9. Filtering Data with Slicers

Overview

Slicers provide a convenient interactive tool that lets your report viewers filter the data quickly. We’ll learn about slicers in detail in this lesson.

To explore more Kubicle data literacy subjects, please refer to our full library.

Summary

  1. Lesson Goal (00:07)

    The goal of this lesson is to create and use slicers as a quick and interactive tool for filtering visualizations.

  2. Using a Slicer (00:23)

    A slicer can be used to quickly and interactively filter a visualization. For example, here we create a bar chart showing revenue by state, and add a slicer to filter the chart by sales person. When we select a sales person from the slicer, we see only revenue by state for the selected sales person.

    We can change how a slicer is displayed by selecting the arrow in the top right of the slicer. For example, a slicer using a text based field like sales people can be shown as a list of sales people, or as a drop down box.

  3. Formatting Options for Slicers (01:27)

    In the Format tab, there are two formatting options associated with slicers. These options are found under Selection Controls. The Select All option provides an option in the slicer to select every value in the slicer. The Single Select option allows users to select just one value from the slicer at a time, however users can bypass this restriction in some circumstances.

  4. Multiple Slicers and Multiple Charts (03:21)

    We can add multiple slicers to a single report page. When we do this, the charts on the page filter to show only values relevant to the selected values from all the slicers. For example, if we have a slicer for sales people and a slicer for region, and we select a value from each slicer, then the chart will show only data relevant to the selected sales person in the selected region.

    Slicers act on all the charts on a report page. If a page has more than one chart, then the slicer or slicers will filter all the charts in the same way.

  5. Syncing Slicers Across Pages (04:41)

    We can sync our slicers so that they affect multiple pages in the current report. To do this, we select a slicer and open the sync slicers pane from the View tab.

    The sync slicers pane lets us choose which pages of the report the selected slicers should appear on, and which pages of the report should be affected by the selected slicer. In our case, we set up a slicer which affects the slicers page and the ribbon chart page. Adjusting the slicer on one of these pages makes the same adjustment to the other page automatically.

Transcript

In the first course we saw some of the power of slicers. Slicers give you the ability to quickly filter your visualizations in a way that's easy for viewers to use and understand.

In this lesson we'll create and use slicers as a quick and interactive filtering tool for visualizations.

We would like to see our revenues by state, but would also like to view the performance of individual salespeople.

To do this, we'll create a bar chart, add the revenue and state fields and expand the chart to fill half the screen.

This chart shows total revenue by state.

To analyze by salesperson, we'll add a slicer and add the salesperson field.

Now, when we select an individual salesperson we only see the revenue by state for that specific individual.

If we hover the mouse over the slicer, we see a small arrow appear in the top right.

By selecting this arrow, we can change the type of slicer. Let's change this slicer from a list to a dropdown.

This format is useful if you don't have a lot of space to spare on your reports.

Other types of data, such as numeric or date data, offer different types of slicers. We'll switch the slicer back to list.

If we navigate to the format tab in the visualizations pane we'll find three formatting options specific to slicers under selection controls.

The first is Single Select. If we turn this on, then we can only select a single sales person at a time.

As we can see the buttons have changed to circular buttons.

If we select one sales person, then the previously selected one is automatically unselected.

Let's turn Single Select back off.

The second option is Multi-Select with Control.

with this option on, we can select multiple salespeople by holding control and selecting the people of interest.

When we do this, the chart now shows revenue by state for all the selected salespeople. If we don't hold control as we select salespeople then the slicer behaves like a single select slicer.

If we turn Multi-Select with Control off, then we can select multiple salespeople by simply clicking.

The check boxes indicate which salespeople are selected and which are not.

The final slicer formatting option is to show a Select All option.

If we turn this on, a Select All option is added to the top of our list of salespeople.

This is particularly helpful when we want to select most of the available salespeople.

We can click Select All and then unselect the salespeople we don't want to consider.

One advantage of slicers is that you can add multiple slicers to the same page.

Let's add a second slicer for region.

We can now make selections from both slicers at the same time.

For example, let's look at revenue by state for Hairaway in the Midwest region.

Note that slicers apply to all visuals on a page. We'll demonstrate this by unselecting all our slicer selections and adding a second chart.

Let's say we want to look at the number of users by city sliced by salesperson and region.

This would give us an idea of whether our sales people are concentrating their efforts in specific cities or covering a larger area.

We'll add a new bar chart with the users and city fields.

We'll fit the new chart into the blank area on the bottom right of the canvas.

With no slicer selected we can see this new chart is very long.

As we select options from both slicers we can see that both of our visuals now update automatically considerably narrowing the number of cities in our analysis.

By default, the slicers we've created are only applied to this report page. However, we can apply them throughout the report if we want.

We'll select the sales person slicer, then select the view tab and sync slicers.

This opens up a slicers pane. This pane lets us control which of the pages of the report are affected by our salesperson slicer.

The column with an eye symbol indicates which pages include the salesperson slicer while the column with the refresh symbol indicates which pages are affected by the slicer.

Let's check the refresh box for the current page and check both boxes for the ribbon chart page.

Moving to the ribbon chart page. We can see the salesperson slicer has been added.

We'll need to move the slicer a bit so it's not on top of the chart.

Let's return to the slicers page and select the salesperson Bouthby.

The charts on this page adjust as we would expect.

If we move to the ribbon chart we can see Bouthby has been selected from the slicer and the ribbon chart has been adjusted accordingly. As we can see slicers are a powerful tool when creating reports and dashboards, they allow users to quickly and easily drill down into data and obtain insights even from large data sets.

In the next lesson we'll look at another way we can focus on a specific section of a data set by using filters.

Dashboards and Visualizations
Introduction to Visualizations in Power BI

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