End Topics in Data Maps

This is probably the trickiest aspect of data maps. Your first step is to understand the concepts of a Data Map

Understand the concepts and purpose of a data map

Understanding the concept of a data map

Each data set provides a new challenge for creating a data map. The conceptual steps are straightforward and always the same:

1. Decide which columns you want to use for categorical breakdowns. This determines the grouped topics.

2. Decide the information you want for each combination of grouped topic categories. This determines the end topic settings.

Decide the purpose of a data map

Recall that the purpose of a data map is to break down data by categories, where the categories are those in the columns designated as grouped topics. The example used here is of Premier League soccer players. (This is one of the BigPicture example spreadsheets found from the Help dropdown list.)

Show the map with grouped topics only

The columns selected for grouped topics in this example are Team Rank and then Team. The section of the map showing only the grouped topics shows the various team ranks and the teams in any particular rank, here the highest rank group. However, this doesn't provide much information without end topics. (The numbers in the topics shown here actually result from end topic settings, as explained below.)

Fill in the End Topics tab

This is where you specify the information you want to show in the end table. You can choose any combination of columns for the end topics: categorical, numeric, or distinct-value text such as Player. In the dialog, a + or # sign is often shown next to a row. For example, the + sign next to Position means that the end table will include averages over players in each position. The # signs next to the numeric columns indicate that they are candidates for summary measures, including rollups to the grouped topics. However, as the Value end topic row indicates, rollups aren't required, even if they make sense.

To understand these choices better, the following substeps show typical results from the map.

Fill in the End Topics tab

Calculation Types

BigPicture can calculate a variety of additional statistics on your data, show those statistics in End Tables and display them as rollup calculations in your Data Maps.  These calculations include: Total, Min, Max, Average, Median, Mode, StdDev, AveDev, Variance, Range and Percentiles. (See #1)

In addition, you can calculate multiple statistics on the same column in your data set. (See #2) These statistics can be shown in End Tables and displayed as rollup calculations in your Data Maps.  

All calculations are "live" and the Data Map and End Tables update when values in your data set change.

Calculation Types

Summarize by a categorical end topic column

You can summarize for any end topic that has a plus sign next to it. (See #1) By choosing Summary in the Calculation Type column (See #2), it will create an additional View option in the Data Map End Topic Pane (See #3) . The end table for the Everton team now shows averages for each position (See #4), and the team topic to its left shows the rollup calculations (averages over all positions) for Everton. (See #5)

Show detail

When you choose Detail in the View box of the Data Map End Table pane (See #1), the end table displays a row for each row in the data set corresponding to that grouped topic joint category. The end table now has a row for each Everton player, so the numeric values in the table are original data values, not averages as seen with the summary statistics in the above example. (The left two columns are requested markers.)

Tables versus Individual Map Topics

In the "Display End Topics in" box, you can choose Tables or Individual Map Topics. (See #1)

Depending on the size of your data set, if you choose the option to display end topics as Individual Map Topics, you may get the following message recommending that you select Tables instead. (See #2)  If you go ahead anyway, you will get a separate topic for each player instead of a compact table. In an example like this one, with many players on each team, a table is almost certainly preferable.

Tables versus Individual Map Topics

End Topic Pane

Data map end tables will display in the End Topic Pane. This Pane allows you to keep all of your end topic tables in one location.You can choose to display only one table at a time or you can open multiple end tables to help you explore your data and compare different situations.

Display a Single End Table

You can display your end topics one at a time or you can click in the "Display Multiple Tables" box (See #1) to display more than one end table at time.

If you choose to only display one table at a time, when you click on a green expander icon it will open that corresponding table  in the End Topic Pane and will automatically close the one that was previously open.

Display Multiple End Tables

You can choose to display more than one end table at a time to give you the opportunity to explore and compare your tables with a quick glance.To do so, click in the box to the left of "Display Multiple Tables". (See #1)

Note: The Expand/Collapse icon will toggle from the green expand icon to the red collapse icon for the most recent table that was opened. For all previous end tables that are open in the Data Map End Table Pane, the icon will disappear to help signify that it is already open.

To close  tables in the End Table Pane:

  • You can click on the red collapse icon in the map if you would to close the most recently opened end table.(See #2)
  • You can click on the [x] in the top right corner of the table that you would like to close. (See #3)
  • You can close all of the end tables at once by clicking on the large grey X in the top right corner of the End Table Pane. (See #4)