Dimensions are the primary concept when exploring your data. A dimension represents some quality that can distinguish one part of your data from another.

Dimensions can be used to split your data into segments, and to focus on a specific segment using filters.

dimension panel with at least one collapsed and one expanded group

The dimensions can be dragged into the filter bar, split bar, visualization, and pinboard panel to aid in the exploration.

Clicking on a dimension brings up the dimension preview menu which, as well as providing buttons to perform the above operations also, tells you the estimated number of values in the dimension.

dimension preview menu

The dimensions can be edited in the Dimensions tab of the data cube edit view:

Cube Edit Dimensions

Creating dimensions

Dimensions can be created by clicking the Add button in the Dimension tab.

A dimension that is just a direct representation of a column can be configured from the Simple dimension tab.

Cube edit new dimension modal

A dimension can also represent some arbitrary transformation (see the dimension types section below) in that case you would use the Custom tab where you can enter any supported Plywood expression as the dimension's formula.

Cube edit new dimension modal

Pivot can also provide suggestions about simple dimensions you might want to add. This is done by scanning the underlying data source's schema and automatically suggesting a dimension for any column that is not already represented.

Cube edit new dimension modal

Dimensions groups

Pivot provides the ability to group dimensions. This can be particularly useful for dimensions which come from the same basic attribute or are related in another way.

For example in a web traffic dataset scenario a lot of different dimensions (such as os, browser name, browser version, etc.) could all be derived from the user agent. It might therefore make sense to put those dimensions in a group.

To create a group, click the ... icon in one of the dimensions and select Add to new group. To add a dimension to an existing group, drag the dimension into the group.

ToDo: add screenshot of dimension group menu

Dimension types

In this section we will look at some of the many specific dimensions Pivot supports.

Time dimensions

While Druid has a primary time column (called __time) that is used for partitioning, it's often useful to have more than just one time column.

These time columns can be ingested as regular dimensions formatted in ISO string format (2017-04-20T16:20:00Z).

Cube view line chart

Select Time from the type to make a time dimension, you can also configure the preset split granularities that will be presented as defaults.

Cube edit edit dimension modal time

String dimensions

Most dimensions are categorical, in the sense that they are represented as strings.

Cube view table

Select String from the type to make a string dimension.

Cube edit edit dimension modal string

Numeric dimensions

Numeric dimensions can be bucketed during split to create histograms.

Cube view bar chart

Select Number from the type to make a numeric dimension, you can also configure the preset split bucketing granularities that will be presented as defaults.

Cube edit edit dimension modal number

Geographic dimensions

Geographic units can be a useful way to segment data.

Cube view geo

Boolean dimensions

You might need to create dimensions that are the result of some Boolean expression. Let's say that you are responsible for all accounts in the United States as well as some specific account. You could create a dimension with a formula like:

$country == 'United States' or $accountName.in(['Toyota', 'Honda'])


Here are some examples of common dimensions patterns


In Pivot and Druid is is possible to create dimensions that performs a lookup at query time.

ToDo: screenshot of a dimension with a lookup

If you have a dimension that represents a key into some other table, you may have set up a Druid query-time lookup (QTL) in which case you would set the formula to $lookupKey.lookup('my_awesome_lookup'), which would apply the lookup.

You can also apply the .fallback() action as ether:

  • $lookupKey.lookup('my_awesome_lookup').fallback($lookupKey) to keep values that were not found as they are.
  • $lookupKey.lookup('my_awesome_lookup').fallback('missing') to map missing values to the word 'missing'.

URL dimensions

A URL dimension is a dimension that somehow corresponds to a URL. It is possible to specify the URL mapping in Pivot.

ToDo: expand


Imagine you have a column resourceName which has the following values:


You could create a dimension that uses the .extract function to focus on the version number in the column values:


Which would have values:


Custom transformations

If no existing plywood function meets your needs, you could also define your own custom transformation. The transformation could be any supported Druid extraction function.

For example you could apply any number of javascript functions to a string.

To do so in the data cube options (Advanced tab of the edit view) define:

  "customTransforms": {
    "stringFun": {
      "extractionFn": {
        "type": "javascript",
        "function": "function(x) { try { return decodeURIComponent(x).trim().charCodeAt(0) } catch(e) { return null; } }"

Then in the dimensions simply reference stringFun like so: