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This section, and the tutorials contained within it, have been designed to help guide you all of Yellowfin's functionality. Depending on your technical knowledge and previous experience with tools like Yellowfin, you may sometimes find that there are terms used within this wiki that you are unfamiliar with. When this is the case, explore our Glossary, which contains a wide variety of definitions for commonly used terms and concepts. 

Yellowfin Components

When first learning to use Yellowfin it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the core components available. You will probably find that you don't personally use all the components listed below, but having a basic understanding of what they are will help you understand how everything slots together.

Major Components

Data Sources

This is a connection to a database that provides all the data to make up your report. You will need to create a connection for each individual data source you wish to use for report creation.

Yellowfin connects live to a wide variety of data sources including most popular relational and non-relational databases (with an appropriate jdbc driver), cubes (via MDX), flat files and API end-points (including out-of-the-box connectors to popular cloud applications). This framework is extensible, and you can create your own connections or use a third-party connection if one is available.


Once you have created a data source connection you will need to create views based on it. A view is a metadata layer, between the data source and the report, which specifies the fields and logic required for users to build reports. This layer contains all of the necessary information about the data from which reports are to be built. This includes the table structures, join conditions, calculated fields, data formatting and so on

A view may have many reports based on it.

Data Transformations

Yellowfin also consists of an ETL component, that you can utilize to further transform your data to a form suitable for analytics. Data can be read from any source, combined, transformed and is then written back to any writeable DBMS that we support. A wide variety of transformation steps are available including merging data, splitting data, creating new columns, changing data types, replacing values and so on. 


Once a data source connection and view have been defined, a user can create a report based on them. A report is a combination of fields, formatting, and charts.

A report can be used by many dashboards, presentations, and stories.


The Signals engine automatically analyzes data to identify data events of significance, and then generates personalized alerts that are delivered via the Timeline Feed. Signals jobs are configured in and leverage the meta-data layer and can be scheduled to run at any frequency using the Scheduling engine.


Once you have written some reports you can create a dashboard to display them for a consumer.  Dashboards provide support for multiple types of content objects including reports, filters, interactive buttons, images, text, shapes and icons, along with support for custom coded widgets to incorporate any functionality directly into the dashboard. You can assemble creative, on brand infographic and actionable dashboards on a flexible, free-form canvas.


You can also use your reports in stories, by sharing and have a dialogue about your business metrics, and providing external context and human narrative. Yellowfin Stories merges visual analysis with text, so you can perform long form analysis, in a collaborative environment, by including reports, images, videos, with text. 


Present is a fully integrated presentation module designed for data led communications. A presentation slide supports the use of multiple types of content, including live reports, text, images, shapes and icons, action buttons, filters, and even code widgets. 


Timeline is a collaborative feed that allows users to interact with each other and events that have occurred in the system.
Other Components


Yellowfin's content, users, settings, and security are all managed through the Administration area.


Discussion Streams are a collaborative feed for a particular topic and audience. Each stream is made up of posts that can contain a variety of content such as reports, dashboard tabs, storyboards, images, and screenshots.


Anyone who logs in to Yellowfin is considered a user. Each user may have different access to Yellowfin providing them with more or less functionality and content to make use of, depending on the security defined by administrators.


Tasks allow you to collaborate with other users by requesting and completing items to be actioned. Tasks may be related to content creation or correction, or actions to be completed outside of Yellowfin.

Tutorial Content

There are a wide range of tutorials available, designed to guide you through the components of Yellowfin outlined above. Each of these tutorials was created using a sample training data set based on a fictional business called Ski Team. The Ski Team database and sample Yellowfin content can be included as part of the installation process by selecting the Tutorial Content option (see here for more information). 

Ski Team 

This fictional ski tourism business organises ski trips in various locations around the world and markets them to existing clients. The Ski Team database contains information relating to the core tourism business, including details of camps run, athletes who attended, and campaigns associated with sourcing athletes. In addition it contains financial information related to the invoicing of athletes and camp profit margins.

 Core Tables

 The main tables used in the Ski Team sample content are:

Athlete FactThis contains information about each athlete and their participation in camps. In this database this fact table will generally have one record per person per camp attended.
CampThis is a dimensional table which contains information about each camp. For example, the name and location of the camp. Camp ID is the key to this table.
PersonThe person table contains information about the athlete such as name and address details. Person ID is the key to this table.

Introductory Tutorials

When first starting to use Yellowfin you will need to learn how to setup, login, and navigate the system. This set of tutorials is designed to get you into the system, and ready to begin building content.

  1. Install And Deploy Yellowfin
  2. Navigation
  3. Content Access
  4. Interacting with Reports

Content Creation

Once you've logged in for the first time and explored the basics you may wish to start building content. This set of tutorials walks you through the basics of content creation from Data Source through to Discussion Stream.

  1. Data Source
  2. View
  3. Report
  4. Dashboard
  5. Presentations
  6. Stories
  7. Discussion Stream
  8. Signals
  9. Data Transformations

Report Basics

The material in this section will provide you with information about some of the basic functionality available in the Report Builder. Expand on the creation basic explored in the previous section.

  1. Fields
  2. Table Layouts
  3. Aggregation
  4. Advanced Functions
  5. Summaries
  6. Calculations
  7. Sections
  8. Filters

Chart Tutorials

Once you've started writing reports, you will need to learn how to add charts to enhance your report display. Explore the tutorials below to learn how to create specific visualisations.

Dashboard Tutorials

 When you've created sets of reports and charts you'll need to learn how to group and display these together through the use of the dashboard. Explore the Dashboard documentation to learn how to create and link up content through dashboard tabs.

Advanced Report Concepts

Once you've explore the tutorials outlined above, you may find that you need to implement some more advanced reports in order to achieve more detailed and complex results.

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