Guest post by Vadim Rutkevich
Working with data is a skill. Working with large data amounts is art. You understand this when loading a batch of data in Atlassian Confluence. You need to be an ingenious artist to cope with different data fields, format types and thousands of entries. And Confluence can be a great tool to collaborate on data with your team. The extended ecosystem of add-ons allows you to process different format types and embed this data on Confluence pages.
In this post we will provide an overview on a set of tools that can help you cope with data, summarize or aggregate it by some parameters, and finally visualize it with the help of the appealing charts.
Filtration of Data Tables
Confluence is a powerful data collaboration platform. Unfortunately, it can be imperfect. If you are a statistician who works much with MS Excel, the first thing you notice when loading a data table is the complete absence of any means in the native editor to evaluate and filter table data.
For table data filtration you can use the Table Filter macro. This macro is equipped with a rich set of filters and settings for adjusting parameters and formats of your table data. What types of filters do you get?
- Dropdown filter allows you to point to the necessary table column and then select one or more values for filtering your table.
- Free text and global filters allows you to input a custom query for filtering your table data or enter a regular expression for flexible and convenient data filtration.
- Number filter lets you you work with statistical data and set the number ranges for filtration of numerical values.
- Date filter allows you to specify the required time frame for table data filtration and get only data over the appropriate period.
- Icon filter supports icons, emoticons and images. If your table has visual assets you will be able to filter them too.
A set of additional parameters allows you to set the appropriate sorting order for table columns, enable automatic row numbering, set default values for filtration, and configure view of the filtration pane. You will quickly discover the potential of this macro due to its simple configuration and user-friendly approach.
Summarizing and Aggregating Table Data
Having large data sets with repeating values, you may find it necessary to summarize them to see how often values are presents in the table. Additionally, you may want to find the minimum, maximum or average values for a series of data, or sum up values and aggregate them by some parameter. Here pivot tables will be a real catch for you!
For processing tables containing repeated values that may be summarized or aggregated, you can use the Pivot Table macro from the bundle of Table Filter and Charts add-on.
First select the column with repeated values and add the column with numerical values for summarization or aggregation. Once this is done you can further select the appropriate calculation operation from the following:
Optionally, you can adjust the appropriate number format with decimal and thousands separators, as well as set the necessary number of decimal places. The management of the macro is quite intuitive so it will not take much time to get used to it.
Visualizing Table Data with Charts and Graphs
For visualization of table data you can use the native Chart macro or Chart from Table macro from the Table Filter and Charts add-on.
Which solution you choose depends mainly on your requirements, the complete comparison of both macros can be found here.
Being a newbie in Confluence, the best place to start is with the Chart from Table macro. Its configuration is quite easy and intuitive. Just select the column with labels and the column with numerical values, and there's your chart! You can insert pie, donut, bar and column (including their stacked variants), time series, line and others graphs.
Optionally, you can adjust the look of your charts with additional chart generation parameters.
Combining Macros for Better Flexibility
Using the full bundle of macros from Table Filter and Charts add-on you can easily combine all these macros into a single table processing mechanism. So what does this mean in real life? Let's imagine you have a large table containing financial data with store performance over a year. But you don't need the data over the whole period, or you just need data for specific tellers. Here you can apply the Table Filter macro for filtering the necessary values. Once it is done, you realize that repeated values crop up throughout the table and you need to aggregate them. So you apply the Pivot Table macro that summarizes this data and generates a pivot table. And as a final task, you need to present it in report form to your managers. So here you can apply the Chart from Table macro.
As a result, you have quickly completed the task and your manager is satisfied with the result, and you can quickly share it with your colleagues. If working with external data sources, you will get the updated data upon each reload of the Confluence page. If using dynamic charts, data will be updated instantly once updates are added.
Get the Most from Your Tables
Working with table data in Confluence is no longer a nightmare. Using the Table Filter and Charts add-on allows you to quickly handle your data sets, filter them, aggregate in data series and further visualize them with the multiple charts and graphs.