The recent 10/17 Adobe Ana­lyt­ics 1.4 release brings enhance­ments to the chart options and data set in Ad Hoc Analy­sis (for­merly Dis­cover). The areas of chart improve­ment include dis­play and usabil­ity improve­ments. The new Sta­tis­tics func­tions cover sev­eral built-in options that over­lay against charts and the data set totals. You can now dis­cern data trends and anom­alies through effi­cient visu­al­iza­tions and bet­ter iden­tify spe­cific data points.

1. New Chart Views & Usabil­ity Improvements

The most vis­i­ble default change to the chart views is the improved read­abil­ity and scal­ing abil­ity of the chart. The chart auto-scales if the left or lower panes are resized in any way. A wholly new fea­ture is also the abil­ity to drag and move the visual area with your mouse. You can zoom in and out by hold­ing down the con­trol but­ton and using your mouse scroll wheel. Charts now inter­ac­tively high­light a sin­gle fig­ure in the data set below when hov­er­ing over points within a graph. The chart enhance­ments fit in per­fect with exist­ing menu cus­tomiza­tion and work­flow options in Ad Hoc Analy­sis. It is impor­tant to note chart views can be dis­torted or obscured if the scale is dra­mat­i­cally altered in the win­dow. You need to be aware of this poten­tial haz­ard when alter­ing chart views via mouse action.

Ad Hoc Analy­sis 1.1: Improved Chart View Display


If you ever want to reset back to the default chart you can select Chart Options>Reset View dis­play win­dow but­ton right next the ‘Graph Type’ drop down selec­tor and it will bring the chart back exactly to the orig­i­nal full frame view.

Ad Hoc Analy­sis 1.2: Chart Option Menu to Adjust Graph Type, Reset View, and Tog­gle between Value & Percent


2. Sta­tis­tics Options

The Sta­tis­tics option in Ad Hoc Analy­sis can be enabled in both the chart view area and the raw data set dis­play win­dows. As illus­trated in the 2.1 dia­gram below tog­gling the Sta­tis­tics menu screen shows the options to apply sta­tis­ti­cal mea­sures against a spe­cific col­umn. Within the chart, the six avail­able sta­tis­ti­cal func­tions are shown as bounded ranges and visu­al­iza­tion guides. Impor­tant to note there is a user check­box option to include or exclude zero val­ues within the sta­tis­ti­cal calculations.

Min– The low­est observed value within the given report­ing time frame.

Max– The high­est observed value within the given report­ing time frame.

Median– Mid­dle value sep­a­rat­ing the greater and lesser halves of a data set.

Mean– Sum of val­ues of a data set divided by num­ber of values.

Interquar­tile Range– The data spread dis­tance between the 1st quar­tile (25th per­centile) and 3rd quar­tile (75th per­centile). Q3 — Q1 = IQR

Stan­dard Devi­a­tion (1, 2, or 3)- The data spread cal­cu­lated to indi­cate the extent of devi­a­tion for a group as a whole within 3 quar­tile bands: 1σ (~68% of the obser­va­tions fall within 1 stan­dard devi­a­tion of the mean), 2σ (~95% of the obser­va­tions fall within 2 stan­dard devi­a­tions of the mean), 3σ (~99.7% of the obser­va­tions fall within 3 stan­dard devi­a­tions of the mean).

Ad Hoc Analy­sis 2.1: Chart Sta­tis­tics Guides Applied: Min, Max, Median, Mean


Ad Hoc Analy­sis 2.2: Chart Sta­tis­tics Guides Applied: Stan­dard Devi­a­tion (2 Quartiles)


The applied Sta­tis­tics for the data set in total are also pro­vided in sum­mary at the top of the raw data set as show in dia­gram 3.1 below. If you right click within the data set screen there is a direct Sta­tis­tics options win­dow that opens with the same six Sta­tis­tics cal­cu­la­tion options that can be selected within the chart view.

Ad Hoc Analy­sis 3.1: Sta­tis­tics Total View in Data Set



As a data ana­lyst I value how the lat­est Ad Hoc Analy­sis release allows for even faster explo­ration and direct appli­ca­tion of visu­al­ized sta­tis­ti­cal checks. The lat­est release empow­ers data reviews to process trends and issues. The sta­tis­ti­cal visu­al­iza­tion makes deci­sions against the data eas­ier for you to note and move on. All in it has been a ban­ner year for Ad Hoc Analy­sis with the intro­duc­tion of sequen­tial seg­men­ta­tion, inter­face refreshes, and the lat­est visual enhance­ments. The chart views and sta­tis­tic options pro­vide imme­di­ate ben­e­fits to you in the main reports within Ad Hoc Analysis.

Brian Au is a con­sul­tant in Adobe Con­sult­ing, focused on dig­i­tal strat­egy, ana­lyt­ics & opti­miza­tion for retail & travel clients. He tweets at @Bri­anAu.