Notes on setup, first steps, from a unsophisticated user


Some notes here that I hope will help other users. Like the product, relatively quick setup, and definitely something my internal customers will be able to navigate.

my goal: setup a 20 panel dashboard site, breaking it into 5 tabs, dashboards, of 4 panels each. Each panel has a trend for plan and actual by month over a 2-5 year time period. Would like to have drill-down into the details if possible. data is in MySQL.

server side setup and connection to database went smoothly, just as shown in the descriptions. did not have, or I missed, some part of installation that would have setup the jar as a service to start automatically, but found a link in the discussion board that may help with that later. really like the LDAP integration capability, although I haven’t tested it yet.

went a bit awry of the standard “getting started” script, which is why I hope these notes can help you.
Causes, as you will see below, stem from 1) not having my metrics defined in mysql as numbers but rather varchars and 2) not realizing you can change this setting easily.

I created a question and tried to do a simple line chart with a financial metric time series - plan and actual.
First, only was able to create a simple line chart for one of the two metrics. did not have an option to select one or the other. tried many options. found that it was due to my data field type and changed it in mysql. this didn’t flow through to metabase once metabase had mapped the tables. found out how to change this manually - quite easily - [ admin->datamodel->pick a table-> columns->type (at the bottom of this datamodel) ]

Still there were what I perceive as improvement opportunities. My data has a time field, a category field, and two fields for numerical values: plan and actual. Create a question and look at the “Raw Data” in a table. Then try to switch to line chart but can’t - get a warning that says “must be a map”. Decide to try only charting one of the numerical fields, unclicking the other numerical fields, and chart works. Then the chart draws and has essentially a scatterplot without the time on the line dimension. switch this up manually assigning the time dimension and now adding the second line. Consider this a bit of a workaround - but not too painful.