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Today I am going to blog about cyclic dimensions. A cyclic dimension is a group of dimensions that can be cycled through in a visualization. The dimensions do not have to be related or have a hierarchical relationship. The dimensions only have to make sense with the measures used in the visualizations. Cyclic dimensions can be very useful when it is valuable to view a visualization across many dimensions. It becomes even more valuable if there are multiple visualizations on a sheet, or in an app, that use the same cyclic dimension. When a cyclic dimension is switched to the next field, all visualizations that use the cyclic dimension will be changed to the same field. This is a time saver.  You may wonder if alternate dimensions can do the same thing. Alternate dimensions allow a user to change the dimension in a chart, but it only changes it for the specified chart whereas a cyclic dimension can change the dimension for multiple charts.  Alternate dimensions can also be used in a visualization with a cyclic dimension.

Building a cyclic dimension is very easy and there are few ways to use them. You create a cyclic dimension the same as you do a single or drill-down dimension. From the Master items, create a new dimension. At the top select Cyclic dimension type, then add the fields to include. Give the cyclic dimension a name and save. Labels can be added to give the fields a different name and description.  At least two fields need to be added to a cyclic dimension.

cyclic dimension.png

A cyclic dimension can be added to a visualization the same way a single dimension is added. Once they are added to a visualization a cycle icon will appear next to the field name as well as an arrow. By default, the first field in the cyclic dimension will be displayed. To change the dimension in the visualization, a user can click on the cycle icon or click on the label or down arrow and select another dimension.











Another way a user can cycle through the dimensions is to use a button. In the What’s New app, buttons have been created to cycle through the cyclic dimensions.




In all three buttons, the action is set to Step cyclic dimension and the Step is set to backward for the left arrow and forward for the right arrow and the cycle button in the middle.

Left arrow buttonLeft arrow buttonRight arrow & cycle buttonsRight arrow & cycle buttons

In the What’s New app, you can also see how changing the cyclic dimension in one visualization, updates all the visualizations using the cyclic dimension. In the screenshot below, Category Name is the current cyclic dimension.

cat name.png

If I switch the dimension, using any of the ways I have described above, Country Code is the dimension. Notice that the dimension in all the visualizations have been updated to Country Code in the screenshot below.


Check out Qlik Help to learn more about cyclic dimensions and to be aware of the limitations. Also watch Michael Tarallo’s SaaS in 60 video on Cyclic Group Dimensions. Try them out in your next app.



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