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Product Updates: Spring-Summer 2023
Product Updates: Spring-Summer 2023

Update Digest

Updated over a week ago

We are delighted to announce a handful of updates that have been integrated into the DataTie software over the past spring and summer months. With each innovation, we strive to empower your data journey, making it more insightful, efficient, and customizable.


Database Updates

  • Overwrite variable labels whilst re-uploading SPSS files;

  • Now supporting Parquet file format

Crosstab Updates

  • New Heat maps for table visualization;

  • Alter decimal values for each metric in crosstab;

  • New MATH function in DeX;

  • Add or change filters for all decks simultaneously;

Charting Updates

  • New Split functionality for charts;

  • Enhanced series visualization with ‘Dots’;

  • Specify value intervals for conditional formatting

Dashboard Updates

  • Enhanced widget customization;

  • Control Editor Improvements;

  • Join tables from different databases;

  • String variables are now available for Dashboards;

  • Embed external entities into your dashboard: iFrames and Portlets

Database Updates

Overwrite variable labels whilst re-uploading SPSS files

A new feature allows variable and category labels to be overwritten when SPSS files are reloaded. This is an indispensable feature when tidying long surveys where the wording of questions or answers change but consistency and integrity must be maintained.

How to overwrite variables/categories labels:

  1. Prepare a new file with updated labels;

  2. Go to the Project Settings → Data → Upload new file;

  3. In the menu below choose ‘Replace’ and two checkboxes will appear: ‘Overwrite variable labels’ and ‘Overwrite category labels’. Choose any one or both.

  4. Proceed to the file uploading.

How to overwrite variables/categories labels

Now supporting Parquet file format

We have started to support the Parquet file format with a very fast and convenient data-loading process. This is extremely useful for large syndicated studies where data can be stored in different formats.

Crosstab Updates

Heat map visual innovation

The heatmap is a 2-dimensional data visualization technique that represents the magnitude of individual values within a dataset as a color. It's applicable to a graphical representation of data in crosstabs and grid charts. You can enable the heatmap in the menu panel in the DeX interface.

Heatmap button

Alter decimal values for each metric in crosstab

Another small but useful enhancement is the ability to set a distinct decimal precision for each metric in the crosstab separately. Right-click on any row/column and change the defined precision for it.

Custom metric precision in crosstabs

New MATH function in DeX

Advanced MATH formulas usage

When working with tables, you can now use complex MATH formulas similar to the Excel principle. Although instead of selecting cells, you select row or column labels.

Adding a formula


New counting capabilities have been added to the MATH functionality. Enter one of these expressions in the MATH window and click the 'Add' button:
CUMULATE('label') to get cumulative totals for rows/columns,
ROUND('label','decimal') to obtain a value rounded to a certain decimal point,
ABS('formula') to get the absolute value of the difference between the variables.

Selecting a particular series for SUM and AVG counts

Previously, the principle of sum and average calculation was that all visible values in a row or column were involved. Now you can use more complex formulas and select particular values to be counted.
For example, using the expression SUM('AquaZen','Belle Vue') we will get the sum only for these two values, ignoring 'Wellspring'.

Possibility to enter a particular series for SUM and AVG formulas

MATH operations with residuals are available now

Now the math works for residuals in the same way as it does for ordinary values.

Add or change filters for all decks simultaneously

If you have a stack of decks and need to add/change filters for all of them, drag the option to the root deck and it will replace the previous one in all filters. If there was nothing to replace, the filter would simply be added.

Changing filters for all decks at once

Charting Updates

New Split functionality for charts

Split charts with two-dimension calculations

Introducing an impressive new visualization feature for charts, enabling you to split your chart whilst the ‘Split by’ pane is empty. Click the Split toggle to display the chart as a series of column-divided charts, or a split grid of charts.

How to enable split-grid

Tip: Horizontal bars are the most appropriate charts for demonstrating split grids.

Customize the split grid

By default, the split grid is displayed as a single row of consecutive charts, but you can customize the number of charts in the row and wrap the split grid in several rows. Here is the way: the Chart settings → Split menu → Columns → Enter the number of columns in a row.

How to set a certain number of columns for split-grid

Specify value intervals for conditional formatting

Previously, conditional formatting allowed expressions of ‘greater than', 'less than', or 'equal’ to a certain value. Now you can also specify value intervals for a condition:

  • (Value X:Value Y) interval with round brackets means from value X to value Y non-inclusive.

