Using Date Ranges and Comparisons in Analysis Workspace

In this video, you will learn how to use dates, date ranges, and date comparisons to customize your tables and visualizations to the right time frame.

Hey what’s up everybody? This is Doug. In this video we’re going to talk about using dates and date ranges and date comparisons in our project in Analysis Workspace. Now in previous videos we’ve talked about adding panels and visualizations and tables and then filling them with the different components like dimensions and metrics, as we can see over here. And now we’re really going to start to define this data a little bit more by changing the dates that are assigned to those graphs and visualizations and tables and such. Now at the hightest level and really the first thing to know is that there is a date or a date range associated with the different panels. And so here we have this panel that has last 30 days assigned to it. So all of the visualizations and tables and everything on this panel by default will use last 30 days unless we assign a different time period to a specific visualization or table. And we’ll talk about that in a minute. But by default everything on this panel, we’ll use this. And if I collapse this panel and we look at our other ones you’ll see that they also have a date associated with them and these just happen to all be last 30 days right now but we can, of course, change any of them or all of them. So I’ll just go back up to this top one and then we’ll click into that. And this is really just basic stuff, right? We can set a time range by saying maybe the 10th through the 12th and say the 15th through the 16th of January, whatever. We can also use presets. So in this case I’m going to select maybe something like last month. Let’s find that. There it is. And so since it’s in January right now it will show me December numbers and as soon as we move to February in real life it’ll show me January numbers because it says use rolling dates right here. So real basic stuff. I’m going to go ahead and apply that to this panel. And now all of our visualizations and our tables are now last month, or in other words December one to 31 of 2019 since that was last month as of the recording of this video. And it even changed the dates in this table to be daily for that month as well, et cetera, okay. Super-basic stuff but really useful. Now let’s dive a little deeper. Now when I added this free-form table you might remember if you saw that video that I added a blank free-form table and then I just dropped in a metric and it automatically added these days as the dimension. And so that’s one way to quickly get to a day-based dimension here on a table is to just drop a metric in and it’ll add it. However day is not the only time-based dimension and so if you wanted to create one, say, for a week let me go ahead and add another free-form table.
And I can come up to here. I need to select dimensions and then I can type in week and there is a week dimension right there. So I can just drop it in and it’ll show me the weeks for that month, for last month. There’s some other great dimensions that are time-based. You see that I can do weekday versus weekend and I’ll replace that.
Or I can even do day of week and drop that in, et cetera, as well. But I just wanted to show you that we do have these dimensions that are time-based. Okay, I don’t really need that so I’m going to go ahead and nuke that table. And we’re back to what we had before.
Now another cool thing you can do is you can actually use these dimensions as filters. If I scroll down, for example, to my pages report and I’m going to go ahead and add page views again. I’ll just add that and now I have page views and page views, right? Why would I do that? Because once again if I go down to some date ranges I can select things like last month and drop it in there and this month and drop it in there. And I can easily see different timeframes and use those as filters right in these columns. And this allows me to use custom date ranges as well which I will show in a few minutes. But let me go ahead and get rid of that for a second. And we’ll go back to where we were because I want to show you another really cool thing is that you can actually simply just click on the metric and you can do a comparison of different time periods. So this is very handy. If you want to understand how your page views for your pages, for example, this is one example, how they’re doin’ in different time periods, and I have this monthly data, I can click on compare time periods. And because I’m looking at last month it’ll give me month options here. And I can say prior month or this month last year, so a year ago the same month. And I’m going to add that one. And since I’m doin’ a comparison, when I click on that, it’s going to add a couple of columns. First of all, it adds the pages for last year the same month and then it gives me a column for percent change. So I can see that in comparison to last year I’m doing better on some pages and I’m not doing as well on other pages and it will automatically add those colors, et cetera. So very helpful to be able to right-click on a metric in a column and to be able to do that comparison and see if you’re doing better or worse compared to other time periods. Now this is one way to look at it but let me go ahead and scroll up 'cause I want to go up here to this other time frame here and I’m going to add a few columns and then we’ll add a line graph to be able to visualize the data as well. So just like I did before, I’m going to right-click on visits but this time I’m going to add a time period column. Click on that. And I’ll say this month last year to date. It adds that column. I’m going to do it again, add a time period, and say prior month. And so now I have a year ago, I have the month before, and then I have the month which is again is this last month in December. And you can also see then that those dates are in there, just kind of gray so that you can see them, exactly what the time periods are. And then I have my unique visitors here still which is, again, for last month. But I’m able to see, in this case, visits for last month, the month before that, and then that same month, or December, a year ago, and be able to compare those. Now the cool thing I can do is I can create a visualization for this. So if I click on this table, basically highlight the table of visits anyway, I just want the visits. So I’m going to grab that. I’m going to go down to the bottom of this and I’m going to select Shift, click, and I’ve selected all those. And now I’m going to go to my visualizations and add a line chart. Line, drag that over right there. And now I have all of that data in a line chart and I need to lock that so that it doesn’t change as I click around. So lock that and then close it. And now I have that data that I’ve highlighted there with the visits all in these different lines. And so a great way to be able to visualize that. In fact now I can potentially even just come down here and I can collapse the data so that it’s a little bit easier to see the visualizations and maybe I don’t need to see each individual cell of data. So anyway, this is a great way to be able to use dates in a visualization and a table to do these comparisons. Now as I mentioned when we click over to our components down at the bottom there are these date ranges. And if I say show all I can see all the different date ranges here and you can scroll down through them and you can use those and you can drag those over to your different tables and your visualizations and such, and you can even create custom ones. And it’s a little out of the scope for this video so I’m going to let you watch another video on actually creating those. But, for example, this year to date right here was created as a custom one and if I click on that little info bubble I can see that it was created for year to date, in this case January 1st through the 9th, which is rolling yearly on the start and rolling daily on the end of it. But in any case, go ahead and find the video on to look at creating custom date ranges. But that should give you a good idea on how to use the dates in your analysis workspace project. Remember again that there is a date or a date range assigned to each panel but then you can use those dates in the specific visualizations and tables to get a little bit more granular. Hope that was helpful, good luck!

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