SpotOn Learning Webinar: Use Worksheets to Model Intuitive Searches (Video and Slide Deck) (6/28/2018)


Welcome to the webinar follow-up and discussion on how to use worksheets to model search. Here you can watch the webinar for the first time or rewatch it to catch something you missed.

Slide Deck

Download the slide deck from the presentation.

Presenter and Webinar Goals

Michael Armentano, Client Partner in Customer Success, covers best practices for creating worksheets for user groups and the reasons for doing so. You can create worksheets for different user groups to make searching easier. This requires a good understanding of the underlying data, and of your target users who will be searching the data. It's not uncommon for an organization to have multiple worksheets to meet the needs of different groups and use cases.


For example, your sales team might need to search for information about retail sales. This data might be contained in several base tables (sales, customers, products, stores, etc.), joined by foreign key relationships. A BI developer or administrator familiar with the data model can create a "retail sales" worksheet that combines the related fact and dimension tables into a single, easy-to-use view, and share it with the sales team. On the worksheet, admins can add synonyms to match users' search vocabulary; identify geo data to support maps in search results; set number, date, and currency formats, and much more. Your sales team can then choose the worksheet as a data source, and create meaningful searches without an understanding of how the underlying data is structured.

Q&A Summary

These questions were covered at the end of the presentation. The full Q&A begins at 30:45 into the video recording shown at the top of this post.

Can two users of a single worksheet have different access to different metrics / fields?

Not right now, the best way to deal with this is to have two separate worksheets. You could have one worksheet to which users have different access levels, but it’s better to create multiple worksheets.

Is it typical to have multiple worksheets?

You may use a single worksheet for:

  • Basic users who just want to search

You may want multiple worksheets are for:

  • Power users
  • Users who look at data across different functions
  • Users who manage data and create worksheets

If a user has access to more than one worksheet, do they need to "Choose Sources" each time?

No, this setting is remembered once you choose it. You can also just start searching, and data sources are auto-selected as  you choose search terms.

Can they only choose columns from one Data Source at a time?

You can have multiple sources selected and choose columns from one or more of them at the same time. Once you search, the search is limited to the scope of chosen sources.

When you start a new search, the scope may change based on the search terms you choose.

Can you give an example of a join that is not progressive?

ThoughtSpot evaluates joins on the fly (e.g. when a search is done), so for a progressive join ThoughtSpot only evaluates the joins that are part of the search.

If you select all joins, notwithstanding what is in the search, ThoughtSpot evaluates all the joins in the Worksheet.  This could impact performance. You might want to use non-progressive joins in a scenario where you have enabled Row Level Security.

Can you talk a little more about tables versus worksheets. What kinds of changes I should make on the table vs. on a worksheet? 

Do changes made on the table propagate to the worksheet or vice versa?

Changes do propagate from the table up, so worksheets inherit configurations from the base tables they are built on.

Some configurations are better made at the table level, e.g.,  setting the GEO configurations on zip codes or currency types on measures like “sales”.

This way, all worksheets created on the table will inherit those configurations.

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