Performancing Metrics is a web analytics product that is focussed on Blog Systems. Their reporting views provide an highly scalable solution for data filtering that takes up very little screen real estate, yet provides a powerful mechanism for adding criteria to do granular reports. This example shows an ad-hoc filtering of the Visitors data on their demo server.
This solution, showing an inline set of filter criteria on a single row contrasts with several typical filtering techniques that can be used. From best to worst I've seen the following: search results filtering with faceted navigation, table-based filtering of data in column as is done in spreadsheets, rules-based with complex rule-generation forms. The alternative used here for filter selection is a take on filtering that I view as efficient when dealing with too many facets or columns/fields of a table than can be displayed. The removal of filters is a little more familiar, using a design pattern that is common on search results.
2. Clicking "Add a Filter" control. Selecting filter type, "Country."
3. After selecting type, the possible values for Country are shown. "United Kingdom" is selected. There is also an input to enter a value, but this doesn't offer auto-completion, so correct exact values must be entered.
4. FIlter has been added.
5. Adding a second filter, now selecting "Browser."
6. Values for Browser are show. "Internet Explorer" is selected.
7. Now filter shows "United KIngdom" and "Internet Explorer." User is now viewing options for modifying the "United Kingdom" filter.
8. User removed the "United Kingdom" filter.