Row/Column front end awareness

Looker have a very useful feature called Table Calcs which apply at the front end layer (not at the SQL layer). These allow for data calculations to be applied across, for example, Pivot Table columns (by referring to previous or next columns) and table (by referring to previous or next rows). The fact that the table calcs apply at the front end, mean they can only be applied on non-distinct aggregates but nevertheless they are really useful (and quick)!

Any plans for this sort of functionality in the future?

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the inspiration! Cannot deny the ease of creating and the speed of Looker’s Table Calculations.

Just curious: Could you share some use cases where you need a calculation applied at the front-end level rather than at the SQL level?

Hi Tuan,

Front end calculations are useful when creating calculations applied on pivot tables e.g. looking at the previous column’s result for growth rates and also when using total values applied to current column values.

Just having a use case now which i’m really struggling to answer in Holistics as a business calc can only apply within its aggregation, whereas we need it to refer to the row or column total.

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Hey Alex,

Thanks for the answer about front-end calculations.

I admit that we’ll need to improve the Business Calculation a lot, especially when it comes to the number of functions it supports.

In the specific case of referring to the previous column’s result for growth rate, I would suggest taking a look at the Period over Period feature. It supports showing % change between two periods explicitly on Tables and Pivot Tables.

@Alex_H could you share more about the case that you want to refer to the column total in the Business Calculation? I assume you are trying to calculate a percentage of some sorts?

Period on period is a great feature! However, not always the appropriate thing to use on the presentation layer.

Great to know that Business Calcs are being looked at - I think this for us, these are one of the most value-adding front end features for ad-hoc analysis and general platform flexibility.


@tuan.nguyen There’s few days that go by without percentages having to be calculated which necessitates an understanding of the column, row or total sum values in the current cell intersect. How do Holistics service such requirements?

@tuan.nguyen just wondering how Holistics would service the above? Thanks

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Hey Alex,

At the moment you can use our transform model to achieve that. We’ve written a document over here for the Percent of Total use-case: Calculate The Percent of Total in Holistics | Holistics Docs

Right now we’re revamping the custom dimension/measure concept so you can calculate growth rates or current value/total value easily. You can think of it as an upgraded version of Business Calculation.

We’re also working on an intuitive interface for business users to execute such calculations on their own without having to write any code.

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Thanks very much Tuan. Great to hear about this!

Right now we’re revamping the custom dimension/measure concept so you can calculate growth rates or current value/total value easily.

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