July 18, 2023

Sigma Made Simple Recap Blog

By Katrina Menne

Welcome to the #SigmaMadeSimple Blog Series, where we bring you a comprehensive collection of short-form how-to videos, tips, tricks, and best practices to simplify your journey as a Sigma Computing developer. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this series is designed to equip you with valuable insights and techniques to turn your data into actionable insights.

From fundamental concepts, visualization, and elements how-to, to our favorite hacks in Sigma, each video in this series is carefully crafted to make your Sigma experience smoother and more efficient. Join us as we explore the power of Sigma Computing and unlock its full potential with #SigmaMadeSimple.

We love sharing our passion and knowledge for Sigma. Be sure to check back for new topics, and feel free to connect with us on LinkedIn (Katrina Menne, Will Strouse, Luke Stanke, and phData) to be notified of new Sigma content!

Episode 1: Understanding Parent and Child Data Elements in Sigma Computing

Author: Will Strouse

In this video, Will Strouse covers how to leverage the parent-child relationship in Sigma Computing to improve the performance and user experience of your Sigma workbook.

Episode 2: Understanding Top N Filters in Sigma

Author: Katrina Menne

Learn how to effectively use top N filters in Sigma Computing with Katrina’s expert guidance. Avoid common mistakes and discover the correct approach to display the top N values.

Want to learn more about Top N Filters? Check out this blog.

Episode 3: Best Practices for Scheduling Exports in Sigma Computing

Author: Will Strouse

Schedule exports of your Sigma Computing workbooks, pages, and/or specific data elements based on a repeating cadence or with custom alert criteria via email, Slack, Google Drive updates, and more!

Ready to delve deeper? Learn more here.

Episode 4: How to Create Top Level Calculations

Author: Luke Stanke

One way to create a global or overall group, build overall calculations and how to use them throughout your data model or workbook.

Want to learn an additional way to create summaries? Learn here: Create a Summary in Sigma.

Episode 5: Building Combo Charts in Sigma Workbooks

Author: Katrina Menne

An overview on creating Combo Charts with Sigma Computing and some pro formatting tips to make your data visualization elements pop!

Episode 6: Metrics Over Mayhem

Author: Will Strouse

Sigma Computing’s metrics feature is a game-changer in the world of data analytics. Join Will Strouse, a principal analytics consultant, in this video as he demonstrates how metrics simplify complex calculations and enable you to generate insightful visualizations effortlessly. Follow the step-by-step process of creating metrics and learn how to leverage the power of Sigma to optimize your data analysis workflows.

Interested in more information about Metrics? What Are Metrics in Sigma Computing? Blog

Episode 7: Duplicate vs Synced Control Elements

Author: Katrina Menne

Looking for clarity on synced and duplicate control elements? Look no further! In this video, Katrina breaks down the distinctions between the two. Learn how to create synced copies to maintain consistency across tabs and duplicate copies for unique control scenarios. With Sigma’s powerful capabilities, you can effortlessly manage your control elements and unlock new insights from your data.

Want to learn more about Control Elements? Check out this blog.

Episode 8: Text Searching Made Easy

Author: Luke Stanke

Make data exploration accessible to everyone with this #SigmaMadeSimple tip. Learn how to use different control settings to create user-friendly text searching, making it easy for anyone to find relevant information within their data. Join us and empower your team to become data-driven decision-makers!

Episode 9: Labeling the End of the Line

Author: Katrina Menne

Discover a clever trick for labeling the end of a line in a line chart with Katrina’s expert guidance. Learn how to leverage Sigma’s combo chart feature to stack two line charts on top of each other, allowing you to highlight the most recent month. Follow along as Katrina demonstrates how to add data labels and customize the visualization to showcase the desired endpoint.

Episode 10: Adding Gifs to Workbooks

Author: Luke Stanke

Take your data presentations to the next level with animated GIFs! Learn how to seamlessly add GIFs to your workbooks and dashboards, making it easy for your users to know how to interact with a workbook or add a splash of fun to your presentations. Join us now in #SigmaMadeSimple!

Episode 11: Sorting by Month Names on Visuals

Author: Luke Stanke

Learn how to sort month names numerically on a bar chart in Sigma Computing! Follow our step-by-step tutorial to organize your data in a meaningful and intuitive way. Ensure your bar chart displays months in the correct order for accurate data representation.

