Release 5.1 / 5.1.1 / 5.1.2

Our team is fired up and ready to launch Metric Insights Version 5.1. This time we have invested heavily into Alerting automation, specifically, managing Alerts via Workflows which are going to serve for keeping the history of Alert cases, users who are assigned issue handling and overall resolution outcome. Also, User Maps are not used exclusively for Datasets any more - the process of mass subscribing Users to KPI Alerts has been enhanced by an ability to apply User Maps to them. Report Alerts have been revamped dramatically as well - subscribing to Report updates can be now done in seconds.

We also offer easier and quicker ways of creating new Metrics: bulk Metric creation from Datasets or creating Metrics and other objects from templates. These methods are designed to save hours of your time, since the majority of settings are going to be populated automatically.

Check out the full list of improvements and updates in this artice.

Alerting in Metric Insights

Advanced Element Creation

Metrics / Reports

Plugins

User Interface Updates  

Known Issues

Bugs Fixed

Alerting Enhancements

Managed Alerting: Workflows assigned to KPI Alerts

Metric Insights offers a variety of options for automating data analysis (KPI Alerts, Global Alerts, Report Notifications, Statistical calculations) and delivering instant or digest notifications on data anomalies to users' devices.

Our philosophy is simple: whenever there is a chance to delegate data anomaly detection to a machine, it should be done. This strategy helps saving thousands of working hours and reduce costly "human factor" mistakes. Instead of logging to the tool that stores data, finding the required Dashboard, Visualization or a Report, Users can subscribe to the elements which hold the data required for their responsibility scope and set the criteria for "good" and "bad" scenarios. Next, if the Alert condition is met, those Users are notified about them either immediately or upon their setup notification delivery schedule. No unnecessary actions, no wasted time.

Issue. But what happens after the Alert fires and is delivired to the Recipients? Typically, what follows is left behind the scene: Who took care of an Issue? How was it fixed? Was it an accident or a trend which may influence company efficiency? All this information is valuable both for seeking short and long term solutions and should not be lost in emails and messengers. We offer a way to tie this information to a respective Chart and right to the generated Alert which is a powerful way of making it accessible to all the involved Users and keeping the history of actions taken further.

Solution: In Release 5.1 we introduce Alerts Management functionality, which implies optional assigning of predefined Workflows to generated Alerts.

How it works?

  1. Create an Alert Workflow, which includes:
    • adding a selection of Statuses that can be assigned to an Alert (New, In Progress, Pending Details, Error, Closed, etc.)
    • creating key User Roles for Issue handling (Assignee, Manager, etc.) and setup Notification delivery logic for these Roles. For example, to make sure that an Assignee gets to know about an Issue he should take care of ASAP, this Role should be set up to receive notifications immediately
    • defining other default settings which are going to be applied to an Alert (such as, whether the Alert should be automatically closed if Alert does not persist; whether a User who is designated as an Alert Assignee should confirm that he is aware of his Role

For detailed description see: Create an Alert Workflow

  1. Assign an Alert Workflow to a KPI Alert Rule (either while the Alert is created or to an existing Alert in the KPI Alert Editor > Subscriptions & Alert Workflows.

For detailed description see: Apply a Workflow to a KPI Alert Rule

  1. When the data which meets the Alert criteria is collected and the Alert is generated, an Alert case is added to the Chart and below it into the Comments section. To change an Assignee or Status, click Update Status (shown at the picture below).

API: Managed Alerts API for integrating with 3rd party services

The Managed Alerts API can be added to the custom scripts to synchronize content with 3rd party systems (for example, Slack, Jira, etc.). The outcome is guided by 2 API calls:

  • onCreated: Fired when issue is created in the Metric Insights and passes issue details to share it with an integrated system.
  • onUpdated: Fired when issue is updated at any site (either Metric Insights or the 3rd party system) and is aimed at synchronizing issue content (for example, "issue.priority").

KPI Alert Rules: New Subscription method - User Maps

In previous versions, to mass subscribe multiple users to an Alert Rule, Administrators could use Group Subscription. This is an easy way, but it is a unified method which has no flexibility for customization, which might be helpful when different users have different scope of responsibility.

