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Create an Index with a context series

To use an index, you'll need to create one or more data series with the attributes you want to examine, as well as a data series that you want to use as the index (this will be the context series). You'll also need to configure your visualization to show the index correctly.

In this set of steps, we're going to create an index by using a regular data series, a context data series, and a column chart that we configure.



  1. From the home page Create a Visualization section, click Column Chart. The new presentation opens.
  2. In the Dataset section of the Section Filters pane, click Select a Dataset and then start typing the name of the dataset you want to use. The field populates with a list of available datasets and you can click the one you want.

  3. Define your first data series. In the Data Series section, click Filter Data Series to open the Edit Series window.
    1. In the Series Name field, type a meaningful name to represent the series. Keep in mind that this name is displayed on the visualizations, so brief but precise is best.
    2. If your dataset requires a date range, use the Date filter to specify the time period you want to include.
    3. In the Choose Filters section, add the first filter you want to use.
    4. Add one or more values for the filter. Remember: the system uses an OR operation between multiple values for an attribute. For example, if you selected the attribute Gender and then specified Male, Female, and Unreported, the system searches the dataset for any of those three attribute values.
    5. Add additional filters and values until your series filters the data according to what you want to see.  You can add filters from one or more tabs to the same data series. The system uses an AND operation between different filters.
    6. Preview your data series by expanding the Selected Filters section, and make any updates as needed.
    7. Click Save. Your data series might look something like this, depending on which dataset, attributes, and values you selected:
    8. The resulting data series showing PA charitable givers

  4. Add additional data series as needed.
  5. Add the data series you want to use as the context series. Remember: this is what you are going to use as the comparison for your other series, so it is typically something larger or broader than the other series.
    1. Click Filter Data Series.
    2. In the Series Name field, use a name that makes it clear this is the context series (for example, All Voters in PA).
    3. Add the attributes for your context data series. Note that in some cases, you might not want to add any attributes at all. For example, if you wanted to index a data series of credit card users in Pittsburgh against all people in the nation (regardless of their credit card use), your context data series would not have any attributes because you do not want to exclude anyone.
    4. Click Save.
    5. For this data series only, click the Use as Context Series icon. (Click the thumbnail to enlarge the image.)

      The Use as Context Series icon is a finger pointing to the right

  6. Choose a grouping.
  7. Click Apply Changes.
  8. Configure the column chart to show our first data series as it relates to our context (index) data series:
    1. From the gear icon, click Configure to open the configuration dialog box.
    2. In the Y Axis tab, use the Data to Display field to select the calculated index value.

    3. In the Series tab, set the Series Type field to a value of Line.

    4. Use the Line Style, Line Color, Markers, Point Size, and Point Shape fields to customize how you want your index line to appear on the column chart.
    5. Click OK.

As we can see in the resulting chart, certain zip codes over index for charitable giving. People who live in 15030, for example, are almost 50% more likely than average to make charitable donations.

Related information

Video:  Create an index with a context series

Context series and Indexes

Example: Show market share with an index


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