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Chart Drilldowns

· 3 min read

Drilldowns are an important UX element of any reports and dashboards. SQL Frames provides several charting features like multi-series, multi-axis, multi-lod (levels of detail), static and dynamic grid charts. However, the ability to drilldown has been missing. But today, I am pleased to announce that has changed with the introduction of the drillpath API to SQL Frames, a low-code data, visualization and intelligence platform for the browser.

Many tools like Tableau and PowerBI make it very easy to drag-and-drop and create reports and dashboards. Surprisingly, the moment interactivity such as drilldowns is involved, these tools while are supposed to be accessible to no-code developers become extremely complex to do the configuation. Even a simple two-level drilldown capability becomes a mundane exercise of setting up parameters for tracking the state, display names and other details using low-code expressions. Even for someone who mastered writing these expressions and know how to create drilldowns, the process becomes a mundate routine to do it for every report resulting in loss of productivity to the citizen developers.

That is why, SQL Frames decided to provide a simple API called chart.drillpath(field1,field2....) where the fields indicate the field along which to show the drilldowns. For example, you start with a sales revenue chart by Region and then say you want to drilldown this by Country , Year and Quarter. Then all that is required is a one liner

chart.drilldown('Region','Country',
Time.year('date-field'),Time.year('date-field'));

As shown above, it is even possible to specify calculations to drill along! This API sets up the drillstack, maintains the state, creates the necessary DataFrames to serve up the chart for the given level. Check out the Drilldowns documentation how multi-level multi-lod and even dynamic grid charts can be enabled with this same API! SQL Frames does all the hardwork to keep the API simple yet provide a rich functionality by maintaining the functionality while composing orthogonal UX/analytics elements.

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I am greatful to Apache ECharts for providing a technique called universal transition to create such compelling visualiztion experience for drilldowns.

Remember, your charts and dashboards don't have to be boring. Let them speak or better yet sing! Reach out to me to learn how SQL Frames might be able to help you create innovative visualization solutions for your internal reports or your unicorn to be SAAS company!