Relatively Scattered (10 January 2019)

Scatter Plots

One of the most common questions data publishers and analysts ask when exploring data on the Socrata platform is, in short, "where are the outliers?" A common mechanism to identify those outliers is a scatter plot - a visualization that plots the same data across two different axes to identify clusters of common data and outliers.

Now, the Socrata visualization canvas includes the ability to create scatter plots for numerical data to perform these important analytical actions. Over the coming weeks, we will be adding in additional capabilities to scatter plots like the ability to scale points by value or color by category, the ability to set up scatter plots on grouped data, and additional flyout configurations.

Read this Knowledge Base article for more details on how Socrata visualizations work. 


Relative Date Filters for Visualizations

A core capability of the visualization canvas is the filter bar, which allows users to create and manage filters to analyze and shape data to answer specific questions. Historically, one limitation of that capability is that it did not allow the creation of relative date filters - the ability to ask the question, "what happened in the last 30 days," for example, as an automatically updated report.

Now, relative date filters have been added to the filter bar in both the visualization canvas and Perspectives. All charts, tables, maps, and other reports can now be set to automatically show data for a relative date range. This change makes the use of dashboards and visualizations for daily reporting far easier to configure and manage, and is immediately available on all visualizations or datasets that contain a date column.

Read this Knowledge Base article for more details on how filters in the visualization canvas work. 


Updates to the Data Import and Edit Experience

Since the data import and edit experience launched this past August, we've received great feedback about what things are working well and what could use some improvements. Based on that feedback, we have a few exciting updates to how you import and edit data.

Importing Data from a Multi-layer or Multi-sheet File

When data publishers select a file to import that is either a multi-layer shapefile or an Excel file with multiple sheets, you will now be able to select a single layer or sheet to import. After selecting the file to import from your computer or a URL, you will see the first layer or tab by default, and through the left-hand menu you can select an alternate layer to import if desired.

Append or Upsert

When editing and existing dataset through the new import experience, the "Add Data" button will now list an option for "append" if there is no row identifier set for your dataset, and "upsert" if there is a row identifier set for your dataset. The "replace" option will still exist regardless of whether or not a row identifier is set.

Location Column Configuration

Location columns which were previously configured with multiple columns can now be easily updated in the new data editing experience. After selecting a file to import from your computer or a URL, data publishers can configure the location columns, selecting from a set of multiple columns or a single field. If future updates of the dataset have the same field names as the last update, the fields will auto-map each time making updates faster and easier.

Read this Knowledge Base article for more details on how the new import experience works. 


Small Updates & Bug Fixes 

  • Perspectives updates
    • Fixed a small bug involving custom roles. Users who are given the ability to edit metadata for all stories will be able to do so.

  • Notifications Updates
    • Completed a significant redesign of settings for Notifications and Alerts to make them more clear and consistent. 

  • Corrected a small typo in the Socrata Data Player Template.


Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at with questions or ideas. 

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