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The Astrato Mid-Year Feature Round-Up!

The summer solstice? Wimbledon? No – the biggest event of the Summer is the Astrato mid-year feature round-up! And finally, the wait is over. Find out more about the innovative features and developments we’ve added in 2023 below:

AI Insights

The Astrato AI Insights feature produces AI-generated data analysis and visualization, enabling fast, clear data exploration. Removing the need for manual data analysis means business users can generate consistent, accurate information quickly and easily.

The Astrato AI Dashboard Designer applies the same principles to dashboard design, producing elegant, insightful dashboards in a few clicks. Understanding what kind of data you’re working with and the relationship between the categories is essential when designing a dashboard. The AI Dashboard Designer does this for you, allowing you to effortlessly create intricate, customizable dashboards.

Workbook Editor

Theme Creator

Dashboard creators can now set a theme in a workbook with default values filling in the blanks where the data will go. This provides a useful guide for building the dashboard, while allowing customization where necessary. The themes cover aesthetic choices like color and font selection, as well as more structural factors like object settings. Users can select a predetermined color palette or select brand colors as appropriate. The interface is designed so users can navigate between the main settings without having to scroll, opening up options from the left side menu.

Visualization

We’ve added the histogram to the list of data visualizations available in Astrato. Often confused with bar charts, histograms are used to display continuous data (e.g. age, sale price, cost) whilst bar charts show categorical data (e.g. region, product type, team). The two can actually complement each other well – histograms can be used to drill down into the individual categories of a bar chart. 

The histogram chart can be found in the bar chart section of the Visuals area of the toolbar. 

Actions

Our no-code Actions options now include text operators, so users can add text blocks with simple drag and drop functionality. 

Users can also use the ‘Invert’ action block to invert a boolean value. The benefit of this is avoiding the need for convoluted ‘If’ statements to control the visibility of objects which check whether a variable is true or not. The ‘Invert’ action block allows you to easily toggle the visibility of an object.

Before:

Old Astrato Actions format

Now:

New Astrato Actions format

Another addition to the workbook editor actions is the ‘Wait’ block, which allows you to pause action execution for a set period of time. Users waiting for a database to perform an operation based on, for example, an Execute SQL block, can use the Wait block to proceed with their action flow.

The new ‘Wait’ block

Inside the new General section, we’ve added a ‘Get [Category]’ block, which retrieves the current context values, including:

  • Current user’s [email, name, or profile image URL]
  • Date and time – based on ISO8601 [Today’s date, Today’s Date and Time]
  • Workbook data source [Workbook ID, Name, Data source type]
  • Active sheet name [Sheet ID or Name]

The block can be used as part of an If statement to check the name of the active sheet before performing an action.

Filter Capabilities

We’ve also revamped our Filter object. The first change provides a paginated display when the limit is reached to load results. The user can then click through to the set of results on the other page, rather than scrolling through the results. The second is that the date picker is now the default option for filtering date fields in the Filter bar. The result is a user interface that is more intuitive for first time users and more efficient for those familiar with the platform.

The new Filter object design

Writeback Capabilities

The new Writeback block allows the user to select a table defined within the workbook’s data view and create new columns and values in the database. The user can then add a Button to initiate the process. Being able to edit the database without leaving Astrato ensures the data is structured to optimize Business Intelligence (BI). The option to expedite this process through a Button click ensures consistency and efficiency. Find out more about the value of Astrato’s Writeback feature here.

The new Writeback block

Totals Row

We are happy to introduce a new section in the Data tab that allows users to see the total of the measures recorded in the table. This Total Row tool is valuable because it provides important context to the more granular fields recorded in the table. 

This tool also makes it clearer how each part of the dataset is contributing to the whole – enabling easier analysis. Users can also choose whether to display the total at the top or bottom of their table as their needs require. And, to ensure the style is consistent across the table, the formatting is copied from the rest of the column.

The new Totals Row sections in the Data tab

Data View Editor

Data Tips

Editing chart dimensions can be tricky, and sometimes users can experience errors in the event of unexpected null results. However, to make Astrato as intuitive and easy to use as possible, we have enhanced our Data Tips feature

The Data Tip will present a high-level description of why the change made to the table resulted in an error, so that the user is best equipped to overcome it independently. The user can also click the Data Tip for further suggestions on how to resolve the issue.  

This update will make it easier for users to navigate the Astrato platform seamlessly and without relying on support of data scientists. 

Show All Values

Previously, when a user created a chart or table that combined fields from more than one table, fields without data were omitted from the new table. This presents a challenge for users, who often need to see an overview of all of their fields, including those that are missing data. 

To solve this, the Astrato team has added an optional enhancement to the query, so a list of views is derived from the fields used as dimensions, regardless of whether data has been entered. This is valuable because users can analyze and gather information from all the relevant data, with ease. 

Export to CSV

You can now export files in CSV format from the Data View Editor (DVE)! This means that users now have more options for viewing their data. There are several benefits to this. CSV files can be opened and processed in the majority of data analytics platforms, including Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets.

This compatibility ensures that the exported data can be easily accessed and utilized by different users, regardless of the software they are using. Plus, compared to other file formats like Excel (.xlsx) or databases, CSV files tend to be more compact. This is especially valuable when sharing and storing data, in terms of both time and cost.

Drag and Drop to Change Column Positions

Rearrange the order of columns in the Data Explorer with the new, intuitive drag and drop functionality. Being able to easily edit the format of a table ensures the format is logical and optimized for readability.

Interaction Improvements

We’ve made several improvements to the user interface in the DVE.

We’ve made the user interface for the DVE even more intuitive. Navigation is easier to access: users can now click the option to ‘Edit table’ in the context menu (above Preview table). We’ve also added tooltips to the DVE action bar, which give a brief description of an item’s function when the user hovers their mouse over it.

Error messages are so often unhelpful – not the case with Astrato, we now include error text if a combination of filters returns no records, and a warning displays to confirm you want to remove all joins. 

By adding animation to the blank canvas, we’ve made the steps to add custom columns, dimensions, and measure in the DVE clearer.

For more information

These are just the highlights of what we’ve delivered so far in 2023, for a more in-depth breakdown, check out our Release Notes page here