Episode 12: #1 Thing Users Forget When Publishing a Dashboard

Author: Katrina Menne

Don’t forget one of the most important things to check before publishing a dashboard! The drill-down feature in Sigma allows users to dive into the details of any visualization. However, it’s crucial to make sure that the options available in the drill-down list make sense and are helpful to the end user. In this video, I’ll show you how to edit the drill-down list and select only the options that are relevant to your audience. As a developer, it’s our job to ensure that the dashboard is user-friendly and easy to navigate.

Episode 13: Why Developers Love Sigma's KPI Elements

Author: Will Strouse

Sigma Computing’s KPIs combine multiple visual elements that used to require us #bideveloper’s to build them all separately, then tile them together, over and over. Not Anymore!

Want to learn more about the KPI element? Check out this blog.

Episode 14: Adding a Blank Row in Pivot Tables

Author: Katrina Menne

Discover the hassle-free way to replicate formatting from Excel or Google Sheets in Sigma Computing! Join Katrina, the Sigma lead at phData, as she showcases the simplicity of mimicking specific formatting requirements. In this video, she highlights the easy steps to incorporate a blank line beneath a set of metrics, making your formatting consistent and visually appealing.

Episode 15: An MVP-d3-U$D Custom Format Trick

Author: Will Strouse

In this episode, Will shares his favorite custom formatting trick for US dollar currency format. By using custom formatting with D3, Will demonstrates how to make currency values more readable and save visual space. This quick tip is especially useful for dealing with US dollar values in a wide range, from millions to single dollars, commonly encountered in stock data analysis.

Episode 16: Exploring the Help Button in Sigma Computing

Author: Will Strouse

In this episode of Sigma Made Simple, Will Strouse, a principal analytics consultant and Sigma expert at phData, introduces the Help Button as a valuable tool with a wealth of resources. He demonstrates how to use the live chat feature for quick assistance and highlights the Help Button’s function index, tutorials, hotkeys, and community, emphasizing the exceptional response time and creating a supportive learning environment.

Episode 17: How to Unsynced Trellis Axis

Author: Katrina Menne

In this informative video, Katrina explores the benefits of trellis charts, also known as small multiples, for visualizing multiple trends in a concise manner. Witness how Sigma empowers you to effortlessly organize data by multiple categories, allowing for seamless comparisons and improved data comprehension. Don’t miss Sigma Made Simple as Katrina shares an important step to unleashing the potential of trellis charts in your organization!

Episode 18: InDateRange Calculations

Author: Luke Stanke

Learn a favorite and incredibly easy date range calculation for almost any type of reporting in Sigma. In this video, Luke demonstrates how to create the calculation, customize arguments like period and offset, and perform month-to-month comparisons for insightful data analysis.

Want to test out the InDateRange function? Check out this blog: How to use InDateRange & InPriorDate in Sigma Computing.

Episode 19: Using the Drill Down Control

Author: Luke Stanke

In this Sigma Made Simple video, Luke demonstrates the drill down control feature in Sigma, highlighting its simplicity and effectiveness compared. He shows how to add drill categories, create buttons for different levels of detail, and connect them to the target chart. With just a single button, users can easily change the granularity of data displayed on the chart, making it a valuable feature for analysts.

Episode 20: How to make "Easy Buttons"

Author: Katrina Menne

In today’s episode of “Sigma Made Simple”, Sigma lead, Katrina Menne is all about unlocking the power of workbook filters. Whether you’re a data enthusiast or a casual user, this tutorial will equip you with the skills to create intuitive buttons that make filtering a breeze. Follow along as she guides you through the process step by step. Let’s dive in and unleash the true potential of Sigma’s workbook filters!

Episode 21: Improving Filter Performance

Author: Katrina Menne

In this episode of Sigma Made Simple, Katrina shares some tips and tricks to enhance the performance and speed of filters in Sigma. She demonstrates how to turn off the histogram, use Sigma’s group by statements, and change filters to expanded lists to improve loading times. These simple adjustments can make a significant difference in your data analysis experience.

Episode 22: Waterfall Charts

Author: Luke Stanke

In this Sigma Made Simple video, Luke Stanke demonstrates how to create a waterfall chart from scratch using Sigma. He starts by building calculations for cumulative sales and start values, effectively explaining the process. Luke then adjusts the chart, separates positive and negative values, and offers valuable insights to viewers on how to perfect the waterfall chart. Join the video for a step-by-step guide to creating this insightful visualization!