With introduction of Version 5.1. any User Map created in the system (at Admin > User Maps) can serve as a Subscription User Map for KPI Alert Rules. For instructions refer to: Create a User Map

This new feature will come in handy for Dimensioed Metrics. Instead of defining every User's scope of access in each new Alert Rule, you can determine it once in a User Map and apply it to the subsequent Alerts.

How to apply a User Map to a KPI Alert:

  1. Access KPI Alert Editor > Subscriptions & Alert Workflows tab
  2. Click [+ Edit User Map Access]. A pop-up opens.
  3. Subscription map: Choose the applicable User Map from the drop-down list. NOTE: The first column of a User Map is always treated as a Username column.
  4. This field is shown only for Alerts which are applied to dimensioned Metrics and are named after a Dimension.<Dimension name>: Map a column in a User Map with dimension KEY values.

User Map settings override individual and Group subscriptions (both options defined by Admins in the KPI Alert Editor > Subscriptions & Alert Workflows tab) BUT are summed up with personal User subscriptions (defined independently by a User). 

For more details on possible scenarios, user permissions and system behaviour, refer to: [KPI Alert Rules] Mass subscription of Users via User Maps

Report Alerts: Renamed to "Report Notifications", new Alert Templates, extended functionality

In a new Version we streamlined the process of subscribing to Report updates.

  1. Same as in the previous Versions, you still have an ability to add Metric-based Alerts to Reports.
  2. A new subscription method has been added as a primary option. Whenever you want to subscribe to Report updates, click the Envelope icon at the upper right corner of the Report Viewer. Next, just check the subscription box to make this Notification active and define how often you would like to receive updates by choosing one of the available distribution options:
    • Immediately via email: if this option is selected, a notification is going to be sent only in case there is going to be at least one new row in this Report.
    • Daily Notification Digest
    • Weekly Notification Digest
    • Monthly Notification Digest

NOTE: Distribution schedules for these Digests are defined globally and cannot be changed according to personal User Preferences. For example, if Daily Notification Digest is set up to be sent "Daily (Every day at 0:00)" by the Admin, every User subscribed to it is going to receive it at the same time. But the content of such Email digest is going to vary depending on User's  subscriptions to Reports  and his scope of element access.

Email address and email Template can be set up at My Preferences (at the upper right corner of the screen click your userame) > My Notifications.

For more details refer to: [Report Noifications] Subscription options

Due to the high demand and growing needs of Customers , we are introducing the series of improvements which are made to Bursts. Burst owner now has the ability to include:

  • Subject line template: In previous versions Burst name also used to serve as an email Subject. Starting from Version 5.1.1 you can construct the email subject and also define which date is to be shown.
  • Custom header / Custom Footer: You can choose to include arbitrary text into custom fields and have that shown up as a header, footer, or both in the Burst email as shown in the picture above.

In further releases more edits to design/layout are to be coming.

For more details refer to: Create a new Burst

Standard Deviation / Moving Average: An ability to exclude repeating anomalies from calculations

A new setting for excluding repetative anomalies from Standard Deviation and Moving Average has been added to the Metric Editor > Charting tab > Chart Settings.

This feature is intended to allow improved anomaly detection by excluding anomalies from the standard deviation band calculation. This prevents an anomaly from suppressing anomaly detection on subsequent data points by significantly increasing the size of the standard deviation band.

Advanced Element Creation

Bulk Metric creation from Datasets

Admins and Power Users have an ability to quickly create one or multiple metrics from a Dataset or some of its Views. It helps to minimize the number of data entry fields that are usually required to create a Metric.

To build Metrics from either All data or a specific View of a Dataset:

  1. In the Dataset Viewer make sure that the right View is opened.
  2. Access Actions > Build Metrics. A handy Visual Editor slides out.
  3. Define the regular basic settings for creating a Metric. This is easily done by choosing the right column name from the respective drop-down list. The drop-down list for each field is populated with respect to the Column Type, for example, the Date column drop-down list will only be populated with the options representing date values. Moreover, since the Results set is always available below, you see exactly what you are adding to the Metric. This turns element creation process into a game: clear, fun and easy. Once you are done, click Add Metric.
  4. You can create as many Metrics as you wish simply by changing parameters in the fields and clicking Add Metrc. Each time you click Add Metric, a new one is added to the # of Metrics defined section in the middle of the screen. You can preview them in one click - the name of the Metric which is currently shown in the Preview is bold. Once you are ready to publish all of them, click Build All Metrics.
  5. All other Metrics previously sourced from this Dataset (any View) are also displayed here to help you avoid duplicates.

