Glossary of terms
Flow - a data story presentation that has been constructed using the Flow Editor.
Data Value (or "Dot") - Data values within Flows are represented by "Dots" that appear at the appropriate locations within the 3-D space. The size of the Dot may provide a visual indication of the magnitude of the data value represented by the Dot. The color of the Dot may also provide useful information about the data value.
Swarm - A Swarm is our made-up name for our visualizations, and think of it as a way to arrange data points into 3D space. A swarm can be used in any number of Steps. Each Dot in the Swarm represents one value of the data field of interest.
Chart - There are various ways to arrange the data in space, and the big-picture algorithm to be used is selected in the Chart pulldown. The Scatterplot is the most common and provides a basis for many of the visuals that may not look anything like a scatterplot once it is complete.
Step - A Flow presentation is comprised of one or more Steps. A Step is equivalent to a slide within a PowerPoint presentation. A Flow can contain any number of Steps.
Timeline - The Timeline is across the bottom of the Flow Editor screen that shows objects (Swarms, Connections, Area Charts, Labels, Texts, Images, Buttons) that are visible on each Step within a Flow. Double-click items to show or hide them on a particular step.
The example above shows the Timeline for a Flow consisting of 11 Steps, 1 Swarm, 2 Connections, 3 sets of Labels, 1 Area Chart, 1 Map and 1 Text object. Colored cells indicate on which Steps the various objects are visible.
Connections - Connections are used to specify how data values are interconnected by straight lines. Connections are typically used to join matching categories of data or draw down to an axis. A Connection is always a component of a Swarm.
The above examples show simple and complex swarms in which data values are connected by Connections.
Labels - Labels are text that appears next to Swarm dots and is always a Component of a Swarm. Labels can show any of the attributes associated with a dot, and may be shown conditionally, such as to display the values at the end of a line or the maximum value of a category.
Area chart - Area charts in Flow create a filled-in plane between a data series and an axis. An area chart is always a Component of a Swarm.
Legend - A Legend is a Swarm Component showing categories visible in the swarm, usually colorized, and often interactive.
Filters - A Filter consists of logic for selecting a subset of rows from a Swarm. Filter elements can be grouped to form a composite filter that consists of multiple "and" or "or" conditions for selecting rows from the Swarm.
Perspectives - A group of settings for a Swarm that is unique for a single step. Naming and managing of Perspectives is performed automatically. To manage the Perspectives manually, select the Advanced checkbox on, and a drop-down will appear in the Swarm settings panel.