Intro to Data Elements

Workbooks support three element types: control elements (e.g. filters),  UI elements (e.g. buttons and images), and data elements. Data elements are elements built directly from a data source. They include grouping tables, pivot tables and visualizations.

While each element type has its own style of data display, the underlying data itself is always column-based. 


Summary of Content

Element Creation and Data Sources
Editing Basics
      The Editor Panel
      Maximized Data Element
Related Resources


  • To create a data element, you must have Can Edit access to the individual workbook and be in Edit mode.
  • Existing elements can also be seen in View and Explore mode. Learn more

Element Creation and Data Sources

Each workbook can contain multiple elements sourced from a variety of data sources. You can pull in new data sources at any time and are not restricted to a single source per workbook or workbook page. An element's data can be sourced from cloud data warehouse (CDW) tables, Sigma datasets, uploaded CSVs, written SQL, or other workbook data elements. 

Please note: Uploading CSVs and writing custom SQL are features only available to organization Admins and Creators. Learn more about account types.

Upstream Changes have an Impact.

If a data source is modified, any dependent elements may be impacted. For example, if Element B uses Element A as a data source, removing a column from Element A will immediately make that column inaccessible for Element B.

Ready to create your first data element?

Skip to our instructions for creating new data elements.

Editing Basics

The Editor Panel

When an element is selected, its configuration is automatically displayed in the workbook's editor panel. A data element's view in this panel displays all of the element's available columns.


By default, all columns are listed under the COLUMNS section. To configure your element, move columns to other sections listed in the panel, using either the section's + menu or dragging and dropping the column.


You can also view your source at any time by clicking the source popup button at the bottom of the editor panel while you element is selected. Use the source popup's vertical ••• menu to view, replace or edit your source.


Maximized Data Element

When viewing, exploring, or editing a workbook, all data elements are minimized by default to display multiple elements in the canvas. You can maximize any data element to focus on its details and explore the underlying data. 

When a visualization or pivot table is maximized, it expands to the full width of the workbook page and displays the element's underlying data table. Because the element and underlying data are inherently linked, changes applied to one are automatically reflected in the other.

When a grouping table is maximized, it expands to fill the entire workbook page. The underlying data doesn't need to be displayed in an additional table since it's already exposed in the grouping table itself.

Note: Data elements can be maximized in any workbook mode (View, Explore, or Edit), but changes can be made in Explore and Edit modes only.

To learn more, see Maximize or Minimize a Data Element

Related Resources

Workbooks: An Overview
Working with Tables
Working with Pivot Tables
Intro to Building Visualizations

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