Data-driven dynamic tooltips that add even more context to Pyramid dashboards and reports


In analytics and BI applications, a tooltip can be an invaluable mechanism to display informational text when hovering a mouse cursor over a graphical item on a screen, dashboard, or report. Classically, the tooltip is used to help users understand the information they’re reviewing. Making a tooltip data-driven—just like dynamic infographics and text—allows the content and messaging to change dynamically, and can add even more depth and detail than static content alone.

The problem

Static tooltips provide context to presentation elements with a simple hover-over effect. However, the static text can only display simple text that does not change based on the user’s interactions or the current values of the underlying data. By injecting data-driven content in a different context, a tooltip can dramatically help to crystallize ideas, just like data-driven images and text .

Tremendous value can be added to these dynamic messages by applying logic, formulas, and additional formatting to the data-driven tooltip. Text may also be conditionally displayed or hidden, or draw from other reports and data to drive the messaging in a tooltip that accompanies a visualization.

Most BI tools offer the ability to only display static information to users. The few BI tools that do offer dynamic tooltips often only provide convoluted functionality that can difficult to set up and deploy.

Pyramid’s solution

Pyramid has boosted this basic feature with tooltips that display text that can dynamically change, driven by a combination of visible and off-screen elements.

Comprehensive formatting options allow users to define outside and inside colors, fonts, size, and alignment. Other available functions let users generate logical values or statistics to automatically update the text—in real-time—when subsets of data are selected in a presentation using slicers.

Business case

Mitch, a business analyst at EZ Retail Inc., is using Pyramid to analyze data housed in a Pyramid in-memory database. Mitch wants to “bring his dashboard alive” by blending a narrative from different visuals. He wants to display sales totals, providing returns and profit details of the top promotion type when the user selects different slices of data in the dashboard.


Mitch adds a graphic image of a light bulb to his canvas. He selects “Set Tooltip” to configure the tooltip to provide further dynamic text and amounts that display the revenue of the worst-performing manufacturer compared to the previous year.


In the Tooltip Designer, Mitch then enters the tooltip text and selects the product performance grid to retrieve the year-to-date sales, previous year-to-date sales, and percentage growth per manufacturer, where the query sorts the data by performance. Mitch can then dynamically view the details of the worst-performing product per selected occupation. This provides further depth to Mitch’s dashboard dynamically and on demand so he can spur further investigation into why a manufacturer is not performing within a segment, without requiring the grids to be displayed in the dashboard. 


With minimal effort Mitch can now display dynamic tooltips that are updated in real-time. By selecting the “Professional” occupation slice, the tooltip reveals the worst-performing manufacturer: Adihash has the lowest total annual sales compared to the previous year.



Static tooltips assist users by displaying information when hovering over an item, but provide limited benefit for items in a data-driven analytics dashboard or presentation. Many BI tools offer static tooltips, but few offer dynamic data-driven tooltips with logic, formatting, and messaging in a point-and-click design interface.

Pyramid’s dynamic tooltips provide an added technique of sharing insights by dynamically generating information using data. The combination of data-driven images and texts, together with the dynamic tooltips, provide users with a range of tools used to highlight critical information.

This post originally appeared at https://www.pyramidanalytics.com/blog/details/blog-data-driven-dynamic-tooltips-that-add-even-more-context-to-pyramid-dashboards-and-reports

Additional Resources

How to build data driven infographics that tell a better story - Blog

Data driven messaging to tell a better analytic story - Blog

Tooltips Help Guide

Dynamic Tooltips Video




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