Once you specified basic settings per all the Metrics you wanted to create, click Build All Metrics.

Dimension: An ability to add a new one during Bulk Metric creation

Object Templates: creating Metrics, Dimensions, Datasets in a snap

An ability to create Templates for Metrics, Dimensions and Datasets has been added.

Let's review this on the example of a Metric. When you see the Metric that might serve as a good basis for multiple new ones in future, you can create a Template from it. All you have to do, is go to its editor and at the top panel click a Template button. Next, you are going to be offered either to create a brand new Tenplate, or update the settings in one of those that have been created earlier.

How are they used?

Each Template has a following setting in its Editor: Show in "New..." menu. If this setting is enabled, you go to New > Metric (or Dimension / Dataset). Next, you choose a Template by its name.

NOTE: "custom" option represents a regular way of entity creation.

What settings are automatically populated when using a Templates?

Metric
Dimension
Dataset
Basic Info:
  • Measured
  • Dimension
  • Category
  • Tags
  • Data Source
  • Data Collection Trigger
Charting defaults:
  • Omit current day from Chart
  • Show Chart as (lines or bars)
  • Start the Y-axis from zero
  • Values are additive across time periods
  • Override Display Mask
  • Units
Ownership
  • Business Owner
Basic Info:
  • Data Source
  • Dimension key values
  • Include "total" Dimension Value

Basic Info:
  • Measured
  • Category
  • Tags
  • Data Source
  • Data Collection Trigger

Data Sources: "Existing Dataset - SQL" for creating Metrics and Reports

  • In previous release (Version 5.0.5) this new Data Source has been added to the Report Editors. In this release its effect has been extended to Metrics in Metric Viewers. s. All Datasets created in the system are saved as SQL tables. This functionality helps building Metrics and Reports that span multiple Datasets.
  • In order to grant Power users access to this feature, a new Privilege has been added to User and Group Editors: Create Content Using Datasets.

Metrics / Reports Updates

Metrics: An ability to add "% Change" against the moving average

A new option for comparing current value to the moving average has been added. In this case current values are compared against default or custom moving average.

To access the new setting, go to Metric Editor > Charting tab > Value Display > Show percent change from.

Report Editor: Show sample result set in drawer

The Data Preview drawer that shows sample result set has been added to the Report Editor. It allows checking out the Report content before publishing it.

Depending on a used Data Source, the Data Preview drawer is opened by clicking Show data right after you generate a command or choose the Dataset View that should serve as a Report basis.

Snapshot Reports: The logic for sharing content from the Viewer has been changed

In previous versions, when sharing a snapshot report via email, only the latest iteration of this report was sent by design.

Starting from Version 5.1.1. the instance which is active in the report viewer at the moment of Report the sharing is going to be sent in the email along with a URL pointing to that specific historical instance. For example, if your Report is updated daily and today is Tuesday, but you open the Friday instance, the Friday instance is going to be sent in when you share this Report.

For more details refer to: The Share function

Reports built from Datasets: Dataset's Display masks are inherited by Reports

The Display Masks applied to numeric fields of a Dataset at the Dataset Editor > Data tab > Dataset Columns table are automatically applied to all Reports built from this Dataset.

Pivot Tables: Basic Design Polish

We are gradually improving design and functionality for Pivot Tables which can be created for any Report at Report Editor > Report Content tab > Report Tables and Charts > + Pivot.

For more details refer to: Create a Pivot Table in a Report

Plugins

Sisense: Filters added

When sourcing data for Metrics, Reports, External Reports, Dimensions and Datasets from Sisense dashboard, you can pre-filter data before fetching it. This function allows focusing on the slice of data that you really need and exclude those values that are currently irrelevant for you and your research.

