Analytics: Dashboards

When viewing standard or custom reports, you generally open reports one at a time, and search for data in only the report that is active. However, you can view and search for data in several reports simultaneously by adding them to a dashboard. Each report in a dashboard retains the same functionality as if you opened the report separately, allowing you to access and work with a variety of data from one dashboard.

Dashboards are particularly useful for managers who need to view a wide range of data from different reports. Using dashboards eliminates the need to open a large number of reports individually. Using dashboards eliminates the need to open a large number of reports individually.

Dashboards are created and edited on the dashboard design centre by dragging reports to the dashboard, adding optional descriptions, images, text, and controls, and configuring display options.

To open the dashboard design centre:
1. Click the Analytics button on the navigation pane.
2. Double-click Reports Explorer.
3. Click the New Dashboard button to create a dashboard.

The following image shows the dashboard design centre.

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You can also add tabs to the dashboard to place additional reports and other content that may not fit on the dashboard’s main page. Each dashboard can have a maximum of 50 items placed on it.

If you add private reports to a dashboard, other staff members can view the reports when they open the dashboard.

Dashboard options allow you to select the time zone that should be used for the reports in the dashboard, change the dashboard owner, and modify settings that impact how the dashboard functions when it is opened for viewing. You can also configure automatic refresh of the data shown in the dashboard’s reports, select data source options, add notes to the dashboard, change the image displayed for the dashboard in report lists, and schedule the dashboard to be sent in an email.

You open dashboards just as you would open a regular report from the Reports explorer or one of your navigation lists. Dashboards can also be opened from links you add to reports. When you open a dashboard, it loads with current report data. You can also queue dashboards to view them at a later time.

The dashboard includes options similar to those accessed from the Report tab when viewing a report. The dashboard also includes docked filters that are common to the reports in the dashboard and may include tabs to access reports on other dashboard pages.

Since every report in a dashboard is fully functional, you can access the standard options available when viewing a report to sort columns, show or hide columns, and add column calculations. If the report and the permissions allow it, you can also access records listed in the reports or edit them inline.

When you open a dashboard, the dashboard’s ribbon includes Home and Page Setup tabs. You can use the options on these tabs to print the dashboard and adjust the dashboard’s display and output. When you select an individual report on the dashboard, the ribbon is updated to include additional tabs containing options for modifying the selected report.

The buttons available on the Home and Page Setup dashboard tabs let you open the Search window, refresh the display, select display options, forward the dashboard, configure print options, and perform other actions that impact the entire dashboard.

Dashboards can be queued to run at a later time just as reports can. Dashboards can be manually queued or automatically queued. Once a queued dashboard generates, you can view the dashboard using a standard report or a notification just as you can with queued reports. You can queue dashboards containing reports that you think may query or return large amounts of data. This is also helpful if you want to view a number of dashboards but do not want to wait for each to generate.

After you queue a dashboard, you can use standard reports located in the Reports explorer’s Public Reports > Common > Site Administration > Reports folder to see the dashboard’s status in the queue. Once the dashboard runs and is ready to view, you are notified and you can open it from several locations.

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