What this means is that, if you have gaps in your date or time data, they will be displayed in your chart, rather than just being skipped over. This is called continuous time data.
For example, if you have sales transactions for the 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th of June a Standard chart’s axis will be 1st, 2nd, 5th and 6th. It will completely skip the 3rd and 4th. When enabling Time Series on your chart, the axis will show every date between the 1st and the 6th, and will therefore display the gaps where you have no records on the 3rd and 4th.
Here are some of the powerful features that are available on Time Series Charts:
Compare annual trends (Yearly Comparison).
Changing the Granularity of your data on your charts (Units).
Allowing the user to change the granularity of the data (Visible Unit Selection).
Visually selecting date ranges on your charts (Date Sliders).
Show data over specific time blocks (Discrete Time Data).
In the steps below, I will explain these features in detail. Follow the instructions using the tutorial content that is part of the Yellowfin installation.
Click on 'Create' to begin building a report using the Ski Team view.
Add the Invoiced Date and Invoiced Amount fields to the Columns area.
Format the Sum Invoiced Amount field to be named Invoiced and disable Drill Down.
It’s important to disable Drill Down if you don’t intend to use it, as it will clash with some other chart options.
Proceed to the Charts step.
Select a Line chart from the Select Chart menu on the right.
Set the Horizontal Axis to Invoiced Date and the Vertical Axis to Invoiced. Click on the Invoiced Date field in the horizontal axis and confirm that Time Series is set to On. You should now see a chart with a time-based trend line.
If you would like to compare annual trends you can follow the steps below. It is important to remember that Yearly Comparison will not be available while Drill Down is enabled and will only work with a Line chart.
Open the Chart Settings Menu and enable Yearly Comparison under the Time format tab
This option will create a new line for each year and adjusts the x axis to span the calendar months, January through to December, allowing you to compare annual trends.
With Time Series set to On, you can now change the granularity (e.g. quarter, month, week) of the data in the chart. In other words, when we select Month as the unit, the data in the chart is aggregated to that level. So where we had points per date before, we now have points per month.
Note: This does not change the data in your tabular report.
Open the Chart Settings Menu and disable Yearly Comparison under the Time format tab.
Click on the Invoice Date field in the horizontal axis and change the Units to Month.
Initially the chart was displaying data at a very granular level, daily data. When we select Month as the unit, the data in the chart is aggregated to that level. So where we had points per date before, we now have points per month.
Visible Unit Selection
The Visible Unit Selection will allow users to adjust the granularity of the data themselves.
Open the Chart Settings Menu and enable the Visible Unit Selection option under the Interaction tab.
Proceed to the Design step and try out the Unit Selection. You will notice that the X axis will change when you select a different unit at the top of the chart.
The Date Slider option will provide users with a way to adjust the total date range currently displayed on the chart, and select which range that covers.
Return to the Charts Step.
Open the Chart Settings Menu and enable the Date Slider under the Interaction tab.
Proceed to the Design step and try out the Date Slider.
Discrete Time Data
This latest addition in Yellowfin allows you to show data over specific time blocks, e.g., years, quarters, months, etc. Where the continuous time option will show your transaction data over a period, in date sequence, the discrete time option will display the aggregated transaction data for each quarter or month, regardless the time progression.
Return to the Charts Step.
Open the Chart Settings Menu and disable the Visible Unit Selection and Date Slider under the Interaction tab.
Click on the Invoice Date field in the horizontal axis and change the Time Data to Discrete.
You will notice that the date specification on your chart will have changed to discrete time units, without being in a continuous time order. Try out the different Unit settings by clicking on the Invoice Date field in the horizontal axis see how the chart changes.
Click on the series settings icon at the top left, select the date field and apply the date format that you prefer. You can show the full name (Monday, Quarter 3) of the selected date unit or the abbreviated version (Mon, Q3).
You will also change the sort order by clicking on the invoiced date field in the horizontal axis.