Filters can be added at Element Editor > Data tab.

For more details refer to: Pre-filtering Sisense data

Microsoft PowerBI: Visual Editor

In previous Versions the PowerBI plugin functionality was limited to creating External Reports (collecting image upon the Trigger). We've extended its functionality to allow you extract data from PowerBI Tiles and PowerBI Datasets. You can now create Metrics, Reports and Datasets sourced from PowerBI plugin.

Addintionally, a Visaul Editor has been added to the Microsoft PowerBI Plugin Editor > Data tab for an easy way of constructing Plugin commands.


Instead of constructing a command manualy, a Visual Editor fetches all available fields from the source system, so all you have to do is choose those fields which are needed for collecting the data you are going to need for this element.  

For more details refer to: Sourcing Data from Microsoft PowerBI

User Interface Updates

Top Menus (New, Content, Admin, My Preferences): Rearrangements and Updates

The New menu:

  • Datasets and Dimensions can now be created from the Templates or in a regular way by choosing the "Custom" option.

The Content menu:

  • Access to the full list of Datasets created in the system has been moved from the Admin menu.
  • Alert Workflows: represents a new system feature: Managed Alerting

The Admin menu

  • Object Templates is a new system function.
  • Access to the full list of Datasets created in the system has been moved from the Content menu.

My Preferences menu:

  • My Bursts are removed from this menu but now they can be created from the New menu by all types of Users (Admin, Power, Regular)
  • My Schedules item has been removed as well. The process of Burst creation allows definfing a personal distribution Schedule. In other cases new Schedules are created by Admin users at Admin > Notification Schedules.

User Preferences: Options optimization

In line with rearrangements made to the My Preferences menu (as described above), the User Prefences screen has been changed as well:

  • Bursts can now be created from the New menu. All created Bursts are available in My Notifications tab together with the Digests and other Notifications.
  • My Schedules tab has been removed as well. The process of Burst creation allows definfing a personal distribution Schedule. In other cases new Schedules are created by Admin users at Admin > Notification Schedules.

For more details refer to:

Version 4.2, 5.0.x: My Notifications (Overview, Set up, Turn on / off)

Version 5.1: My Notifications (Overview, Set up, Turn on / off)

Homepage: Left Sidebar and Filters rearrangement

  1. My Content: a new folder has been added to the Homepage > Left Sidebar below the Show All option. Only those elements, where a user is designated as a Business or Technical Owner are shown. For details refer to: Grant Users Element View and Dimension Access via Element Ownership
  2. Filters: Filter options have been slightly rearranged in Version 5.1 but  no significant changed has been made to the search / grouping logic.

For more details refer to: Homepage Basics

Element Viewer: More Info accessed quicker

New prompts and details have been added to the Element Viewers:

  1. Certified: The certification icon, which was previously shown only on the respective tiles on a Homepage and Preview, has been added to the element Viewer.  Certification is a means for Admin and Power Users to identify elements that have been approved as being valid and accurate.  To certify an element, go to the Element Editor > Info tab. For more details refer to: Certifying an Element
  2. Tags (previously named "Topics". Are defind at Element Editor > Info tab.): All tags assigned to the element are displayed at the top panel of the Viewer. Upon clicking a specific Tag label, you are redirected to a Homepage with content filtered down to only those elemens which are tagged with the sama label. For details, refer to: Create a Topic / Tag

Summary section (to display the Summary, go to the Quick Edit > Show Summary or Metric Editor > Charting tab > Show Summary :

  1. Business / Technical Owner: For more details refer to: Grant Users Element View and Dimension Access via Element Ownership
  2. Data refreshed: shows the date of the last collected data point.

For more details refer to: Certifying an Element

Homepage: Multi-selecting Tags

The more elements you create, the better filtering options you should have for find them in a snap.

You are now able to filter out the Homepage content down to muliple element Tags.

If your Homepage is opened on a specific folder or Category, the Tags option list is going to be limited to those Tag options, which are assgned to the elements belonging to this folder / category. To access all available Tags through this drop-down list, choose the Show All view at the top of the Left Sidebar.

