Hierarchies vs. Drill-into when drilling down into your data

The notion of “drilling down” into specific dimensions is a great way to analyze your data within a certain context on the fly. For example, let’s say I’m analyzing my most viewed dashboards:


And now I want to click and go further into a certain report to determine which users have viewed this report:


There are 2 main ways you could accomplish this:

  • Using “Hierarchy” fields
  • Using the “Drill Into” feature

Option 1: Using “Hierarchy” fields

Simply put, Hierarchies allow you to create specific drill paths based on dimensions you select and the order in which you place them. For example, let’s say I want to drill into a Dashboard name, and then into the users that viewed the dashboard, and then the timeframe they viewed the dashboard.

We can create this specific drill path (or Hierarchy) from the Dataset level:


Once the Hierarchy is created, you can drag and drop your other fields that you would like to drill into. NOTE: The order of these fields will dictate the drill order from the Dashboard. In our case, we want to start with the Dashboard name (report_name), then drill into the user’s who viewed them (username), and the finally look into the timeframe in which the Dashboard was viewed (date_ts).

Now if we go back to our visual, we can add our Hierarchy to the Visual Builder shelf:

and I can now click and drill though each level of the Hierarchy:

For more information on how to create hierarchies, and use them in the context of building Visuals, please see checkout our documentation:


Option 2: Use ‘Drill Into’ feature.

The ‘Drill Into’ feature, unlike Hierarchies, allow you to be more flexible about the drill paths you take when analyzing your data. Since you’re not choosing the exact drill path up front, you can click and choose any dimension you wish as you analyze your data. For instance, if I click on one of the Dashboard names below, and then click “Drill Into”, I can then choose which dimension I would like to analyze next with respect to the Dashboard I’m interested in.

For more information on the ‘Drill Into’ feature, please see checkout our documentation: