It’s funny how ideas come to mind: although I’ve known the timeline slicer for some months now, it was only until yesterday, when I was watching Rafal Lukawiecki demo Excel 2013 in Lisbon, that the idea formed in my head – what if we could have an hierarchical slicer, where, much like the timeline, we could have several levels inside the same slicer?


So, some testing was in order. My initial idea consisted in trying to trick the timeline slicer into showing my hierarchy. Off I went and created a mini setup like this:


And some data to help illustrate the concept:


So I had read that to use a timeline slicer, we would have to configure a dimension as Time and having valid dates in the ValueColumn would be enough, so I set up my key atribute (Dimension) with Date Type and configured Source properties as:


Furthermore I defined another atribute (AggDimension) with Month Type and created an hierarchy with both.

So, my thinking was that this way, the timeline slicer would generate Days with Member1, Member2 and Member 3 and Months with MembersType1 and MembersType2… nothing could be further from the truth :)

When I added the Timeline slicer in Excel, it obeyed me, but the menu hinted something was going to go wrong… and it did:


So no option to select hiearchy uh? Only dimension… It generated the slicer alright, but it completely ignored my intentions (pardon the multilingual screenshot):


So I was completely wrong about the inner workings of the timeline slicer, it does not rely on the classification of the atributes as Months, Quarters and Years, it infers those levels automatically from the Date atribute. I guess this is somewhat limited but I can see the potential of this in a self-service scenario where you could very easily have time aggregations automatically generated from a simple date column.

So, having hit a dead end, I decided to end this one with another connect suggestion :).

Hey Microsoft, can we have something like this?


instead of this:


It would sure help to save some precious sheet space!

Vote and/or comment.