Drill Downs in Sigma

There are a multitude of options for users to dig into underlying data in Sigma. But, the most effective and most commonly uses are our drill options. Drill Anywhere allows users to dig into any underlying data they have the permission to see. From there they have a host of options like continuing to drill, working with new calculations, and downloading data.

If you want a more direct path, workbook creators can set drill paths using our drill controls. This gives viewers users a simple way to slice and dice data on the fly.

Both options are covered below. This content is also available via video -

Drill Anywhere

The drill option in Sigma is one of the most powerful features users have to explore data. In this section, we’ll cover drills as a user with full data exploration capabilities.

Drills in Sigma never need to be predefined, the moment you create a visualization or pivot table in Sigma any user (with the right permissions) can get to the underlying data.

When you right click on a data point in a chart, you’ll be presented with a list of options like Drill down…

When you select the Drill Down… option you’ll see a list of fields your user has access to. This list comes directly from the underlying table, but may have been edited by the person who created the dashboard. For more on that, check our Drill List documentation.

Once you select an option from the list, Sigma will change the X-axies of the visualization as well as adding a filter value for the data point you initially selected. So, if in the bar chart above I select the “South” region and then drill into “Product Type” I’ll see a new visualization like this one that also includes a filter for Region = South

Further Analysis

From here, users can maximize the element and take their new drill in visualization a few different directions.

In the maximized modal, users can continue to drill in, add new filters, or even edit calculations to ask their own questions. All of this is available without the need for a data engineer or analyst to get involved.

If a user wants to change the calculation the chart is making they can do so from the values drop down menu or directly in the formula bar,

This empowers you and other users to ask questions of data on the fly without needing to download to Excel or other tools for further analysis.

Drill Control

If you want a simpler method for drilling, you can leverage Sigma’s Drill Control option. The Drill Control feature allows a workbook creator to define a clear drill path users can select into without first selecting a data element or maximizing the visualization.

A Drill Control is a filter object that allows users to modify the X-axis of a particular visualization or set of visualizations.

Once your element appears you’ll need 3 components to get it working; a value source, drill categories, and drill targets.

The value source should be the base table you’re building visualizations from. It can come from within the page or the database connection.

Your drill categories are the objects you want your users to drill into. Typically these are dimensions like datetimes, geographic locations, or product and event categories.

Finally, you select the targets this drill content will affect. Sigma should automatically sync up the names of the drill categories with identically named fields in the visualization, but you can always modify your selections.

Drill controls serve as a simple option for viewer users to navigate data in a predefined way.


You now have a multitude option for viewers to super users to interact with the workbooks and dashboards you create for them.