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Create Interactive Maps in BI Projects

                		Interactive Maps

Contour BI handles both geographic (locational) and attribute (descriptive) data for the purpose of data mapping, managing and analysis.

A map becomes part of an OLAP report; all interactive manipulation of the OLAP report is immediately displayed on the map. The setup procedure of the map is simplified - data layers appear on it automatically, as configured in OLAP report settings and further user actions.

In this article we create a project with an interactive map to display Air Passenger Traffic and Flights in Canada for the years 2015 and 2016.

Create Presentation reports

                		Create Presentation reports

Use presentation reports to slide show your project reports. You set the number of reports in the required order, run the presentation, and reports are displayed in the correct order, switching from one to another by mouse click. The presentation can be exported in MS PowerPoint format.

In this article we describe the steps to create Presentation reports with Contour Reporter.

Animated Charts: Pretty, Useless, and Not Entirely Safe

                		Animated Charts

Animated charts look modern and alive: the Bars slowly grow from zero to their actual size, and the Pies spin handsomely around on the screen. Why would a customer not find a stimulating chart like this more interesting than your run-of-the-mill static one? Especially when presenting a product for the first time. But at the end of the day, are animated charts really worthwhile data analysis features?

Back Up your Projects

                Back Up your Projects

Projects created with Contour Reporter can be backed up automatically. Automatic backup is useful for data recovery since it is possible to roll back saved changes to a specific project version organized by date and time; it can also be helpful for keeping different project versions and allowing authors to switch between them within the same working environment.

In this article we describe how to manage backup environments in Contour Reporter.

Target Lines in Charts

                	Target Lines

In data analysis, it can be useful to compare current vs expected data.

In those cases threshold lines in charts help to answer questions like "Did I reach my sales goals".

How to Export Reports

                		Export Reports

Data and reports can be exported into different formats in the Contour BI Portal and Contour Reporter.

Exporting data means exporting the source data contained in Reports; you can also export views of the report, which is to say the actual visualization. Data can be exported into CSV format. Views of the report can be exported into PDF, Html, Word and Excel formats.

In this article we show how to export reports or data into different formats in the Contour BI Portal.

How to Configure Headers and Footers before Printing

                Headers and Footers

In the Contour BI Portal every report can be sent to printer. Use the option Page setup to make changes to the configuration of margins and orientation, and page headers and footers.

In this article we describe the Page setup configuration steps to set header and footer values for reports ready to be sent to printer.

How to Create Solutions


A Solution contains the description of an analytical or statistical portal or a part of a corporate website. It is a way to create a site of this kind without any special programming.

A Solution has a title, header, footer, and a list of BI-projects in a given sequence. Solutions are created with Contour Reporter and are stored and displayed in the Contour BI Portal.

In this article we learn how to create new solutions and to display them as well as how to open projects from existing solutions.

How to Upload Projects to the BI Portal

                Upload Projects to the BI Portal

Business Intelligence projects and visualizations can be created locally or published in web servers.

It is possible to upload existing projects to the BI Portal in a couple of easy steps with the help of a convenient wizard. Projects can be then displayed in any web browser after writing the access URL.

In this article we describe the steps required to upload projects to the BI Portal.

My First BI Project


If you are new to Contour Business Intelligence, you might be thinking to yourself: “Where do I start”?

The answer is: you should start by creating a BI project. A BI project is created with Contour Reporter and then used by different Contour BI platform products.

In this article we describe the necessary steps to create your first local Contour BI project. We also display this project in BI Portal.

Using Constants in Formula Expressions


Formulas are used in custom calculated fields and the conditional formatting of grid cells. Formulas make use of cube fields, arithmetic operators, comparisons, built-in and user-defined functions and constants.

Constants are numeric values that do not change during application execution and are saved permanently in the BI project.

In this article we show a step by step procedure to create constants. At the end, there is a link to the BI project created for this example.

Card Charts

                Card Charts

A Card Chart is a visualization tool for KPI (Key Performance Indicators) and similar indicators.

It can be used to create visualizations for several indicators of one object, such as a person, a product, a department, a project, a company or a set of indicators of many objects.

In this article we show how to create Card Charts in Contour BI projects.

User Attributes

                User Attributes

User attributes allow to define additional features for BI projects objects that are not available as object properties. Attributes defined for Reports and Folders are visible in Contour BI Portal.

In this article we show the steps to create attributes of determined types and also how to use built-in attributes.

How Can I Make a Dual Axis Chart?

                Dual Axis Chart

When there are two sets of data, each follows a different scale, and they are related – we create a chart with a Dual Axis. These charts are useful for comparing one series with another, for example, to compare income and tax.

In this article we show an example on how to create a dual axis chart with Contour Reporter.

How to Comment in Reports


Why use comments? Comments in Contour BI make it possible for users to add notes to clarify data or share information and ideas on a given subject. Other users can then respond and be seen by authorized users. 

Comments can be added by analysts to explain underlying causes and reasons for changes, trends, and so forth in the charts.Comments can also be used as reminders or simply to share impressions.

Collaboration is important in any business, and the online discussion of information published in a corporate dashboard can facilitate a company's team building and knowledge sharing.



