Category Objects

Category objects allow us to filter all the charts contained within a category using the same filter options, providing that the charts can connect to objects of the same name within their respective Data Connections. These category objects, also known as category filters, are set up within the categories panel of the configuration screen. 

Click the category that you want to add filters to on the left-hand side of the screen. You should see the name of the selected category in the areas highlighted on the following screenshot.

If you’ve clicked on multiple categories and see something like this, the changes that you make will relate to the highlighted category, in the screenshot below this would be Insurance Dashboard. 

To close extra categories, click the ‘Close’ icon next to the relevant category or to add category objects to a different category, click on it in the list. 

For example, to create a new category object in the ‘Retail Dashboard’ category we would need to click on it.

After choosing the category, click the ‘Add’ icon in the top right corner of the screen.

The following screen will be displayed. This will show the data connections and the data objects in those connections, by expanding the chevrons or typing the object name into the filter field, and from here we can select which object we wish to set as a category object.


The following screenshot shows that HR.Job Role has been added to ‘My new category’.

There are a few different filter types that can be set up on this screen by changing the first drop down list; descriptions of each filter type are provided below.

Drop List

The most used, and default, filter type is the Drop List. This allows the selection of a single item at a time. At the top of the Drop List, there is often an ‘All’ option. When ‘All’ is selected this filter is ignored and information for all items in the drop-down list will be displayed.


This is like a drop List but allows multiple items to be selected at once. Clicking into the text area opens the Search Panel.

You can then either select an item or start typing to search. When using the search field, you can enter any part of a word. The search field uses a ‘contains’ search, not a ‘starts with’ search.

Click an item to select it, multiple items can be added by repeating the process.

You can remove items from the list by clicking the ‘Remove’ icon next to the selected item. To use the filter with the items you have selected click the ‘Apply’ button. 

When creating a Multi-Picker Category Object filter, you can select multiple options in the Default Value field.

Please refer to this section in our April 2021 Release Notes for more information.


Checkboxes work similarly to multi-pickers in that you can select multiple values from the list. 

As opposed to the multi-picker, all the options are laid out on the category filter panel. This would be a good option to use when the total number of potential options is limited.


This category object type allows for an image to be associated with each potential data value, that will then be displayed on the category filter tab.

The images shown for each object should be self-explanatory for each data set that they represent and must be created/ stored correctly to work:

  • Add the images to the logo directory (tomcat/webapps/panMISDashboardResources/images)

  • The images must be named the same as each data value option they represent. If a selectable value is Male, the name of the image must also be Male.

  • The file extension defaults to png. 

The logo directory can be changed by adding a system variable for IMAGE_REPOSITORY_DIRECTORY

 The file extension can be changed by adding a system variable for IMAGE_RESOURCE_EXTENSION 


This filter type allows you to move a slider to do a ‘between’ filter on values in the data set. In the following example, data will be filtered to only show details for the period between 31/05/2016 and 11/03/2018.

Number picker

This filter works in the same way as a drop list but specifically for number-based dimensions. 

Click the up or down to change the number or alternatively, type the number into the field. 

Click ‘Apply’ to filter the dashboard.

Date Range

The date range filter must be used on a date object and works by inputting from and to dates, or by selecting the date from a Calendar, which are then passed into a ‘between’ filter on the chart.

Single Date Picker

Unlike the date range filter, this option only allows you to select one date value from the data set to filter by. You can either type the date in manually or click the calendar drop-down to select from a calendar.

Free Text

This allows for the use of free text within the filter box. 

Enter text, as shown below, and click the ‘Apply’ button.

This uses a LIKE filter and therefore cannot be used to return specific values, it will also be slower on larger tables.