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Hierarchies in Visualizations

Creating hierarchies on an axis in a visualization is a quick way to group the data in the visualization or to control the level of detail in the visualization.


By adding more than one column to an axis selector, you can create a hierarchy in the visualization. Creating an hierarchy lets the visualization show an item for each combination in the hierarchy. The hierarchies can be created in different ways, both implicitly and explicitly.

Implicit Hierarchies

To create an implicit hierarchy in a visualization, simply add another column on the axis selector.

An implicit hierarchy

In the example above both Category and the Year has been added to the X-axis, creating an implicit hierarchy that shows the sales for the different categories each year. This is useful if you easily want to compare the sales for each category over the years. Using drag-and-drop, you can switch the order of the hierarchy to group the bars by year instead of by category.

For more information on implicit hierarchies, see the following topic in the TIBCO Spotfire User's Guide:

Explicit Hierarchies

A more powerful hierarchy in the visualizations are the predefined explicit hierarchies. These hierarchies are defined when you set up the data for the analysis or when you create a hierarchy filter in the filter panel.

An explicit hierarchy

In the example above, an explicit hierarchy for time has been added to the X-axis. The explicit hierarchies are useful if you quickly want to control the level of detail in the visualization. In this case it is possible to use the hierarchy slider, that is added automatically for explicit hierarchies, to change the time span shown in the visualization. By dragging the handle of the hierarchy slider, you change the visualization so that it shows the sales for years, quarters or months.

For more information on explicit hierarchies, and how to set them up, see the following topic in the TIBCO Spotfire User's Guide: