, you may want to set up an annotation group for a sales team to share notes (&ie; annotations) on their sales dashboards.

Multiple annotation groups can be created at the &dw; project-level, or on a per-Dataset or per-KPI basis.

For details on managing per-Dataset or per-KPI annotation groups, see Configuration Annotations (KPI).

For details on managing project-level annotation groups, see Dundas Dashboard Administration - Projects.

Creating annotations

In order to create a user annotation on a data visualization control, the KPI or Dataset displayed by the control must define a dimension that will appear on a visualization axis. For example, in the case of a KPI, it must define an axis dimension.

Annotating a data point

The examples below show how to annotate a data point while viewing a dashboard.

Example 1: KPI with instant dimension

Consider a chart that displays a KPI with the following settings:

  • KPI name: Downloads By Product
  • KPI measure: Number of Downloads
  • KPI dimension: Product SKU (instant dimension).

To annotate a data point on this chart:

  1. View the dashboard showing your data point.
  2. Click the Annotate button in the Toolbar.
    The Annotate button.
  3. The Create Annotation dialog is displayed.
    The Create Annotation dialog.
  4. Click the data point on your chart that you want to annotate. The data point will be highlighted with an animation (⪚ a dashed border).
    Click a data point.
  5. Enter the text of the annotation in the dialog. You can include simple HTML markup in the text, such as tags for bolding text. For more details, see Formatting annotation text.
    Simple HTML markup.
  6. Choose the annotation group for your annotation by using the Group dropdown list.
    Choose the annotation group.
  7. If you want the annotation to be visible only to yourself, select the Private option.
  8. Click OK.

The Create Annotation dialog closes and a user annotation (&ie; comment) indicator appears at the top of the data point. To view the annotation, hover over the annotation indicator with your mouse. The Annotation List dialog is displayed, which presents the text and other details of the annotation.

The Annotation List dialog.

The Annotation List dialog.


Some additional notes/tips:

  1. Another way to annotate a data point is to right-click over a desired data point and then choose Annotate from the resulting menu.
    Annotate from right-click menu.
  2. It is possible to annotate a performance dashblock that is displayed in a dashboard viewer control.
  3. If you add a second annotation to the same data point, a second annotation entry will appear in the Annotation List for that data point. However, the data point will still show just a single annotation indicator.
  4. When you annotate a data point in &dw;, the annotation is actually associated with the dimension (&ie; x-axis) value. So if your chart displays multiple data points with the same dimension value, and you add an annotation to one of its data points, an annotation indicator will be displayed for each data point that has the same dimension value.
    A bubble chart with repeating x-axis values.
    If you subsequently display the same KPI in a data grid, you will see a row annotation indicator in the top-left corner of each cell that shows the same dimension value.
    A data grid showing row annotations.

Example 2: Drill-down with time dimension

Consider a dashboard that displays a chart and supports drill-down with the following KPI settings:

  • KPI name: Downloads By Date
  • KPI measure: Number of Downloads
  • KPI dimension: Time (existing time dimension).

To annotate the data point for September 2009:

  1. View the dashboard at the most general level.
    The initial dashboard.
  2. Drill-down on the chart until you see data for September 2009.
    The dashboard after drill-down.
  3. Create an annotation on the September 2009 data point. Observe that the data point is displayed in a dropdown list in the Annotation List dialog.
    The created annotation for September 2009.
  4. View the dashboard at the most general level again. An annotation indicator appears at the top of the data point for 2009. Hover over the indicator to open the Annotation List dialog, which does not display any entries yet because the annotation is attached at a more detailed level in the hierarchy.
    The annotation indicator shows at the most general level.
  5. Click the dropdown list to see the list of hierarchy members corresponding to the annotated data point. The item in the list appearing in bold is the one with the annotation. Select this item.
    The dropdown list showing hierarchy members.
  6. The Annotation List displays the annotations associated with the September 2009 data point.
    The Annotation List showing the September 2009 annotations.

Example 3: Dataset displayed in a data grid

Consider a Dataset with the columns as shown in the figure below:

A preview of a Dataset in the Dataset Designer.

