How Zoomdata Handles Time

If your data source contains one or more time-based attribute, you can visualize and explore your data using time as an attribute.

When you are maintaining a data source configuration, you can specify time field settings as well as define time bar settings (see Configuring the Time Bar and Search Features) . These include selecting the time attribute based on which your charts are built, applying a time zone label, and enabling or disabling playback, live mode, and delay mode for live data sources.

Live mode presupposes playing data from current moment on, while playback provides you with possibility to play data for the selected period. Live mode is enabled by default for live streaming sources.

For other sources, Zoomdata checks if a playable time field is available. A time field is defined as playable when a partition, index, or sort key is present (depending on the data source). A playable time field must have some type of granularity (day, hour, minute, or second) for the playback to be supported. Keep in mind that you can enable live mode only if playback is enabled

You can also manage the time settings on the chart and dashboard levels.

Zoomdata works with time data in UTC. Zoomdata recommends that you set the timezone for your data source server in UTC to avoid time conversion issues.

See also Using the Network Time Protocol to Synchronize Time.

Managing Time Settings at the Chart Level

  1. The Time Bar menu item lets you select the time attribute to be used in the chart, as well as enable the time player.
  2. The time bar along the bottom of the chart canvas lets you set and manipulate the time range for your dashboard.

The following live streaming sources have the time player enabled by default:

For historical sources, the time bar is not enabled by default but your administrator can set the default parameters for the time bar.

When available and set up by your administrator, the time zone labels are displayed in the time bar as well as in appropriate menus.

Exploring your Time-Based Data

The time player lets you explore time in a variety of ways - from zooming into a specific time frame to zooming out to a wider time range. The time player also lets you rewind the data view to a previous point in time and then fast forward to the most current time period available in the data set.

The Time Bar Tool

The Time Bar tool lists all the time-based attributes available in your data source. Selecting a time attribute from this pane sets the group-by for your chart.

You can also Enable Playback which enables or disables the Play button on the time player. Playback mode is available if the Time field in your data set has the playable parameter which is set to True and the granularity of the field is not greater than day.

When is the "playable" property in the data source set to true?

  1. If the field in the data source is indexed or partitioned. For Impala data sources, also possible if the selected field has connection to the partitioned field.

  2. If the data source is Spark (for example, SparkSQL)

  3. In Amazon RedShift, if it is the first sort key.

You can select the time-based attribute to use for your dashboard. This tool serves the same purpose as the Global Default Settings at the level of your data source.

  1. Time attribute - displays a list of available time-based attributes in your data source.
  2. Start Range (From value) - the default value is Min value in your data set.
  3. End Range (To value) - the default value is Max value in your data set.
  4. Wings: Start and End Selection options -allows you to select a start and end within your time frame.
  5. Time window with From and To handles - controls the speed of your time.

For live sources, the following time controls are also available:

  1. Play/pause - displays whenever playback is enabled for the data source.
  2. Time player speed - you can set the speed that the time player moves through your data set, including:
    • 1 second of data per second of time
    • 1 minute's worth of data per second of time
    • 1 hour's worth of data per second of time
    • 1 day's worth of data per second of time
    When the time bar is running, an animated indicator is used to show data being played on the chart. It is possible to disable the animated indicator (via a user with admin rights in Zoomdata). Refer to the topic Configuring Server-Level Variables for more information.
  3. Pin Start Time - locks the start time; when enabled along with playback, the time window aggregates from your pinned starting point.

The time player lets you manipulate the time in your data in a variety of ways:

  • You can use the Start and End points in your time bar to quickly expand or reduce the time range that is shown in the chart. You can also edit the start and end times to see a more granular level of time data.
  • By editing the Start Range (Min value) or End Range (Max value), you are filtering the time range that will be available for the chart; in essence, this filter lets you customize the time range for your dashboard.

Keep in mind that the Start Time and End Time panes differ from the Start Range and End Range filter panes.

The Filters Start and End Range Panes

The Filter Range let you customize the date and time parameters in the following ways:

  • Selecting a specific start or end time frame
  • Choosing a predefined time preset
  • Setting a dynamic time

Specific Start / End Time Frame

To set a specific time frame, do the following:

  1. Select either the start or end range on the time player.

  2. Edit the date or time parameters:

    • For the date field, there are three tabs to help you select the ‘Year’, ‘Month’ and ‘Day’.
    • For the time field, you can specify the hour, minutes and seconds as well as time of day.
  3. Select Apply to make your changes.

Predefined Time Preset

For steps and information about filers, see Applying Filters.

Dynamic Time

Dynamic Time provides flexibility in setting your start and end times, and gives you the flexibility to set relative time frames. For example, the sales team accessing a chart showing the current week’s sales results.

Setting a Dynamic Time lets you or other users explore and interact with data sets within a targeted time frame. The Dynamic Time option is accessed by selecting the Date icon for both the start and end ranges.

Dynamic time options include:

  • Start/End of Data Set
  • Start/End of a time frame
  • Now

Dynamic Time offers an offset option for greater control over the relative time frame you are setting. For example, the sales team wants to view the weekly sales results, but from Tuesday through Friday only. The purpose of the offset is to provide more flexibility for the starting or ending range of the chart. The result of your offset setting is displayed under the Selected Range (Dynamic) label.

Besides the filters you have configured, the time attribute that is used for the time bar is displayed in the Active Filters section.