For more details refer to: Create a Topic / Tag

Homepage: Grid View and List View are hidden

Grid and List View have been removed from the default Homepage settings. Only Tile View and List View are now available by deafult.

To make Grid and List Views available on the Homepage, access Admin > Utilities > Config Variables and find the following variables:

  • SHOW_NEWS_VIEW,
  • SHOW_GRID_VIEW and set them to "Y".

For more details refer to: Homepage Basics

Data Dependency: A new date dependency mechanism has been added

In previous Versions, Metric Insights Data Dependency feature was tied to data loading analysis specifically. For example, it could check whether < 70% of data is loaded, and if this condition was satisfied - not to stop any downstream processes.

In Version 5.1.1 a new Date mode has been added for easy scan aimed at determining whether the new data has been added. In this mode the system checks whether any new rows have been added since the last run, meaning whether there are any new rows with a newer date.  If data dependency is satisfied, the trigger runs and this new data is added to the elements. If data dependency is not satisfied (there are no rows with newer dates), trigger doesn't run and the elements are not undated.

"Measure of" setting: Removed from Metrics, Targets

The "Measure of" setting is no longer required for creating system elements. It was used to identify what is being computed in a Metric or Report (for example, Revenue, Sales, Orders, Customers, etc).

Instead, Metrics can be designated as additive or non-additive across time periods. This setting is available at the Metric Editor > Data tab.

Due to this change the following functionality has been removed or changed:

  • Metric auto-naming. A user has to compose a descriptive name while creating a new Metric.
  • The See related drop-down list in the Metric Viewer is now populated differently. This drop-down now includes elements linked with this Metric by Tags only (formerly, Topics).
  • Metric's Accosiations (defined at the Metric Editor > Associations tab) do not include elements united by the shared measure criteria. Measurement Interval (daily, weekly, etc.) is now a key criterion.
  • Sharing Annotation with other Metrics, which was based on Metrics' Measures is not available any more.
  • Event Calendars can be applied to Metric Charts individually, by adding Tags or to Categories.

Known Issues

Plugins:

  • Microsoft SSRS Plugin: Object Hierarchy has been enabled for the SSRS Plugin, but users must manually refresh the Microsoft SSRS Reports List, so that the Object list can be reloaded with hierarchy.
  • Tableau: java.lang.NullPointerException when validating Tableau Report.
  • Tableau: impossible to connect to tableau when '&' included in password.
  • Tableau: Text data being converted to integer on Tableau Import
  • Tableau: Trusted Authentication issue - doesn't work if External Report is opened from the Preview and the required site is not set as Default Site ID

Import/Export: A wrong message is shown in case of failed import at Admin > Utilities > Import / Export.

Homepage: Tile command-click opens regular Reports and Metrics in a new tab, but does not open External Content in a new tab.

User Interface:

  • When granting Dimension Access to a Group, the window showing Dimensions is too small.
  • Targets: Currently, although you can choose a specific Target Type in the Target Editor, any Target is going to be marked as "Forecast"  in the Metric Viewer and in the email notifications.

Internet Explorer v11:  Unable to upload custom logo using IE v11.

Reports:

  • Exporting from Report to Excel does not interpret special characters as required
  • Text data being converted to integer on Tableau Import
  • When the Show numeric NULL values as setting is set to "zero" (at Report Editor > Advanced tab > Display Options section), then Null and 0 values are seen as blank in .csv  or .exl
  • Tableau External Report saved as .csv does not reflect column order of Tableau ?format=csv file
  • Images not collected at New > Bulk Add Ext. Reports

Charting:

  • Info on stoplight view about thresholds does not update when changing ranges

Bugs Fixed

Homepage:

  • Logo file was being deleted after upgrading to a new Version.
  • The ampersand sign (&) was not showing properly in the Search field.

Metric Viewer:

  • The Element was downloaded for the wrong time period after double-clicking Download data at the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Highcharts custom chart Axis Titles were not showing properly in earlier versions.

Plugins:

  • Salesforce: Salesforce plugin failed against Salesforce Reports
  • Beckon: There was a null pointer error on some Beckon Reports
  • Beckon: uneven font and a scroll bar
  • Tableau: Tableau server 10.2 connection failure due behind reverse proxy

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