Hello, my name is Duncan, and I'm a data engineer with West Loop Strategy, an AWS partner! Today for our Parameters in Quicksight Series we are going to be talking about how to build filters from your parameters. 

Let's say I want to filter multiple visuals or maybe multiple sheets at the same time. To accomplish this, I'm going to use a parameter and a control. This way my user can update one value, and see that filter applied in multiple places. To do this we want to target a specific field in our dataset. First, to make my parameter, I'm going to go to the top left of the screen and hit the “add” button, and then hit “add parameter”. For now, I'm going to choose a field with a string data type.. Let's use Product. 

A quick tip here, you're going to see that you can name your parameters, but be consistent with your naming convention. Make the names unique so that you can easily find what you're looking for in the future while you're trying to build out your dashboard. This could look like making them all caps, maybe using underscores, numbering them, et cetera. It's really up to you, but just make sure that each name is unique, and consistent with your naming convention. 

Now that we have our name and our selected field, you have a few important decisions to make while you set up your parameter. For example, I want my user to be able to select multiple values from my Product field to be able to make comparisons so I'm going to choose “multiple values”. If I want them to be able to only choose one value in my future filter, I would select “single value”. Next, I can choose whether or not I want the default value to be a specific value from my dataset. If you decide to choose a default value, it's going to be case sensitive to what's in your field so be sure that you know your dataset fairly well. This is going to be especially handy if we're doing this via a date period. But for now, I want my users to be able to have all values showing prior to filtering so I'm going to leave the default value blank.

Finally, at the bottom, you're going to see a check box that says “blank by default”. This means that if there is no default value above, which I have left blank, that the filter will be blank by default rather than saying “select all” prior to filtering. I want my users to be able to hit select all because I have a multiple value filter so I'm going to leave that blank and not check that off. Now, I just hit create.

Quicksight will auto-redirect me to a new pop up where you will see a few different options. You can create a calculated field, you can add to a filter, and, for today, a control. When setting up your control remember that the title is what your end user is going to see. Make sure that the title makes sense and relates to the information that you want to convey. I like to keep things simple so I'm going to say “Product Selection”. Since we created a multi select parameter in our set up, our options are going to reflect that. I'm going to use a “Drop Down”, but if you choose “List”, your end result would be an object on your sheet with each option listed out and your user would be able to select which one they wanted. For ease of use, I recommend sticking to “Drop Down” or “List” in the filter type option. 

As we keep going down the control menu, we're going to see that we either define the specific values in a text box or I can link it to my dataset. I am going to choose to link to my dataset. Because I chose “Product” at the beginning of this process, I'm going to link to that field. This is going to give my parameter the values that I want to pass on to the other sheets or the multiple visuals. As we keep going down the control menu, we see that we can either define that we want to use a specific value in our parameter using the text box below or we can “link  to a dataset.” To do this I select ‘link to a data set’, and in the drop down menu, I'm going to choose my target dataset and my target field, “Product”.  Once I press “add”, it pulls me back to my analysis and at the top of the sheet I see that I have my drop down control ready to filter by “Product.

What's really important here isI can make a couple of selections, but it's not doing anything to my visuals below. So what I need to do is add this to a filter so that it's attached to my visual. To do that, I'm going to click on my visual and on the left hand side, in the control panel where there's a little funnel, I'm going to hit filters. Next, I'm going to hit “add filter”. I'm going to choose “Product” as my field, and then select “custom filter” for filter type. My “condition” is set to “equal”. I will check off “use a parameter”, and then select my product parameter. Now when I set my control filter, I am filtering my visuals. 

What's the value of this? If I go to another sheet, repeat this process, and I filter to a specific set of products, Alchemy and Chatbot Plug In on my first sheet, I can return to my second sheet and my single control is filtering across both sheets. 

Thanks for joining us today! To find out more about how we help our clients use AWS Cloud Technologies, or to schedule your own QuickSight training session. Check out our website or follow us on LinkedIn.

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