TARGIT Decision Suite 2017 Feature Peek: New Labels

October 07, 2016

Of all the new features and updates in TARGIT Decision Suite 2017, changes to how we configure and display labels might not sound like the most interesting one. I imagine it will easily be overlooked in the ongoing excitement around some of the major, more “in-your-face” feature updates we’ve made, such as the new data visualization library.

That’s a shame, because this is one of the two features in 2017 that I (mis)used my position in TARGIT Marketing to cherry pick this topic to blog about. The changes made here are so big, and this is probably the feature that is the answer to most feature requests from our current users … and then some. 

Unless you’re a TARGIT power user, it might be hard to understand my excitement about something as basic as labels, but I’m convinced that the Information Consumers in your organization will very soon appreciate how much extra information can be conveyed in the charts. If you belong to the group that just consumes information through TARGIT or use it for ad-hoc analytics for your own use, the content of this blog might be a bit too technical (consider yourself warned).

Before you read more, note that label defaults or predefined options will often be satisfactory for most use cases. But now and then, it’s helpful to be able to fine-tune details for dashboards.

New placement for label settings

There are multiple types of labels in TARGT Decision Suite, and we moved all of them around as the new options for configuration required some new context. When we talk about labels in a chart, we have four different types as illustrated below. 
  • Chart (just called labels) 
  • Mouse-over
  • Dimension axis labels
  • Measure axis labels
label types
All labels can now be configured inside the new chart dialog (I described this in my last blog post). The chart and mouse-over are placed under the “Label” tab while to two other label types are placed next to the settings related to the design and configuration of the axes.

Legend and Series properties

The first thing you will notice when you open the Label tab is that the legend settings have been moved to here. You can now toggle it between on/off or automatic, move it between eight different positions, and change the font.
Label add legend and series properties
In the example above, I’m changing the position of the legend and the font size. I would recommend sticking with the default font, but changing the placement of the legend depending on chart configuration and general composition of your dashboard.

Notice how the first item in the series properties is "series selector." In the default setting, the label changes will apply for all your series, but you now have the option of configuring both the label and the mouse-over in different ways for each individual series.

Label presets and formatting options

The predefined label configurations as well as number and font formatting options are the same for both the regular label and the mouse-over. When you open the drop-down list of labels, there is a list of the most commonly used combinations that includes such things as dimension member name, measure value, and percentage values of the sum of both the related row and/or column. At the end of the list you will find a “custom” option that allows you to go crazy with your labels. I’ll show a little example in the last section of this post.

You also have the classical number formatting and font formatting options. Number formatting is very useful as you often want to deviate from the database default in your labels, but I recommend most users stick to the default labels. Adding colors or strange fonts just makes it harder to read and is not a data visualization best practice.
label presets

Placement and rotation

With your labels configured, you can now choose their placement and orientation. The default value is automatic. Again, this is a value I would recommend you leave as is, but you have the option to force labels to the outside or rotate them between horizontal and vertical placements.

Custom Labels

With custom labels, you can create new combinations of elements that we have used to build the presets. You can also add text strings, line breaks, and more. As always, there is an option to translate your labels to the different languages used inside your organization.

The more advanced labels, as displayed here, are often used for the mouse-over. But to better show how the changes effects the labels, I’m editing the regular labels in the animation below. 

There are two levels to the configuration of custom labels. The first is found inside the dialog, and as you can see in the example below, I’m adding a couple of different captions, values, and some custom text to this label.

In the drop-down menu, you will note there is an option called “Advanced editor.” If you click it, you’ll get a new set of controls at your disposal. You can move member information further up or down in a hierarchy, bring in additional meta data, and even create conditional text. There are so many options. I’ll show how you can make a calculation inside the label to show a calculated value, and how to set a conditional text.

Let’s say we don’t have a measure that shows us the deviation between Revenue and Budget, and we have decided we didn’t want to calculate it in the crosstab. If we had done so, we could have hidden the calculation in the visualization but still used it inside our basic label editor. (If you got this far in this blog post, odds are you know how to both use visibility settings and basic calculations. If not, you can find more information in our documentation.)
In cases where you want your labels to show different content based on values or expressions, you can use the conditional text. You can build a single what if statement, or build a more complex series of statements if needed. A very basic example could be to add a text string if a value is above a certain predefined limit.
Remember that the custom labels aren’t needed, and you can solve the majority of your needs with the default settings.

I hope the above examples show how much has changed with our labels, and I haven’t even covered the changes to our dimension and measure axis settings. So stay tuned for more on that in future posts as we continue to beat the drum for TARGIT Decision Suite 2017. And in the meantime, be sure to sign up for the launch webinar if you haven’t already.

Decision Suite 2017