With Contour BI Portal, users self-serve reports by means of Subscriptions.

By subscribing to reports, users receive reports or links to reports in the specified formats and for the specified periods.

In this article we learn how to create Subscriptions following a step by step example.

Report Parameters

                Report Parameters

Reports are fed with input data that can be displayed and then further filtered in the Views. With parameters the data is filtered before the report is created.



Business Intelligence projects can be created and visualized locally or stored in servers. The design tool Contour Reporter can be connected to one or any BI Portal servers to create, edit, and view BI Projects.

Tag Cloud Charts

                		Tag Cloud

Tag Cloud (or Word Cloud) charts are initially intended to provide graphical visualization of high frequency words in a given text. Although a matter of some debate, this type of chart can, in certain circumstances, provide a faster and clearer display of data for information analysis than a traditional bar or pie chart. A comparison of the chart types will be provided in the Example section.

Drill Through

                		Drill Through

The OLAP Cube is a metaphor for an original method of manipulating a large amount of numeric data. One of the biggest benefits of OLAP is its capacity for data generalization and interactively requesting only those details that are necessary.

Let's go through the methods employed to get details in an OLAP report.

OLAP in Brief


OLAP is a special business reporting technology that provides for the fast creation, instant opening and interactive operation of reports.

The term OLAP (OnLine Analytical Processing) is widely interpreted as "interactive data analysis", i.e. manipulating data views in order to achieve the most informative and convenient forms of data presentation in a certain context.

Contour BI Authorization Methods

                		Authorization Methods

Contour BI provides users with three types of authorizations: Custom, CAS and LDAP.  The method can be specified on config.jsp page. By default Custom authorization is set.

That gives developers and IT-specialists flexibility in integration Contour BI in IT infrastructure of organization of embedding it into 3rd party applications such as ERP, CRM, and other data driven applications.

Report Layouts

                		Report Layouts

A Layout is a special Contour BI pseudo-form of report, set up and saved for future use that can be quickly changed in appearance by switching between layouts. A layout stores filters and field orders, among other things, saving time for report authors and administrators and improving the overall quality of the analytical service being provided.

In this article we describe some of the different Report Layouts that can be created with Contour BI and then go ahead and create two examples. In the first, we show how to create Layouts in the Contour BI Portal, and in the second we do the same with Contour Reporter.

Text Reports

                		Text Reports

There are several types of reports you can create using Contour BI, from OLAP and Dashboard Reports, to Presentation and Text Reports.

With OLAP Reports, you are creating a cube and working with visualization; the goal of a Dashboard Report tends to be to integrate visual components of and make it possible for managers to view a large amount of aggregated information together on one screen; Presentation Reports display a number of selected reports of various types in tabs for easy maneuvering.

In this article, however, we would like to look a little more closely at the final type, the Text Report, and to create an example, where we will show you the steps you need to follow using the different options provided in an easy-to-use toolbar. At the bottom of the page, you will find a link to the project used in the example section.

Guest Users

                		Guest Users

p>Contour BI 6 makes it possible to create analytical reporting solutions for corporate users only or for a public statistical portal viewed by any number of unregistered users.

You can also meet somewhere in the middle and combine these approaches by granting corporate users permissions on reports containing closed information while granting unregistered users permissions for some public reports as guest users.

In this article, you will find a step-by-step example of how to grant guest user permissions for BI objects.

Trigonometric Functions in BI

                		Trigonometric Functions

Generally speaking, trigonometric (or circular) functions are the functions of an angle. They have a wide range of have applications and are used in architecture, mechanics, navigation, probability theory, seismology, and statistics, among many other things.

To expand the possibilities of analysis, Contour BI has also developed a set of built-in functions used to create tables, charts, maps and gauges using these functions for specific sort of applications.

In this article we describe the trigonometric functions that Contour BI supports and create an example as an illustration of its use.

The Presidential Election: A Multidimensional Analysis

                		The Presidential Election

Obviously, the best way to analyze the recent presidential election is with the help of a Business Intelligence tool.  So let’s do just that, and take a look at how easily you can create and publish your very own Analytical Solution of the Presidential Election on the internet.

Chart Colors

                		Chart Colors

Color tends to be more important than other aspects of figure style because of the power it has, if wielded effectively, to elucidate patterns in the data. And the result is just the opposite when applied improperly. There are a number of resources out there that can help you develop good techniques for using color in visualizations in Business Intelligence solutions.

Using Macros to Create Dynamic Titles, Headers and Footers

                		Using Macros

Sometimes we need to add some metadata (like the cube update, for example) to the report title, footer or header. This can be done with macros – variables in [] added to the text. The macro can be inserted manually as well as by using the buttons in the toolbar text editor (for header or footer) or title editing window. Macros are case-insensitive.

In this article we describe in detail what type of macros does Contour BI support, their syntax and at the end we show by examples how to use some of them.

How to Show YTD, MTD and History Business Data

                		YTD, MTD

Most managers have grown accustomed to using a certain kind of traditional report and consequently demand the same even when they happen to be using the more sophisticated OLAP tool. This article describes how to use Contour BI to create multidimensional business reports, scorecards and dashboards that look like your traditional YTD, MTD and History tables.