Workbooks: An Overview

Sigma workbooks offer data exploration and a visualization canvas designed to enable spreadsheet-savvy users to apply formulas and charting options typically accessible to BI developers. 

Workbooks enable both ad hoc data exploration and complex long-term reporting. The collaborative interface and visual approach to data interaction in Sigma makes live data accessible to everyone in your organization, and teams can draw insights from practically unlimited amounts of data.

This document introduces you to workbook basics and points you to helpful resources to get started with workbooks.

 

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!
What about worksheets and dashboards?

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?

A workbooks is considered purely exploratory until you, as its creator, actively save the first version. This provides a central location to start both your ad hoc analysis and reporting. Once you begin exploring data, you can close the unsaved workbook or save it for continued analysis and reporting. 

Unsaved workbooks are referred to as explorations and are available in the Recents page for 30 days.

 

Report Building in a Single Location

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

Workbooks alleviate this workflow by allowing you to build your analysis exactly where it is displayed to your report consumers.
 

Sourcing your Data

Workbooks support data from multiple sources, including tables in your Cloud Data Warehouse (CDW) and your organization's Sigma datasets. Your data is always live, accessible at scale, and cannot be deleted or corrupted.

Lookups are currently the only join type supported by workbooks, so most data modeling should be conducted in datasets.

Anatomy of a Workbook

This section introduces you to the basic components of workbooks.

Note: The screenshots below show a workbook in Edit mode.

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.).

Page tabs, located at the bottom of your screen, enable you to view different pages in the workbook.

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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.). 

Screen_Shot_2022-02-02_at_10.04.36_AM.png

The Workbook Editor Panel

The workbook editor panel, located on the left side of the screen, allows you to interact with and manipulate elements in your workbook. 

The editor panel content varies depending on how you are currently interacting with the workbook. For example, it displays one view when adding a new element and alternative views when configuring different element types.

When you select a new or existing element, the editor panel automatically displays that specific element’s configuration.

Note: Access to the editor panel depends on your workbook view mode.

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Elements

Elements live on the page canvas and can be added as individual elements or in preset layouts. 

Available element types: data elements (tables, visualizations, and pivot tables), UI elements (text, images, buttons, embeds, spacers, and dividers), and control elements (filters and parameters).

Note: In workbooks, tables and pivot tables are not considered types of visualizations. Visualizations, tables, and pivot tables are separate options in the data elements category.

Learn more about element types.

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The Toolbar

The toolbar, located directly under the workbook header, gives you quick access to select actions, formatting options, and the formula bar.

The toolbar content varies depending on the element you have selected, but undo, redo, and page theming functions are always displayed.

Note: When you select a column in a data element, you can view and edit the column's formula in the toolbar only if you have Can Edit or Can Explore access to the workbook. 

Screen_Shot_2022-02-02_at_10.12.35_AM.png

Resources for Getting Started

Workbook Modes: Edit, Explore & View
Create a Workbook or Exploration
Intro to Element Types
Intro to Data Elements
The Workbook Lifecycle: Exploration, Drafts & Publishing
Workbook Examples

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.