Parameters are a powerful way to give viewers control of how data is calculated on a dashboard and a worksheet. Parameters replace constant values in equations, allowing viewers to dynamically update inputs. They can be changed on the fly within a dashboard and the worksheet.
What-if or user-input analysis lets users explore different scenarios, and parameters make setting it up easy. By changing the value of the parameter, multiple visualizations can be updated showing how different inputs affect the outcome. You can set up a parameter for expected increase in sales and see how changing the expectation changes the sales forecast. A parameter with the assumed cost can be quickly updated as prices fluctuate. Multiple parameters can be used in the same equation, letting you set up flexible scenarios. The possibilities are endless.
A dashboard showing segments or cohorts also benefits from parameters. Let users choose which segment to focus one, and all the charts on the dashboard can update to show that particular segment of the total population.
The usefulness of parameters goes beyond these specific examples though. They can be used any time you want to be able to dynamically update values that affect multiple equations in a spreadsheet. Parameters can be text, number, or dates, and can be open input or a defined list.
Parameters are defined on the worksheet. Once defined, they can be used in formulas just like column names are.
When you’re ready to create a dashboard, you can then choose whether to display your parameter on the dashboard. When parameters are displayed, users can change the value and all of the equations on the underlying worksheet and thus all the visualizations on the dashboard will update. Learn how to add Parameters to your worksheets and dashboards.
Once you get comfortable with parameters, you think of dozens of ways to use them.