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  4. Navigating Groups (Hierarchy)

Navigating Groups (Hierarchy)

Groups is a core concept to understand in order to get the most out of Visual KPI. Groups are how all of your information is organized, a key form of navigation. It is very simple, yet very powerful.

In Visual KPI, groups work just like folders on your PC or Mac:

  • You can have as many groups as you want
  • You can unlimited levels of groups
  • Groups can contain multiple objects at any level of the hierarchy, including KPIs, charts, tables or even other groups.

Note: Objects can live in multiple groups at the same time. 

Organizing your KPIs and other objects into groups give you several automatic benefits:

  • It allows drill-down navigation
  • KPI status is automatically in a roll-up view at every level of the hierarchy
  • It makes it obvious where your problems are, even when looking at very large numbers of KPIs

Drilling Down Through Groups

To understand how group navigation works, let’s take a look at a concept you are familiar with: folders on your computer.

At the top level, you have the Home Group. Within the Home Group, you may have more groups, KPIs, charts, and tables.

navigating groups folder structure

Or you may have only more groups.

navigating groups folder structure

You could also have only KPIs, or chart, or tables.

Here’s what this structure looks like in Visual KPI. The Home Group in the image (Example 1) below has more groups, KPIs, charts, and tables.

Example 1

navigating groups

Within a group, you can have more groups. And you can have more KPIs, charts, and tables. Let’s drill down into a group in our example that has all of these.

navigating groups folder structure

When you drill down far enough, you will have no more groups, but just objects, such as KPIs, charts, and tables. In the example below, this group has only KPIs.

navigating groups folder structure

And here’s what it looks like in Visual KPI (Example 2). Note that the navigation bar has switched to the KPI tab. Now you are no longer in the Groups tab but in the KPIs tab.

Example 2

navigate groups

Now, take a look at Example 1 again. Note that the Tables tab is visible. But in Example 2, the Tables tab has disappeared. That’s because, in Example 2, there are no tables at this group level. If there were tables in a child group at this level, the Tables tab would appear, but it would be grayed out. You could click it to see the tables in the child groups of the current group.

The same principle applies to KPIs, charts, and tables.

  • If objects exist in the current group, the object tab will be visible, as in Example 1.
  • When there are no objects in the current group, but they exist in child groups, the tab will be grayed out. You can click it to see the objects.
  • When there are no more objects at the current level or below, in child groups, the object tab will disappear.

In the image below (Example 3), you see a group. There are no objects in this group, only more groups. But one of those groups has some KPIs. How do we know? We see the grayed-out KPIs tab. But there are no more charts or tables in any of these groups or child groups. The Charts and Tables tabs have disappeared.

Example 3

navigating groups

And here’s what the folder structure would look like:

If you want to see child groups that may have those KPIs (or charts or tables), click the Show all descendant groups icon () or click each of those groups in the data panel to see what’s inside.

Follow the Breadcrumbs

When starting from your Dashboard, or clicking the Home icon, you start at the top-level folder. If you have groups within groups, as you drill down into groups (by clicking on the Group name), Visual KPI displays breadcrumbs to show the path you have taken and to allow you to skip back up to any level you want.

The breadcrumbs are right next to the Home icon ().

Visual KPI breadcrumbs navigation

When you’re ready to go back to the top-level group, just click the Home icon or the Visual KPI logo in the navigation menu.

Note: If you are in the KPI, Charts or Tables tab, clicking on the Group tab will take you to the group level of the object you are currently viewing.

 

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