A preview of a Dataset in the Dataset Designer.


Display the Dataset on a dashboard by using the data grid control:

Displaying the Dataset using a data grid.

Displaying the Dataset using a data grid.


To annotate a cell in the data grid:

  1. View the dashboard showing your data grid.
  2. Click the Annotate button in the Toolbar.
  3. The Create Annotation dialog is displayed.
  4. Click on the data grid cell that you want to annotate.
  5. Enter the text of the annotation in the dialog.
  6. Choose the annotation group for your annotation by using the Group dropdown list.
  7. If you want the annotation to be visible only to yourself, select the Private option.
  8. Click OK.

The annotation indicator appears as a small, red triangle in the upper-right corner of the data grid cell. Hover over the indicator with your mouse to see the Annotation List. Observe that the dimension values of the associated data point are displayed in the annotation entry.

You can change the appearance of the cell annotation indicators for a data grid during the dashboard design stage.

Annotating a cell in a data grid.

Annotating a cell in a data grid.


Annotating a data range

Consider a chart that displays a KPI with the following settings:

  • KPI name: Downloads By Date
  • KPI measure: Number of Downloads
  • KPI dimension: Download Date (instant dimension).

To annotate a data range on this chart:

  1. View the dashboard that shows the range of data you want to annotate.
  2. Click the Annotate button in the Toolbar.
    The Annotate button.
  3. The Create Annotation dialog is displayed.
    The Create Annotation dialog.
  4. Click on the chart where your data range starts, then perform a dragging motion across the interval you want. The selected range will be highlighted as you drag.
    Dragging a data range.
  5. When you release the mouse, the data range you selected will be highlighted with an animation.
    Data range animation.
  6. Enter the text of the annotation in the dialog. You can include simple HTML markup in the text, such as tags for bolding text.
    Enter text for the annotation.
  7. Choose the annotation group for your annotation by using the Group dropdown list.
  8. If you want the annotation to be visible only to yourself, select the Private option.
  9. Click OK.

The Create Annotation dialog closes and a user annotation indicator appears along your data visualization axis. To view the annotation, hover over the annotation indicator with your mouse. The Annotation List dialog is displayed, which presents the text and other details of the annotation.

An annotation on a data range.

An annotation on a data range.


Note: Pie and funnel charts do not support range annotations. For a particular chart type, range annotations are allowed only if the chart has a horizontal or vertical x-axis, and the axis displays time using a date-time scale.

Formatting annotation text

From the Create/Edit Annotation dialog, you can use simple HTML markup to format the text of your annotation. For more details, see Formatting Rich Text.

Using the Annotation List

The Annotation List is a popup window that shows the set of annotations attached to a data point (or data range) on a data visualization control. You can think of the set of annotations as representing a discussion thread.

The Annotation List appears when you hover with your mouse over an annotation indicator.

Annotation indicator.

Annotation indicator.


Elements of the Annotation List

The main user interface elements of the Annotation List include:

  • a toolbar at the top
  • a dropdown list showing the hierarchy members associated with the annotated data point
  • a list of one or more annotation entries.

The Annotation List.

The Annotation List.


Using the toolbar

At the top of the Annotation List is a toolbar that lets you expand annotation entries, collapse entries, or sort entries by ascending or descending date.

Annotation List toolbar.

Annotation List toolbar.


Collapse all entries

To collapse all annotation entries in the Annotation List, click Collapse all entries (&ie; the second button) in the toolbar. The annotation entries are collapsed, showing only the text.

Collapsed annotation entries.

Collapsed annotation entries.


Tip: Hover with your mouse over a collapsed annotation entry to see the fully expanded annotation within a tooltip.

Expand all entries

To expand all annotation entries in the Annotation List, click Expand all entries (&ie; the first button) in the toolbar.

Sort entries by date

Click the third button in the toolbar to sort the list of annotation entries by date and time (of creation). The button works like a toggle, which lets you sort by ascending date or descending date.

