Working in a Process Flow

This article describes the Process Flow visual interface, and the options available to the user. 

 

  • Objects Types to Display - select the types of objects you want to display on the process flow.  Datasets will always be displayed regardless of the selections made.  Use this as a method for restricting the amount of information provided, if necessary.
  • Relationship Depth - This option controls how deep the connectivity is displayed.  It is important to note that any object outside of this relationship depth do not necessarily have all connectivity fully displayed.
    • 1 = objects directly connected to the selected object are fully exposed.  Objects that are two or more levels removed or further may not show their full connectivity.
    • 2 = objects that are two levels away from the selected object are fully exposed.  Objects that are three or more levels removed or further may not show their full connectivity.
    • 3 = objects that are three levels away from the selected object are fully exposed.  Objects that are four or more levels removed or further may not show their full connectivity.
  • Automation Focus
    • Strict - only objects that are set to execute automatically will be displayed.  This is a way to focus your view on just objects that are part of a production process.
    • Medium - all objects that are connected to the selected object will be displayed, but beyond that, only automated objects will be displayed.
    • All Connected Objects - all objects connected downstream to the selected object are displayed, up to the selected Relationship Depth.
  • Dataset to Focus Flow - select the dataset on which to focus the flow.  All datasets that are available within the current project are shown in this menu.
  • Apply - click this button to apply any changes to these selections.
  • Re-center - click this button to focus the workspace on the currently selected object.  Use this as a way to "get back to where you started".
  • Create New - use this button, and the resulting menu, to create brand new objects.  This allows you to create any kind of object (datasets, insights, models, optimization scenarios) within this workflow.

 

Below is a typical view of a Process Flow, with labels for various components of the view that are defined below.

  1. Each object in the process view is represented by a color-coded Node.  The color code represents the general type of object.  The specific type of object is displayed at the top of the node (e.g., "Derived Dataset", "ML Model", etc).  The object also shows other information: its name, a textual description of the object entered by the user, and icons for quick access to actions (more on this described in 5 below).  The node itself can be dragged using your mouse in order to provide a better view of the connections between objects, if necessary.
  2. Connections between objects (the flow of information from one object to the next) are displayed using either dotted red or solid green arrows which generally flow from left (upstream) to right (downstream).  These provide a quick visual method of seeing how information flow in the analytic process. 
    • A dotted red connector represents data flow that is manual.  It requires a user to specifically execute the downstream process.
    • A solid green connector represents data flow that is automated.  This means that when the upstream data has changed, the downstream process will automatically execute.
    • Clicking on the connector itself will scan the process flow to the next endpoint of that connector.  This is a method for moving around the workspace more easily.
  3. The upper right corner of each object node shows its status regarding automated processing.  Hover over the icon to view options, and click on the icon to change the processing status.  Clicking the bolt icon will switch the object from being manually executed to being automatically executed, and vice-versa.  (Note, currently, the connector entering the node will not refresh its color immediately).
    •  The red bolt represents an object that is set to be executed manually, upon user interaction.
    •  The green bolt represents an object that is set to be executed automatically, upon data refresh or on a date-based schedule.
  4. Each node has "dots" on the left into which upstream objects flow.  Specifically, for datasets, there are two such "dots", one labeled "I" and one labeled "J".  These distinguish upstream datasets that are "Incoming" datasets from those that are "Join" datasets.
  5. One-click actions icons.  These are icons that allow common tasks to be applied to the object.  Standard icons include:
    •  Clicking this icon re-focuses the flow on this object.
    •  Specific to datasets, this icon opens the dataset browser window.
    •  For objects that can be executed (datasets, models, scoring jobs, etc.), this icon executes it immediately (upon agreeing to a confirmation dialog).
    •  This icon opens the Edit dialog.  Any object that has settings that can be changed and edited will have this option available.
    •  This icon will open a viewer for the object.  Specifically, insights such as charts, tables, and pivots, as well as dashboards, will display this option.
    •  This icon is a generic menu icon.  Clicking this will open a menu that gives the user access to any available actions with this object.
  6. The "dot" on the right side of most objects represents flow of information out of the object into a downstream object.  This may be, for example, data flowing from a raw dataset into a derived dataset or a machine learning model, or a model flowing into a scoring job.  For most objects, hovering on the "dot" on the right side of the node provides access to push the result of this node into another node using the  plus icon.  Clicking when you have hovered will open a menu that allows you to create downstream objects that are fed from this object.
  7. The workspace of the process flow allows you to scroll and scan using your mouse buttons.  For more complex processes, with many objects, you will likely want to scan across the workflow.  Hold down your left mouse button and drag to move around.