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Adding customizations to Planning Analytics Workspace

November 8, 2019

IBM, in Planning Analytics Workspace’s 2.0.45 release however has addressed some limitations by extending the flexibility to users to upload the fonts and color themes of their choice in Workspace and apply it in their visualisations.

One of the common complaints that I constantly hear from users and have myself put up with when using Planning Analytics Workspace is its lack of available fonts and color pallets for its visualisations.

The lack of this flexibility put  a hard restriction on designing intuitive interfaces and dashboards as we’re limited by only a certain fonts or color combinations provided by the platform. This becomes even more challenging when we had to follow the corporate color scheme and font type but this is no more!

Users can now add new themes by exporting the json file from Administration page in PAW and uploading the file with updated code for new color themes back.

http://colorbrewer2.org/# website offers some sample color pallets to quickly get started with ready to use customised color codes that you can paste in the json file.

Similarly, you may choose any free color picker extension of your choice available in Chrome Web Store to get the hexa code from anywhere within a webpage. 

As for fonts, you can either download free Fonts from Google directly (https://www.fonts.com/web-fonts/google ) or you can go to https://www.fonts.com/web-fonts to purchase a desired font from its wide range of fancy fonts.

Tip: My all time favourite is Webdings font as that allows me to use the fonts as images so it enhances the performance of my dashboard by substituting the images with fonts displayed as icons/image thereby considerably reducing the dashboard refresh time and rendering of the data.

See the full list of graphics that it this font can display from the below link.   http://www.911fonts.com/font/download_WebdingsRegular_10963.htm

Because this is a paid font, it would be highly desired if IBM can incorporate it in its existing list of fonts in PAW, until then it can be downloaded from Microsoft from below link.



Refer the below IBM link to get more info on how to add the fonts and color palettes to PAW.



To identify where the color pallete code is within the json file, search for keyword “ColorPalette” in Notepad++ and it should list the results which consists of the root branch called ColorPalette and ids that has a unique number suffixed against ColorPalette (see screenshot below)



Note: It is not easy to correlate the color palette you see in PAW with its corresponding json code (id) and the only way you can do so is by manually converting the hex code of a color of all ids into a color and then visually inspecting it in PAW, so it’s a bit of a manual process and it becomes even more tedious process when you start to add more color palettes.

And given this complexity, below are some of the key points that you’ve to be vary of when working with palettes in PAW.

  1. The color palettes displayed in PAW under Visualisation details corresponds to the placement order of the code within “ColorPalette” section of the json theme file. So if you have ColorPalette3 code placed above ColorPalette2 code, the second palette you see in PAW correlates to ColorPalette3 code.
  2. The heat mapping color, however, corresponds to the numeric value of the id within the json file and not the placement order which is quiet weird. So if we take the same scenario from above, the 2rdnd palette in PAW(which correlates to ColorPalette3) will still apply the heat mapping color of the ColorPalette2. Therefore, it is important to keep the numeric order consistent to easily correlate the code with the palette in PAW.

  1. Incase same id is being repeated twice with different color codes, the first one that appears in the json file takes precedence and second one is ignored.