Episode 23: Sigma Fundamentals: Mastering Aggregations

Author: Katrina Menne

In this Sigma Made Simple episode, Katrina explains the concept of table groupings and how they work. She demonstrates using a simple data set to find the average order value for each product type and examine if it’s increasing or decreasing over time.

By dragging columns to the grouping section, she shows how to create hierarchical groupings and build visualizations based on different levels of aggregation. Understanding table groupings is crucial to efficiently analyze and manipulate data in Sigma. Watch the video to master this fundamental concept!

Deep dive in Table Aggregations and Groupings here: Aggregating Tables in Sigma Computing.

Episode 24: Dynamic Chart Titles

In this Sigma Made Simple video, Katrina, the Sigma lead at phData, demonstrates how to create dynamic chart labels. She showcases how to add labels indicating the top-selling product and average order value. Utilizing Sigma’s text element and calculations, she guides viewers on how to provide valuable context to their analysis. Join the video to learn this handy technique and make your visualizations more informative!

Episode 25: From "Zero" sizing and Coloring for Outlier Detection

Author: Will Strouse

In this Sigma Made Simple video, Will Strouse, reveals a favorite formatting tip for scatter plots. Using NBA player heights and weights as an example, he demonstrates how to emphasize outliers by accentuating the distance from a central point. This technique allows for easier outlier detection and provides valuable insights in scatter plot visualizations. Tune in to learn this useful tip and enhance your data analysis!

Interested in more great tips and tricks from Will about Scatter Charts? Check out his blog: How to Make Effective Scatter Charts in Sigma.

Episode 26: Formatting your User Interface

Author: Luke Stanke

In today’s Sigma Made Simple video, Luke Stanke demonstrates two UI tips to clean up your workspace effectively. He shows how to trim white space by simply dragging the mouse and clicking, as well as how to fill the space by double-clicking on a control or visualization. These simple yet powerful tips make it easy to build dashboards and workbooks efficiently in Sigma.

Episode 27: Rolling or Carryover Calculations

Author: Katrina Menne

In this episode of Sigma Made Simple, Katrina demonstrates how to calculate rolling totals or rolling values using Sigma. She uses a dataset with regions and quarterly quotas to compare against sales values. Katrina shows how to create a rolling difference and use lag functions to calculate the rolling sum, resulting in insightful visuals. Sigma’s flexibility makes it a powerful tool for data analysis at different levels. Watch the video for a step-by-step guide on calculating rolling sums in Sigma!

Episode 28: Histogram Homeruns

Author: Will Strouse

In this episode of Sigma Made Simple, Will Strouse, discusses the importance of histograms for data visualization. He explains two bin functions, bin fixed and bin range, for creating histograms and understanding data distribution. Will demonstrates various ways to represent histograms, including bar charts, combo charts, and heat maps, which offer valuable insights for data quality and analysis.

Episode 29: Scenario Planning using Input Tables

Author: Luke Stanke

In this episode, Luke Stanke discusses the powerful capabilities of Input Tables. He demonstrates how to create and use input tables for real-time data interaction and scenario planning. By updating sales data with various scenarios, viewers witness the immediate impact on visualizations, such as bar charts, leading to a better understanding of their data. Join Luke in the video to explore this revolutionary way of working with data in Sigma!

Interested in even more ways to use Input Tables? Learn more here: What are Input Tables in Sigma Computing? Or See an example here: Customer Marketing Value Analysis Dashboard.

Episode 30: Trifecta of Tips and Tircks

Author: Katrina Menne, Luke Stanke, and Will Strouse

In the final daily episode of Sigma Made Simple, Will Strouse, Luke Stanke, and Katrina Menne share a trio of tips and tricks. Katrina demonstrates how to enhance performance by using the “required” option for control elements in Sigma. Luke showcases the simplicity of creating a toggle control to show current-year data only. Will explores Sigma’s map features, including different map styles, point maps, region maps, and new geography maps.

Episode 31: Replacing Tables vs Changing Sources in Sigma Computing

Author: Will Strouse

In this quick-how-to, I cover the differences between changing data sources and replacing tables in your Sigma Computing workbooks to ensure your consumers always have the most up-to-date data without you having to develop completely new elements.


Just like your Sigma Computing journey, our #SimgaMadeSimple series goes on. Please follow us on LinkedIn (Katrina Menne, Will Strouse, Luke Stanke, and phData)  to receive notifications of our newest how-to and in-the-life-of content coming soon!

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