  • [Value X:Value Y] interval with square brackets means from value X to value Y inclusive.

Enhanced series visualization with ‘Dots’

Now we can set ‘Dots’ as a new chart type for a particular series only, as a result we get a simultaneous display of different chart types on one widget, which is very useful and illustrative.

Combo-charts with the 'Dots' type

Dashboard Updates

Enhanced widget customization

DataTile offers new additions to ‘Widget-Style’ to make widget performance custom and vivid on the dashboard.

Customize Control Colors

Similar to the primary color, you can now customize the secondary color for a Control widget. Switch a dashboard to EDIT mode and go to
Dashboard settings → Common styles → Color and styles → Primary/Secondary,
and choose preferable colors from the palettes or enter HEX codes.

Note: no widget should be selected to get to the Dashboard settings.

Colors for the control widget

Additions to widget-style customization

A new widget customisation options are now available in both the general dashboard menu (‘Common Styles’), and in the menu for any selected widget (‘Widget Style').
Here you can:

  • alter a widgets background color;

  • add a border and edit it;

  • set the radius value, by which the widget display area will be rounded off

  • add a shadow behind the widget;

  • add padding to a widget by which the chart will be set back from its edge.

Note: specific widget styles trump common ones.

Specific widget style

Lock widget position and size

A nice improvement in usability is the feature that allows you to lock the position and size of the widget on the dashboard. Select any widget and tick a checkbox ‘Lock position and size’ in the widget setting menu to prevent unintended widget displacement.

Lock position and size for a widget

Dashboard Updates: Control Editor Improvements

Group matching labels using AND/OR-join function in the control settings

With this feature, you can logically group categories from different variables that share identical labels. Connect them using either OR-join or AND-join functions, streamlining the process. No more manual pairing – save time by linking multiple categories at once, all based on name matches.

  1. Go to Create/Edit control;

  2. Pick the second set of options from the variables list;

  3. Drag&drop them on the top level (on the tab) of the existing control;

  4. Choose ‘OR-join: match categories by labels' or 'AND-join: match categories by labels’ from the popup menu and the options will be matched.

Tip! Asterisks indicate changed control options.

How to use matching labels on a control

DIV and DIFF for controls

Now you can easily apply math operations DIFF & DIV directly when creating a control. Just pick the options you want to calculate and drag them onto the control. Choose DIFF or DIV from the popup menu, and you're all set!

Note! If you drop more than 2 options at once, math will be applied for the last two only.

DIV and DIFF for controls

String variable representation

We’re excited to introduce a significant advancement in the use of string variables, which are now available on dashboards. String variables were previously limited to raw data representation, they can now be harnessed in controls with operational capabilities, albeit with certain limitations. String variables were previously limited to raw data representation, they can now be harnessed in controls with operational capabilities, albeit with certain limitations. This marks a significant advancement, empowering you to do more with your string variables than ever before.

Operating with a string variable in a drop-down control

Join tables from different databases

One of the advantages of our platform is the ability to work with different databases simultaneously. We are committed to creating new improvements that connect databases on our dashboards. The latest improvement is the possibility to join tables built on data from different databases, and after use joint tables to build a scatter plot chart using metrics from different databases as axes.

Embed external entities into your dashboard: iFrames and Portlets

iFrame for embedding external entities

DataTile supports the embedding of an entity on the dashboard using an iframe. This functionality extends from integrating configurations from third-party services, to embedding manageable charts. When you possess an external entity that you wish to showcase on the dashboard, the most suitable approach is to use an iframe. Once you have the appropriate link for embedding, go to EDIT mode within the control panel. Within the top menu, click on the 'Embed' icon, opt for the iframe option, and then paste the link into the pop-up window. Go to the VIEW mode to check if it’s working.

Portlets modules for more control over external entities

The portlet functionality introduces a more comprehensive approach compared to iframes, allowing you to connect a third-party entity with a DataTile data source. By doing so, you gain expansive control through controls on the dashboard. Here we already get a fully controllable dashboard element, embedded via a link paired with a unique API key. In this process, it’s essential to specify the names of dashboard elements within the source code, which will later serve as the dynamic data sources for the portlet operations.

Adding the portlet link

Display iframe and portlets in a separate window

Both types of embedded entities - iframes and portlets - can be displayed in a separate pop-up window on the dashboard. Tick the ‘Display in popup’ checkbox in the left pane of widget settings.

Display in popup option

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