Workbooks: An Overview (New)

Workbooks harness and extend the power of Sigma's original document types – worksheets and dashboards –  in one central interface. They're designed to support both ad hoc data exploration and longterm complex reporting.

Their visual approach to data interaction, coupled with their collaborative interface, aims to make live data accessible for everyone in your organization. 

This document will introduce you the very basics of Sigma Workbooks, and will point you in the direction of our introductory resources.

Summary of Content

The Basics
      Workbooks for Data Exploration
      Report Building in a Single Location
      Sourcing your Data
Anatomy of a Workbook
      Pages and Page Tabs
      The Workbook Editor Panel
      The Page Canvas
      Elements
      The Toolbar
Resources for Getting Started
Tell me more about the power of workbooks!

The Basics

Workbooks for Data Exploration

We often find ourselves conducting ad hoc analysis that is only needed in the current moment. So why clutter folders with one off documents never to be used again?

All workbooks are considered purely exploratory until you, as their creator, actively save their first version. This means you have one central location to start both your ad hoc analysis and reporting. Once you begin exploring your data, you can choose to leave the unsaved workbook behind, or you can save it and continue to build it out as a report. 

Report Building in a Single Location

If you've previously used Sigma worksheets or dashboards, you may be familiar with the challenges of creating multiple worksheets to source visualizations for a single dashboard. 

This is not the case with workbooks, which instead allow you to build your analysis in exactly the location where it will be displayed for your report consumers.
 

Sourcing your Data

Workbooks support data from multiple sources. This data can come either from tables in your Cloud Data Warehouse (CDW) or from your organization's datasets.

Like in worksheets and dashboards, your data is always live, accessible at scale, and cannot be deleted or corrupted.

Workbooks do not currently support data joins, so any necessary data modeling should be conducted in datasets.  

Anatomy of a Workbook

This section will introduce you to the basic components of workbooks.

Pages and Page Tabs

Each workbook is made up of one or more pages. Each page has its own canvas on which you can build elements (e.g. visualizations, tables, pivot tables, controls, etc).

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The Workbook Editor Panel

The workbook editor panel, located on the left side of the page, serves as a way to interact with and manipulate elements in your workbook.

The editor displays varied content depending on how you are currently interacting with the workbook. For example, it has one view for creating elements and alternative views for customizing each element.

If you select an element, the editor panel will automatically switch to show that element’s specific configuration.

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The Page Canvas

Each workbook page has its own canvas. Each canvas supports one or more visual elements (e.g. charts, tables, controls, images, etc). 

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Elements

Elements live on the page canvas and can be arranged and rearranged individually and in layout sections. 

Available element types: visualizations, tables, pivot tables, controls (e.g. filters), text, images, spacers, dividers, embeds, and buttons.

Note: Unlike in Sigma worksheets and dashboards, tables and pivot tables are not considered a type of visualization. Visualizations, tables and pivot tables all fall under an element category called data elements.

Learn more about element types.

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The Toolbar

The toolbar can be found directly under the workbook header. The toolbar's content changes depending on the element you have selected.

Selecting a column in a data element gives users with edit or explore permission access to view and edit the column's formula. 

Buttons for undo, redo, and page theming can always be found in the toolbar as well.

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Resources for Getting Started

Create a Workbook
Intro to Element Types
Intro to Data Elements
The Workbook Lifecycle: Exploration, Drafts & Publishing

Tell me more about the power of workbooks!

Introducing Sigma Workbooks (video)
Put Business Teams in the Analytics Drivers Seat with Sigma Workbooks

What about worksheets and dashboards?

Over the coming weeks and months, Sigma plans to deliver new functionality to workbooks. Until otherwise announced, we will continue to support all existing worksheet, dashboard and dataset functionality. Workbook functionality and improvements are not guaranteed to be supported in worksheets, dashboards and datasets. Please note that Sigma's strategy and possible future developments are subject to change and may be adjusted based on customer, market, and/or internal demands.