Chapter 11: Filters & Controls in Looker Studio
In the previous lessons we learned about data blending: how it works behind the scenes, its new features, and the different join types that we can use. We also discussed some examples of data blending applications.
In this chapter we will talk about Data Control: the application of Filters and Controls in reports.
What are Filters?
Filters limit the data shown in a report based on a dimension or metric.
We’ll also discuss the different functions of filters, where they can be applied, the conditions used, as well as restrictions between editors and viewers.
What are Controls?
Controls allow report viewers to limit the values shown in a chart based on different categories of a dimension, similar to filters.
Controls differ from filters since some controls can enable the report editors to gather user input for parameters to be used in calculated fields.
Controls also have different functions that can affect the dataset, time frame, and parameter values.
11.1. Intro & Dimension Filters
Welcome to an exciting lesson about filters and controls in Looker Studio. These powerful tools are essential when creating reports. So let's dive in and learn how they work.
Filters and Controls
First, let's understand the distinction between filters and controls. Filters are for the report editor, allowing you to decide what to apply. You can filter based on dimensions or metrics. On the other hand, controls are for the viewer and include data control, date range control, filter controls, advanced filter control, and chart cross filters.
Filters allow you to limit the data shown on a chart. You can apply them to a chart, control, page, or the entire report. Keep in mind that report viewers cannot change filters, so you'll need to inform them about the filters applied.
Filters do not transform data, they only limit it. You can include or exclude dimension values, apply filters with more than one condition, and have multiple filters applied to a single chart. Filters are linked to a data source.
Applying Dimension Filters
Let's start with filtering a chart based on dimension values. First, select the chart and look at the data property in the sidebar. Scroll down to find the "table filter" section and click to add a filter.
Name your filter descriptively, then decide whether you want to include or exclude certain values. For example, you might want to exclude rows where the source medium contains "not set."
Once you've set up your filter, save it. The chart should now only display the data you want to see. Keep in mind that the order of the filters does not matter, as they are all applied on top of each other.
Using Multiple Criteria
You can also apply multiple criteria to a filter. For example, if you want to include data where the device is either desktop or mobile, use the "OR" operator. If you need to include or exclude more than ten values, use the "IN" operator followed by a list of values separated by commas.
Applying Dimension Filters to Scorecards
Filters can also be applied to scorecards, which don't have dimensions. Simply add a filter and choose from the ones you've already created. The numbers on the scorecard should change accordingly.