Adding filters to legacy dashboards

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This page describes Looker's legacy dashboards. Update to the new Looker dashboards for faster performance; a fresh, modern look and feel; and customizable, user-friendly filters. To determine which type of dashboard you are using, compare the screenshots on the Viewing dashboards and Viewing legacy dashboards documentation pages.

The previous tutorial showed how to edit a legacy dashboard. This tutorial shows how to configure and add filters to your legacy dashboards so that your users can restrict the data displayed in the dashboards.

Adding legacy dashboard filters a user can change

Filters can be added to a legacy dashboard so that users can narrow the dashboard's results to the data they are interested in. To get started, make sure the dashboard is in edit mode and then click Filters in the legacy dashboard toolbar. This will bring up the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window:

Next, in the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window:

  1. Click New Filter to create a new filter. Looker lists the new filter on the left hand side of the filters pop-up. You can drag and drop the filters to control the order in which they appear on the dashboard.
  2. Give your filter a name.
  3. Choose the type of filter you want to create. You are able to create a Date, String, Number or Field filter. The Date, String, and Number types let the user enter any value they like of that type. The Field type lets you choose a specific field on which the filter will limit data. In the case of a Field type filter, if the linked field is a String field, Looker suggests filter options that match what the user enters.
  4. Add a default value if desired. This value will be suggested to the user when they load the dashboard, but they can change it if they like. You can choose a basic default value from the drop-down options, or create a more complex default value based on an advanced match, as explained on the Filtering and limiting data documentation page.

  5. Decide which tiles the filter should be applied to and turn them on. Then, choose the LookML field to which the value of the filter will be applied.

  6. For tiles based on merged query results, select the query or queries you want to apply the filter to and turn them on, then select the LookML field to which the filter value will be applied.

  7. In the Filters to Update tab, you can make different filters dependent on the selected filter, as described in the following section. To do so:

    • Save your filter, as defined so far.
    • Turn on the switch next to the other filters you want to make dependent on this filter.
  8. In the Customize Filter tab, choose the behavior of your filter:

    • Require a filter value to run this dashboard: The user must enter a filter value before the dashboard can be run. See this section below.
    • Allow multiple filter values: When this is on, the user can select multiple filter values. When this is off, the user is able to select only a single filter value. See this section below.
  9. Save your filter.

If you change field names that serve as filters in your Looks or legacy dashboards, be sure to review the Filters section of your scheduled Looks and dashboards and update the filters as needed to reflect your changes. If a scheduled content delivery includes filters that no longer function (for example, if the referenced field has changed), the scheduled delivery could expose unfiltered data.

Legacy dashboard filter default behavior

By default, a new legacy dashboard filter is turned off for all previously existing tiles on the dashboard. To apply the new filter to one or more tiles, you must turn on each of those tiles under the Tiles to Update tab of the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window.

By default, a new tile will not be subject to a previously existing filter that was set up before the tile was added to the dashboard. To apply the filter to a new tile, you must edit the tile directly by putting the dashboard into edit mode, selecting Edit Applied Filters on the tile, and turning on the filter toggle.

If dashboard filters are applied to a merged results tile and the merge changes in any way — for example, if someone reorders the merge queries or adds or removes queries — all dashboard filters will be turned off for that tile. To reapply the filters, you must turn on the tile under the Tiles to Update tab of the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window.

Legacy dashboard filters override filters applied to a tile's underlying Look or Explore when both types of filters are filtering on the exact same field. See the Overriding Look Filters in the Explore Section With Dashboard Global Filters Looker Community post for more details.

Legacy dashboard filters as drill results

If your Looker admin has enabled the Dashboards in Drill Menus Labs feature, users can link directly to a dashboard from an Explore drill menu from a field that is used as a filter on that legacy dashboard.

A dashboard will appear in a drill menu in the following situations:

  • When there is a global filter on the legacy dashboard of type: field that filters on a field that a user drills into

  • When there is a global filter of any type that is applied to a tile on the legacy dashboard and a user drills into the field to which the filter is applied

Setting up faceted filters

Dashboard filters of the Field type can be applied to other Field filters. For example, you might have an Airport State filter and an Airport Name filter. One thing you may want to do is update the Airport Name filter based on the Airport State filter:

By doing this, only the airports that are within the chosen state will be suggested to the user:

Requiring a filter value

By default, filters do not require values. If a filter that does not require a value is left blank, the data simply isn't restricted by the filter field. For example, if you have a filter on a State field on a dashboard, if that filter was not given a value, the dashboard would return data for all states.

If a filter does require a value, the dashboard won't run if the filter is left blank. Schedules with blank filters will also display no results upon delivery.

You can choose to require that a user enter a value in a filter before they can run the dashboard:

  1. Click on the filter in the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window.
  2. Click on the Customize Filter tab.
  3. Turn on or off Require a filter value to run this dashboard.
  4. Click Save.

If Require a filter value to run this dashboard is on, whenever a user tries to run the dashboard without entering a value in the required filter:

  • The dashboard Run button is grayed-out and disabled.
  • If a user hovers over the Run button, a message shows indicating that they must supply a value for the filter in order to run the dashboard.
  • There is a yellow warning icon next to the filter field.
  • If a user hovers over the warning icon, it displays a message that the filter requires a value.
  • The Clear Cache & Refresh options are disabled in both the dashboard gear menu and the individual tile menus.

Limiting the number of values

By default, a user can select multiple values for a legacy dashboard filter. You can choose to limit users to a single filter value:

  1. Click on the filter in the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window.
  2. Click on the Customize Filter tab.
  3. Turn on or off Allow multiple filter values.
  4. Click Save.

When Allow multiple filter values is on, the user has the option to add additional values for a filter:

When Allow multiple filter values is off, there is no option to add a second value for the filter, and the filter's default value can be either is equal to (for strings and numbers), is on the day (for dates), or matches a user attribute (for strings, numbers and dates):

For location fields, the legacy dashboard filter cannot be set to Allow multiple filter values OFF.

Rearranging legacy dashboard filters

You can use drag and drop to reorder legacy dashboard filters. To do so:

  1. Make sure the dashboard is in edit mode.
  2. Click Filters in the dashboard toolbar. This will bring up the Add/Edit Dashboard Filters window:

  3. Click and hold the three horizontal lines to the left of the name of the filter you want to move.

  4. While clicking and holding, drag the filter to the desired position:

  5. Click Save at the bottom right of the window.

The filters now appear in the order you arranged them. In this case we moved Age to be the first filter and Created Date to be the last filter: