Drilldown Variables allow you to use charts as filters for other charts. Simply link the charts together, and click an area in a chart to drill down into your data. You can even link charts from one dashboard to another dashboard.

Chartio’s Drilldown functionality allows you to click an area on a chart to update a Dashboard Variable value. The Dashboard Variable then updates any charts that are connected to it.

This is basically a two part process:

  1. Map your chart metrics (Drilldown Variables) to Dashboard Variables
  2. Filter your chart(s) with the Dashboard Variables

This is best explained with an example. I’ll start by showing you what our final dashboard looks like, then I’ll explain how to connect everything together.

Drill Down Variable Example

Interacting with the Monthly Activity chart updates two dashboard variables: the Calendar Filter and the Categorical Dropdown. The Dashboard Variables then update the Daily Activity chart. This gives us a zoomed-in view of our Activity by Activity Type.

Let’s walk through how to set this up. To begin with, we have two charts and two Dashboard Variables already on this Dashboard:

  1. Monthly Activity, a chart grouped by month and activity type
  2. Daily Activity, a chart grouped by day and activity type
  3. A Calendar Interval Dashboard Variable
  4. A Categorical Dropdown Dashboard Variable containing Activity values

Connecting your Charts

First, we want to connect Monthly Activity to our two Dashboard Variables. This will allow our chart to update the Dashboard Variables whenever we click somewhere inside the Monthly Activity chart.

We’ll click the menu icon on our Monthly Activity chart and select Edit Settings from the dropdown menu.

Edit Settings

We’ll then switch to the Drilldown tab in the Chart Settings modal. This tab allows you to map Dashboard Variables to Drilldown Variables (your chart metrics).

Click the Drilldown tab in Chart Settings

We want to link two Dashboard Variables to our chart: ACTIVITY (the Categorical Dropdown) and CALENDAR INTERVAL.

On our chart, Activity is the series (pivoted column) - so we’ll choose series from the dropdown next to ACTIVITY. Our dates are on the x-axis, so we’ll choose x-value from the dropdown for CALENDAR_INTERVAL.

Note: if your chart has x and y-axis labels, you’ll see the those label names listed instead of ‘x-value’ and ‘y-value’.

To link your Drilldown chart to another Dashboard, simply choose the dashboard from the Linked Dashboard dropdown in the Drilldown settings tab of your chart settings. You’ll need to first add the necessary Dashboard Variables to the Linked Dashboard, so your chart can update them.

X-values, y-values, and series

Generally, x-values map to the x-axis, y-values to the y-axis, and series to the columns.

If you aren’t sure you’re selecting the correct chart metric to map to your Dashboard Variable, check the sample values listed below the Drilldown Variables dropdown to confirm.

If your chart has x and y-axis labels, those labels will be listed in the Drilldown Variables dropdown instead.

Connect the Dashboard Variables to your Chart(s)

We want our Daily Activity chart to update when the Dashboard Variables change, so we’ll just need to filter our chart by our two Dashboard Variables.

On our Daily Activity chart, we’ll click the menu icon and choose Edit Chart Data.

Edit Chart Data

To connect our Activity Categorical Dropdown to the chart, we’ll drag our Activity column to the Filters section. To connect our Calendar Interval, we’ll drag Payment Date. Select the variable names from the filter options. Here’s what the Data Explorer looks like with our filters added:

Set up your chart

That’s it! Your Drilldown Variables should work as expected.

Additional Notes

  • For table charts with Drilldown variables, the selections are made per-row. If more than one Drilldown Variable is used in a table chart, clicking a row value will update all Dashboard variables for the row.
  • If you would like to use a line chart or scatterplot for your Drilldown, you may want to edit the Chart Settings to increase the line or dot size. This will allow for easier click interactions.

If you have any trouble setting up your Drilldown Variables, please feel free to send us an email at