Explore Access Enhancements


Watershed’s report-creation tool Explore enables you to create dynamic dashboards designed to show off learning data and learning’s impact across your organization. Explore provides a variety of visualization types, data filters, and display options to create any number of reports—ranging from basic leaderboards to detailed, multi-visualization reports designed for learning data.

Check out our latest Watershed product updates that enhance Explore's access permissions and search capabilities.

Explore Access

During the last few years, our clients have been accomplishing some amazing things with Explore. Some examples include:

Real-World Learning Analytics
Client Stories

As organizations give more users access to Watershed, there’s also a growing need to limit which users have permissions to create or edit dashboards. The ability to limit Explore access is useful for a variety of reasons. For instance, some organizations want to keep the Watershed experience extremely simple for certain users, while other organizations that share dashboards across a large number of people need to restrict editing rights to maintain consistency.

Watershed's Explore Access functionality offers a few ways to control which of your users can access Explore. You also can give access to individuals or entire teams.


Recommended Reading: Learn more about controlling Explore access to your users.

Advanced Explore Filters

Anyone with access to Explore can configure data with standard, easy-to-use filters—such as activities, people, groups, and/or time periods. These filters correspond to how data is stored in xAPI’s ‘actor/verb/object’ pattern. (Note: Most data stored in Watershed is stored in the xAPI format.)

As our client base uses more advanced xAPI concepts to store data, we’re introducing new Explore functionality to filter these advanced concepts. The two concepts we’ve added are contextActivities and extensions. Keep in mind, you may need knowledge of xAPI to fully understand these concepts.


Quiz data is often stored in contextActivities. Each question in the quiz has its own object.id, and each question is linked to the overall quiz by using the quiz’s object.id in contextActivities.

Now, you can give your users the option to include contextActivities in their Activity filter searches when using Explore with the Related Activities option. By default, the Activity filter search in Explore only searches object.id; but when this option is checked, the Activity filter search also will include contextActivities.


The extensions field in xAPI statements is extremely versatile and can be used to store a wide variety of information, including (but definitely not limited to):

  • browser information in content consumption data,
  • video duration in video view data,
  • results returned for search query data,
  • and more.

With the new extensions filter in Explore, users can filter by the data stored in extensions—which opens up data that users haven’t been able to access in the past.


Are the new Explore filters in my account automatically?
The new filters are turned off by default in all accounts.

How can I turn on the new Explore filters in my account?
Check out our Explore Access help guide for details on setting these filters up in your account.

Who sees Explore by default?
By default, Admins are the only user-type that can see Explore. However, Admins can provide access to specific users so they can also see Explore.

How can I give all my users permission to see Explore?
On the Explore Access page, search for “All Parts of Your Organization.”

Can I restrict Related Activities or Extensions filtering to certain users?
No, you can’t restrict filtering to certain users. If you enable filtering for any Explore user in your organization, you’ll enable it for all Explore users. 

Where can I learn more about xAPI, contextActivities, and extensions?
Check out these resources to learn more:

Let’s get started.

Login to your Watershed account now to check out these latest features and more. As always, please let us know if you have any questions!

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Brooks Alford

About The Author

As Director of Client Success, Brooks provides client training and implementation support, maintains Watershed’s roadmap, and prioritizes feature development.