Top Five Tips and Tricks to Leverage Your Data Pipeline


Business Intelligence for Everyone! That’s the mantra that got millions of people interested in BI, and more importantly it probably got thousands of people fired due to seven-figure deployments that fell well short of expectation, mainly because the purchaser either failed to recognize or was not explicitly told that, well, Business Intelligence is hard.

When the average contemporary Business User thinks on BI, they undoubtedly think of visualizations and tables that are set up for them and allow them to toggle, drill, zoom, and analyze. What a lot of people do not consider is whether or not the data is right or what they are even looking at. What does Revenue mean? Net? Gross? This concept can apply to any metric being analyzed.

What Chartio allows the Business User is to actually be the master of their own domain. Chartio is the first tool that actually falls into ‘Business Intelligence for Everyone!’. I know this because I am part of the ‘Everyone’ in this case, meaning part of the group of people who cannot write a lick of SQL, but at the same time I can use Chartio not to just click around on pre-canned dashboards, but rather I use the solution everyday to analyze, organize, and really use data that I myself have produced in order to make the right decisions to drive the proper levers in my career and achieve success.

As such, I have detailed five concepts that Chartio offers to allow me to be successful in my day. This list could span hundreds of pages, but I recommend taking one or two away from this and seeing if maybe they help you, Mr. Business User, to make your job a little easier and maybe a little more successful.

Start Simple!

As mentioned, this really is a solution meant for Business Users, but there is still a learning curve. As a new User to Chartio I was impressed by how simple the User Interface is, and as someone fairly proficient with technology, I was excited to dive in and start pulling advanced queries. The trouble with that is that it was still a new solution, despite my experience, and as my mom always says, a steady foundation is paramount to any building. As such, start by dragging a simple Measurement into the Measures box, and go from there. Then add a dimension, evaluate the compatible Chart Types, and you are on your way.

Add Elements

Chartio allows you to pull in multiple metrics, either quantity of metrics or quantity of slices. Per the above note try dragging another interesting data point from your list of Columns into a corresponding box (Measures to Measures, Dimensions to Dimensions) and click ‘Refresh Chart’. See what happens and from there decide to change the order to see how the solution reacts. This can often be thought inspiring in the sense of ‘What do I actually want to see?’

Kickoff the Data Pipeline

The Data Pipeline is what sets Chartio apart from the pack. For advanced users, this is where a lot of data transformation happens. For new users, this is where you start to see the power of Chartio. Start by adding another Measurement into the ‘Measures’ box below the first Measurement added. Next, select the ‘Add Step’ button below the initial ‘Drag and Drop’ box, and select ‘Add Step’. This brings up a friendly menu illustrating the different options available to you.

For this exercise, simply select ‘Add Column’. This will recreate the experience in other solutions of simply adding a column featuring a calculation. Give the new column a name, select the drop down, and select ‘Column Ratio’. Now select which columns you want for the numerator and the denominators, hit ‘Refresh Chart’, and notice how the calculation happens. Congratulations on being a Data Analyst!

Hide Data

Now that we have a ratio we need, simply hide the columns you no longer need since you have the ratio needed. This is accomplished by adding another step in the pipeline by clicking ‘Add Step’ again. As a note, there are no limits to the number of steps you use to transform your data, which again is a big differentiator with Chartio.

This time, instead of adding a column, simply select ‘Hide Column’, and hide the Columns you do not need to see. Hide the static Measurements and keep the Ratio.


Now it is time to visualize your creation. Take a look at the compatible chart types, which are indicated by the charts in Bold. Feel free to select the visualization that suits you, leave it as a table, or select the ‘Magic Wand’ to benefit from our analysis of chart types based on that data and have Chartio make a recommendation.

As mentioned, like any solution there will be a learning curve, so give yourself a few runs through this to get comfortable. Also, Chartio’s Support is second to none, so be sure to select the ‘Help’ button at the top right of the instance and feel free to message your friendly, dedicated Support rep with any questions you have. In addition to that feel free to utilize the new Video Tutorials and Data Bootcamps to get extra credit and speed your own growth on Chartio. Lastly feel free to contact me at with any questions.

Welcome to Business Intelligence for Everyone!