Timeline view

Get a familiar and unique perspective on your time-based data by plotting component date ranges and milestone dates.

Kristine Marhilevica avatar
Written by Kristine Marhilevica
Updated over a week ago

The Timeline View lets you visualize your data across time. The timeline view can be modeled to fit almost any time-based use case. Typically this view is a useful addition to doing the following use cases:

The timeline view organizes components in a vertical list or hierarchy, based on the workspace and perspective applied. Each component shows bars to represent the time range phase and diamonds to represent target date milestones.

Reading Timeline view

  • Components are shown as rows.

  • Date range field values are displayed as bars (phases) and date time field values are displayed as milestones in the component row.

  • Multiple date ranges will appear as distinct phases on the timeline.

  • Component relationships (and reference groupings) are listed hierarchically.

  • Parent components have an expand/collapse indicator to toggle the visibility of their children.

Add phases and milestones to your timeline

Note: To Create and change date range fields you need to have the Admin or Writer role.

To get started using the Timeline View, you need to add a Date range or Date time field to your workspace. In the Timeline view your date ranges are displayed as different phases of the component while date times are displayed as milestones. Date range fields can be used for different phases of a project or an application's lifecycle, like Live, Review, and Phasing Out.

To create a new date range field, follow the below instructions:

  1. With your Workspace selected, click the Sidebar menu (☰) in the top right corner

  2. Scroll to Manage field types under the Edit metamodel section.
    From here you can create, edit, rearrange, or delete fields on the current Workspace.

  3. Click the "Add field" button at the bottom of the page.

  4. Start typing the field name, and finish by clicking Create in the dropdown.
    The name of the field will be shown as the name of the Phase on your Timeline.

  5. Select then Type dropdown then select Date Range option for a phase or Date time option for a milestone

  6. Set up the rest of the fields and options, then click the Create button to add the new field to your workspace.

Your date range fields need to have start and end dates for them to be displayed on the Timeline as phases while your milestones need to have just one date. To add the dates:

  1. Open the Grid Editor (▦) at the bottom of the page.

  2. Scroll horizontally to find the name of your Date range or Date time field.
    Date range fields are split into two distinct fields specifying a Start and End date range while date time just has one field

  3. Add your dates, double-clicking the field will open a date picker.

    Once the date range has a valid start and end date, it will be displayed in the view as a bar(phase). If it's a date time, it will be displayed as a milestone

Show/Hide phases and milestones on your Timeline

  1. In the view settings menu click the Select phases (⁝☰) button.

  2. In the dropdown, toggle the phases you want to show on the timeline.

If you are using the same time phases in multiple workspaces you will see duplicates in the time selection.

Show/hide milestones

Similarly to Phases you can also show and hide milestones, just select it using the milestone picker in the view settings toolbar.

Note: To show a milestone on your timeline, DateTime fields can be displayed as milestone markers on the timeline.

Applying groupings

By applying grouping rules to your workspace you can control how the hierarchy of the timeline is laid out. Additionally, when you group by reference your reference label will be displayed on the Timeline component.

Learn more about how to apply grouping rules here.

Timeline customization

​Specify a date range for the presentation

Timelines often encompass periods that are not immediately relevant to the visualization you are currently working on. For example, an application's lifecycle may extend over several years before becoming relevant for review. In such cases, instead of displaying the entire timeline, you can specify a start and end date to focus only on the desired data.

The Date Range selector allows you to choose a start- and end date for when you want to display your available data. For example, you can opt to view only a 5-year window or limit the data to a specific date in the past or future. Both the start and end are optional, so if you don't have a specific date in mind you can leave the input field empty range will be automatically defined.

Change the layout of the timeline

You can decide how you want to see the different parts in your timeline, whether it's on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis.

There are minimum date range constraints for each Timeline layout

  • Daily - At least 1 week date range

  • Weekly - At least 1 month date range

  • Monthly - At least 3 months date range

  • Quarterly - At least 1 year date range

  • Yearly - At least 3 years date range

Alternatively, you can use the "Auto-layout" feature to have the layout automatically determined based on the available data. Simply click the dropdown menu located at the top-left corner of your screen to choose a timeline layout.

​Configure Your Timelines in Discover

The configurations mentioned above are also available to Admins and Writers in the Viewpoint Builder. Here, you can set the Timeline view as your view style for the viewpoint.

  • Select visualized time-based fields
    Within the Viewpoint Builder, you must determine which date and date range fields from your workspace(s) you wish to incorporate as milestones and phases in your view.

  • Select date range
    This feature allows you to specify the start and end dates for your data display. By doing this, Discover users will only see timeline phases and milestones within the defined start and end dates.

Additional tips

  • Use the +/- signs in the view settings menu to change the zoom level of the timeline.

  • Use the Today () button on the top right to quickly return to the current date.

  • Reset your zoom level by pressing the Reset zoom (⛶) button

  • Mouse over items on the timeline to get more detail.

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