Drilling down data in Data Pilot

Ok. Here is the feature I’ve been working on while I was in Barcelona, and I think it’s got to a point where I can show some progress to the world.

This feature is about supporting a drill-down of a data field cell in Calc’s Data Pilot feature. Excel already has an equivalent feature in its Pivot Table functionality, and what I’m doing initially came out of a request from current and former Excel users who rely on that feature.

Here is what this feature does. Let’s say you have a data pilot box somewhere in your Calc document like the one below.

data pilot view

You then decide to double-click on one cell within the data field to see the original data rows that comprise that cell. Calc then inserts a new sheet, containing the appropriate subset of the original data table (see below).

drill down data on new sheet

At this point, it works pretty reliably for me, but that’s not to say that it’s ready to be integrated into the main branch. There are still a few things to take care of.

  • The drill down sheet is not decorated with auto formatting. Excel formats the drill down sheet nicely, but currently it’s not implemented. But I have to wonder whether that is really essential (I think not).
  • Currently this feature works only on internal data source i.e. data source within the same document. But Calc’s Data Pilot supports two other data source backends (registered database and data pilot UNO component), and I need to add support for them too.

Once that is done, I’ll be happy to see this piece integrated upstream (under JCA, of course), since this feature is also requested in Issue 57030. While I’m in the data pilot code, it may be a good idea to review other data pilot related issues (if there is any) and tackle them at the same time. If you know of any hot data pilot related issues, please let me know.