Almost everything about FreeSight was designed to get you to the Analysis stages of your data work as quickly and accurately as possible – and then make the Analysis easy, intuitive, fun, and productive.
Select or highlight any Table on your Home Page. Right-click your mouse on the selected Table or click Data on your Menu Bar. Select Analyze Table and Create new analysis table. You’re ready to start.
Perhaps the most important thing to know when working with FreeSight Analysis Tables is that an Analysis Table should be considered a starting place, not just the end result (although the “end result” report you might create at the end of your model process is likely another Analysis Table). If you regularly work with pivot tables, consider an Analysis Table to be like a much more powerful and flexible pivot table, with data visualizations automatically built in.
Analysis Tables are tools to summarize your data. They are infinitely flexible in that you can perform virtually all of the same functions in an Analysis Table as you do in a Data Table – such as edit cell values, add or delete rows or columns, filter, sort, create new fields and data using an extensive array of formulas and functions, and so on. At the same time FreeSight continuously displays a dynamic graphical image of the data you are viewing and summarizing.
Because every action you take can be easily reversed, deleted or edited without ever affecting your other work, you are free to experiment with Analysis Tables with no concerns or restrictions. There is no limit to the number of Analysis Tables or views of your data that you can create. Each exists independently of all of the others, except as connected by the way your data flows through the model.
The first thing we recommend to do with your Analysis Table is select Auto-Chart (button at the bottom of the window). This will show you a list of all of the data fields available to you in your table. Check the boxes for the fields you’re interested in, and FreeSight will analyze the data, providing you with charts and tables depicting different ways to view the data you’ve selected. Double-click on any view you’re interested in, and your Analysis Table is created and populated for you.
From here you can explore and edit as you wish – change fields in and out, sort, filter, etc. Once you have the view you want, then press your Home button to return to your Home Page View. From there you can create more charts and tables as you might require.
Key Functions and Features of Analysis Tables that will help you be more productive:
Candidly, there are too many to list them all. The best thing to do is to use some sample data and try out every one of the following functions, the purposes for which we describe briefly below. These commands are found in the Data drop-down from the Menu Bar, or by right-clicking your mouse anywhere within the data portion of your Analysis Table:
Month To Month Comparison: This is a hugely powerful feature. Based on how you group your time-series data (e.g. by month, year, week, etc.), this feature allows you to automatically calculate comparisons within your data – YTD, running averages, compare against previous three weeks/months/years, compare to this time last year, and many others.
Column Summarization: Contains built-in functions that enable you to easily modify the values you see in your table. FreeSIght can display your data as a Sum, an Average, a Count of value types, or other ways. It makes educated guesses that you can accept or override using the Column Summarization options. (Often, if the data in an Analysis Table doesn’t appear to be correct, it is simply because your Column Summarization setting should be adjusted.)
View Source Data: A drill down feature that brings you to the Data Table and the exact data that is summarized in the Analysis Table. Especially useful for identifying and correcting your data errors and discrepancies.
Group Dates: Super powerful and flexible ways to group and analyze time-series data. Group Dates lets you instantly move to and from any time-series data grouping.
Swap Row/Column Summary Headers: With one click, reverse your data view so that your columns are now rows, and your rows are now columns.
Totals: Enables you to turn on and off Totals and Sub-totals in your Analysis Table.
Re-Analyze Table: As described earlier, there is no limit to the number of Data and Analysis Tables you create. Sometimes the data you wish to analyze needs to be summarized in a few different ways, and re-analyzing an existing Analysis Table is the best way to do this.
Charting Features and Functions: You can easily change chart types, titles, labels, colours, and all other chart settings by accessing the Chart drop-down from the Menu Bar, or by either right-clicking or double-clicking your mouse anywhere within a chart.
There are so many more powerful functions and features to describe. Please read our detailed Help Section, which contains comprehensive FreeSight documentation. If you haven’t done so, please visit our Tour Page for very brief video descriptions of some of FreeSight’s features, and our Download Page to download a free 30-day trial of FreeSight.