Explore a Workbook
The information provided in this document applies to organizations that onboarded after the November 1, 2022 release of Live Edit or have since upgraded workbooks with Live Edit capability. If Live Edit isn’t enabled for your organization, you can still explore individual elements, but broader Explore mode functionality is limited.
Explore mode provides an isolated environment that allows you to perform unrestricted ad hoc analysis without impacting saved workbook versions. Sigma recommends using this mode when you need quick answers to specific business questions, but you don’t need to retain the analysis for future use or sharing.
Summary of Content
The version of Explore mode described in this document is accessible only if Live Edit is enabled for your organization.
Access to Explore mode requires the following:
- You must be assigned an account type with the Explore Workbook permission enabled.
- You must be the workbook owner or be granted Can Explore or Can Edit workbook permission.
Access Explore Mode
Access from View Mode
When you initially open a published version of a workbook (i.e., the “Published” version or any tagged version), it defaults to View mode. You can quickly switch to Explore mode with one click.
- In the workbook header, click the Explore toggle.
The workbook immediately switches to Explore mode, reflected by the availability of the side panel and toolbar.
Access from Edit Mode
Explore mode is only available in the published versions of a workbook. If the workbook draft (the version labeled “Draft”) is open, you’re currently in Edit mode and must select a published version before entering Explore mode.
- In the workbook header, click the Draft Version chip and select the “Published” version or any tagged version in the dropdown.
- By default, the selected version opens in View mode. Follow the previous steps in the Access from View Mode section to continue accessing Explore mode.
Use Explore Mode
Explore the Workbook
Sigma allows you to perform unrestricted ad hoc analysis in Explore mode. Like Edit mode, this includes the following functionality:
- Create, modify, and delete content (i.e., pages, child elements, and layouts)
- Edit the workbook layout
- View, filter, and sort underlying data
- View and change the data source of a workbook or element
- View the workbook lineage
- View custom SQL logic
- Export workbook pages or element data
Unlike Edit mode, however, Explore mode prevents you from saving changes to the open workbook’s draft or published version.
For a complete breakdown of Explore mode functionality, see the Workbook Accessibility Comparison table in Workbook Modes Overview: View, Explore, Edit.
When you modify a workbook in Explore mode, a Reset function appears in the workbook header. To discard all changes and return the workbook to its published state, click Reset.
You can also reverse individual actions by clicking Undo in the toolbar.
Create a Shareable URL
Sigma allows you to create a shareable URL that links to the explored workbook. You can use the URL to return to your ad hoc analysis at a later time, or you can share it with others so they can view your changes or further explore the workbook.
- In the header, click the caret to the right of the workbook name, then select Share in the workbook menu.
- In the Share Workbook modal, create and copy the shareable URL:
- Confirm that the Link to current exploration option is selected. If it isn’t, select the checkbox to generate a URL that links to your explored workbook.
- Click Copy, then save or send the URL to any person or team who has access to the workbook.
You can also copy and share the URL from your browser’s address bar.
When the recipient clicks the shareable URL, the workbook opens in View mode and includes the analysis you performed in Explore mode. The user can enable Explore mode to continue the analysis where you left off, or they can click Reset in the workbook header to discard your changes and view the workbook in its published state.
Save as a New Workbook
While Explore mode prevents you from saving changes to the open workbook’s draft or published versions, you can retain your ad hoc analysis by saving it as a new workbook. This allows you to return to it later and/or share it with team members.
When you save your analysis as a new workbook, Sigma creates a dissociated copy that doesn’t retain the original workbook’s permissions, export schedules, or version history. Ongoing changes saved in one workbook are not reflected in the other.
- In the header, click the caret to the right of the workbook name, then select Save as in the workbook menu.
- In the Save a Copy modal, enter a name for the workbook, select the document destination, then click Save.
Copy and Paste Elements
You can also retain your ad hoc analysis using the copy and paste functionality. For example, you created a new element in Explore mode and want to save it in the open workbook’s draft version for Live Edit collaboration. You can copy the element in Explore mode, switch the workbook to Edit mode, then paste it to the draft version.
To learn about the copy and paste functionality, see Copy and Paste Elements.
When you enter Edit mode, Sigma discards any analysis performed in Explore mode. If you need to copy and paste multiple elements, open Edit mode in a different browser tab so you can return to your explored workbook.