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Let viewers filter the data

Add a filter control to a report.

Filter controls are dynamic components that let viewers of a report focus on the data that interests them. Viewers can use a filter control to select one or more dimension values by which to filter the report. For example, a filter control based on the Country dimension lets viewers limit the records displayed in charts to selected countries.

This article is about adding interactive filter controls to your report. For filter properties, which report viewers can't change or interact with, please see this article.

In this article:

Video tutorial

Use filter controls

Note: the interface shown in this video is from a previous version of Data Studio. Not all the current features are shown, but the basic functionality is the same as the current version. We're working to update this video soon.

Add a filter control to a report

  1. Edit your report
  2. In the toolbar, select Filter control Dimension Filter icon
  3. Draw the filter control on the page
  4. On the right, use the Filter Control Properties to configure the filter.

Show me the filter control DATA properties

Filter control DATA tab properties

Section Property Notes
Chart Type
Switch between chart types. Note: some chart types may not work with the current selection of dimensions and metrics.
Data Source

A data source provides the connection between the component and the underlying data set. Components in Data Studio currently can connect to a single data source.

Dimension

Provides the values for the filter control list.

Metric

Displays a reference metric in the filter control.

  Show values Show or hide the metric.
Order
Controls the sort order and number of values listed in the control.
  Metric / Dimension Sort the list by metric value or dimension value.
Ascending / Descending Set the sort direction.
Show Top # Limit the number of items to display in the control. If the number of items available exceeds this number, remaining items are grouped into "All others."
Default Date Range

The default date range property lets you set a timeframe for an individual chart. Learn more about working with dates and time.

  Auto Use the default date range determined by the chart's data source.
Custom Lets you use the calendar widget to select a custom date range for the chart.
Date compare type Displays comparison data for the selected time period.
Filter

The filter property restricts the data displayed in the component by including or excluding the values you specify. Learn more about the filter property.

  Filter name Click an existing filter to edit it. Mouse over the filter name and click X to delete it.
+Add a filter Creates a new filter for the chart.
Show me the filter control STYLE properties

Filter control STYLE tab properties

Section Property Notes
Filter Control
  Expandable Displays the filter control as a drop-down menu. This can save space on your report.
Single select Allows the viewer to select only one value at a time.
Default Specify the default item for a single select type filter control. You must enter the default value exactly as it appears in your data, including case, punctuation, or special characters.
Enable Search Box Displays a search box in the filter control to help users find values quickly.
Compact Numbers Rounds numbers and displays the unit indicator. E.g., 553,939 becomes 553.9K.
Decimal Precision Sets the number of digits after the decimal point.
Text

Sets the color of the list item text.

Header
Sets the background color, font, and font color of the filter control header.
Checkbox
Sets the color of the checkboxes and dividers.
Label
Sets the font family of the list item text.
Background and Border

These options control the appearance of the chart background container. 

  Background Sets the chart background color.
Border Radius Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. Border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
Opacity Sets the chart's opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
Border Color Sets the chart border color.
Border Weight Sets the chart border line thickness.
Border Style Sets the chart border line style.
Add border shadow Shows or hides the border shadow.
Padding
Sets the padding of the list item text.

 

How filter controls work

Filter controls display the values for the selected dimension as a list. Viewers can select one or more list items by which to filter the report. Charts and controls in the report that are subject to the filter then only display data for the selected filter items.

For example, if you have a filter control based on the Browser dimension, and the viewer selects Chrome and Internet Explorer from the list, a time series chart on that page showing Sessions would only show data for sessions where the visitor was using one of those 2 browsers.

The dimension selected by the filter control does not need to be displayed in your charts in order for the filter to work. The filter is applied to the entire data record, so the filter will work even for Scorecards, which don't display any dimension values.

Configure the filter control

You can change the appearance and function of your filter controls in the  properties panel using the options described above.

The filter control's Dimension provides the list of filter values to show to the viewer.

The default style is Expandable and multi-select. The filter control appears as a drop-down menu, and viewers can select as many or as few of the available values as needed. Unchecking the Expandable option makes the filter values list resizable. If you make the control's size smaller than the number of dimension values, a scroll bar appears.

Use the Show Top # option in the DATA tab to control the number of values shown in the list. Values below the threshold you set are grouped into an All Others category.

In a multi-select filter, all the available values are selected by default. You can select a single value by hovering on that value and clicking ONLY. To select all the values again, click the check box in the filter control header. (Selecting all values has the same effect as selecting no values.)

Single Select filters permit the viewer to choose only one option from the list of filter values. You can set a default value for this option by entering it in the field that appears beneath the Single Select option. You must enter the value exactly as it appears in the data.

The filter control Metric provides the sorting criteria for the filter values list. For example, a filter control based on the YouTube Video Title dimension might use the Video Views metric to order the filter values list according to the popularity of your videos.

To hide the metric, uncheck the Show values option in the filter control.

You can sort the filter values list according to either the dimension values themselves, or by the selected metric. You can sort the list in either ascending or descending order.

What charts will the filter control affect?

In a single page report based on a single data source, a filter control will affect all the charts and other filter controls on the current page. In more complex reports, there are several factors that determine whether a component will be affected by a filter control, as described below.

Group a filter control

By default, a filter control applies to all the charts on the page that are based on the same data source.

You can restrict a filter to a subset of charts by grouping the filter with those charts. To do this, multi-select the filter and one or more charts. Then use the Arrange > Group menu (or right-click and and select Group). Now, the filter will only apply to the charts in this group.

Make a filter control appear on every page

By default, filter controls are page-level objects: they only appear on the page on which they are placed. To change the scope of the filter control and have it appear on every page of a report, make it a report-level component. To do this:

  1. Edit the report.
  2. Select the filter control (or other component).
  3. Select the Arrange > Make Report-level menu.

Your filter control now appears in the same location on every page of your report.

Report-level filters apply to all charts, even if they are grouped with other page-level filters.

Filter control example

The embedded report below shows data from 2 data sources, Google Sheets on the left, and Google Analytics on the right. The filter controls at the top of the chart show how various filter control configurations work.

In particular, note the following:

  • The Sheets-based Country filter is a multi-select filter with the Expandable option turned off.
  • The Google Analytics-based Country filter is expandable.
  • The Size filter is single select.
  • The Sheets-based Country filter affects both the table as well as the Size filter (try selecting different country values to see how the Size options change ).
  • The Google Analytics Country filter includes the search option.
  • Changing the Sheets-based filters don't affect the Analytics-based geo map, nor does changing the Analytics-based filter affect the Sheets-based table. That's because although the dimensions used are both named "Country" in the interface, the field IDs in the underlying data are different and can't be edited. See Limits of filter controls, below.

Limits of filter controls

Filter controls only apply to fields that have the same internal field ID as the dimension used in the filter control. For example, a filter control based on the Google Analytics Country dimension will apply to all charts on the page that also use a Google Analytics data source, because all Analytics data sources have the same default field IDs. But a field coming from another data source will not be affected by the filter, even if it has a user-defined name of "Country." This is because the field names you provide and the internal field IDs generated by Data Studio don't match.

Since you can't edit the internal IDs for the default fields in a data source, filter controls are only guaranteed to work when they are based on the same or exactly similar data source as the charts on that page.

A filter control can only include a single dimension. If you want to let your viewers filter by more than one dimension, you have several options:

  • Create multiple filter controls.
  • Combine the dimension data you want to filter by in a calculated field in the data source.
  • Combine the dimension data you want to filter by in the underlying data, if possible.

Use filter controls to refine your view

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