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Use SAS Visual Analytics 8.3 Cell Graphs to enhanc...

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Use SAS Visual Analytics 8.3 Cell Graphs to enhance List Tables and Crosstabs

Introduced in Visual Analytics 8.3 is the ability to add Cell Graphs to both List Table and Crosstab objects. We have two styles of Cell Graphs available: Bar or Heat map. The SAS documentation definition reads: a cell graph fits in a single cell and repeats for each row in a column.

Using a Cell Graph is an ideal way to add a consistent, meaningful visualization that is in line with the data for either a List Table or Crosstab. The eye is able to quickly discern data points that are not like the rest or identify a trend in data.

Here are the key points:

  • The measure must be assigned a role in the object.
  • The size of the bar or color of the cell is determined based on its relative value for that measure.

This takes the guess work out of adding a Cell Graph. You do not need to set any minimums or maximums for the bar or heat map gradient. These values are determined based on the available data for that visualization. That means these relative values will be evaluated for any prompt selections or applied filters.

As you can see from this example, it is easy to spot any data points that stand apart from the rest.  

Now let’s get into the details of how to add Cell Graphs.

List Table

Here is an example with both the Bar and Heat map Cell Graphs applied in a List Table object. You can see that I’ve identified which are using the default formatting and which are using a selected color or gradient and Display Rules.

First, let’s start with a List Table with the Roles assigned. You can see that I’ve duplicated the Profit column so that I can show you how to apply the two different types of Cell Graphs for the same value.

Now we will use the Options pane to add the Cell Graphs. Make sure you have selected the List Table object as the active object. Then find the Cell Graphs group and click + New cell graph and select the measure you wish to apply the Cell Graph to. In this case, I will first add a Cell Graph to Unit Yield (rate).

This is where we specify we want a Bar Cell Graph and for the placement of the bar to be Left of text. There we have it.

Now let’s repeat the steps for the Product Material Cost but this time select Heat map as the type of Cell Graph.

As you can see, adding Cell Graphs to the List Table is quite easy. Let’s look at the last two customized columns. As you can see for the first Profit I have added a Bar Cell Graph. I also selected the bar to be the color black and for the Placement to Replace text.

I like how the bars align with the zero axis centered. Even with the bars all one color I can determine which rows are above and below zero. However, I want to add a Display Rule for even greater emphasis.

I will define a Display Rule for any Profit less than zero to be colored red. Use the Rules pane to add a new rule for the column Profit. You can see from the New Display Rule window that I selected a bright red for the font color and light red for the background color. You can see how the Bar Cell Graph is impacted.

And now for the duplicate column, Profit (Duplicate). I added a Heat map Cell Graph and I changed the colors of the gradient to be dark gray and black. Notice how the text color automatically changes depending on how dark the background color is.

To make it a little easier to read I then changed Profit (Duplicate) to use the abbreviated numerical value.

Lastly, I added a Display Rule to format any Profit (Duplicate) less than zero to be colored red. Like before, use the Rules pane to add a new rule for the column Profit (Duplicate). You can see from the New Display Rule window that I selected a bright red for the font color and light red for the background color. Notice this time, for the Heat map Cell Graph that only the font color is changed as the heat map gradient coloring takes precedence.

The final change I made to this List Table was to turn the Totals on. I wanted to point out that the Cell Graphs are not added to the total row.

Crosstab

Let’s look at the Crosstab object with Cell Graphs. I chose the same columns so that it’s easy to compare. All of the Cell Graph properties and Display Rules are the same as with the List Table example above.

Notice that the Total row behaves in the same way.

Here are what the Options and Display Rules panes look like for this Crosstab object.

For thoroughness, here is a screenshot of the same Crosstab with both Totals and Subtotals turned on. The Subtotal row, like the Total row, are not affected by Cell Graphs. Those red cell background colors and text are be driven by the Display Rules where any Profit or Profit (Duplicate) is less than zero.

Now you can see how easy to apply and impactful Cell Graphs are. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Cell Graphs are only available for List Table and Crosstab objects.
  • The measure must be assigned a role in the object.
  • The size of the bar or color of the cell is determined based on its relative value for that measure.
  • Only the Bar Cell Graph can be positioned left, right, or replace text.
  • The Heat map Cell Graph gradient color wins if a Display Rule background color is defined.
  • Total and Subtotal rows are not affected by Cell Graphs.

Demonstration 

Watch this video tutorial for examples of Adding Cell Graphs to List Tables and Crosstab objects.  


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