Annotation entries

When expanded, an annotation entry displays:

  • the first and last name of the &dw; user who created the annotation
  • the date and time the annotation was created
  • the text of the annotation
  • identification of the data point (or range) being annotated (⪚ its x-axis value).

Annotation entry.

Annotation entry.


Hover over an annotation entry to see a menu button at its top-right corner. Click the button to obtain a menu that lets you perform operations specific to the entry.

Annotation entry menu.

Annotation entry menu.


Collapse and expand

To collapse an annotation entry:

  1. Click the menu button of the entry.
  2. From the menu, choose Collapse. The entry appears in its collapsed state.

To re-expand the annotation entry:

  1. Hover with your mouse over the collapsed entry. The Expand button appears at its right.
    Expand button.
  2. Click the Expand button to re-expand the entry.

Deletion

To delete an annotation entry:

  1. Click the menu button of the entry you want to delete.
  2. From the menu, choose Delete. Click Delete when prompted to confirm the operation.

Note: The deletion will fail if you do not have sufficient permissions to delete annotations within the associated annotation group.

Editing

To edit an annotation entry that you created:

  1. Click the menu button of the entry you want to modify.
  2. From the menu, choose Edit. The Edit Annotation dialog is displayed.
  3. Update the text of the annotation as desired.
    Edit Annotation dialog.
  4. Use the Group dropdown list to change the annotation group if needed.
  5. Select the Private option if you want the annotation to be visible only to yourself.
  6. Click OK. The Edit Annotation dialog closes and the annotation entry is updated in the list.

Note: To edit an annotation entry, you must have sufficient permissions to modify annotations within the associated annotation group. If you don't have the right permissions, you will see an error message in the Edit Annotation dialog.

Reply to thread

To add a new annotation entry to an existing list or thread:

  1. Click the menu button of an entry in the Annotation List.
  2. From the menu, choose Reply to thread. The Create Annotation dialog is displayed.
    Create Annotation dialog.
  3. Enter the text for your annotation.
  4. Select the Private option if you want the annotation to be visible only to yourself.
  5. Click OK. The Create Annotation dialog closes and the new annotation entry is added to the existing list.

Note: To reply to a thread, you must have sufficient permissions to create annotations within the associated annotation group. If you don't have the right permissions, you will see an error message in the Create Annotation dialog.

Using the Annotation Filter

To filter user annotations on the current dashboard by annotation group:

  1. Click the Customize button in the Toolbar.
  2. From the menu, choose the Annotation Filter option.

Customize menu.

Customize menu.


The Select annotation groups dialog is displayed:

The Select annotation groups dialog.

The Select annotation groups dialog.


Check or un-check annotation groups as desired, then click OK. The annotation indicators appearing on your dashboard, and the annotation entries in the Annotation List, will be filtered based on your group selections.

Dashboard design options

The Annotation List control

Dashboard designers can include an Annotation List control directly on their dashboards (or dashblocks). This allows for the creation of a dashboard with an always-visible Annotation List window, which makes it easier for viewers to see annotation entries filtered by Dataset or KPI.

Using the Annotation List control in the Dashboard Designer.

Using the Annotation List control in the Dashboard Designer.


When viewing a dashboard with an Annotation List control, use the dropdown list below the toolbar to filter the annotation entries by a selected Dataset or KPI.

Viewing a dashboard with an Annotation List control.

Viewing a dashboard with an Annotation List control.


Annotation indicator properties

A data visualization control that supports user annotations offers related properties which you can configure during dashboard design (by using the Properties Grid). The set of available properties varies depending on the type of control. See the following examples.

Chart

To change the callout height and width of the annotation indicator for a bar chart, expand the User Annotation Indicator item from its properties grid.

User annotation indicator properties.

User annotation indicator properties.


A larger annotation indicator.

A larger annotation indicator.


Data grid

To change the appearance of cell annotation indicators for a data grid, go to its properties grid and expand the Cell Annotation Rectangle (advanced) property.

Cell annotation indicator properties.

Cell annotation indicator properties.


Similarly, to change the appearance of row annotation indicators for a data grid, go to its properties grid and expand the Row Annotation Rectangle (advanced) property.

Related topics


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