Customizing Dashboards in Edit Mode
This chapter addresses the following topics:
• Actions dropdown
• Dashboard tab dropdowns
• Organizing dashboard tabs
• Dashboard element tools
• Arrange and Style configuration panes
• Building dashboards with the dashboard element menus
Though there are several ways to interact with your dashboards as a viewer, to customize the structure and appearance of your dashboards you must switch into Edit Mode. As a dashboard editor (including those users in both the editor and administrator roles), you can add reports, widgets, text, lines, web content, and data filters for dashboard viewers to consume. You can also customize the look and feel of a dashboard by repositioning and resizing the dashboard elements you have created.
Enter Edit Mode by opening the gear icon Edit menu in the upper right corner of your dashboard and selecting Edit.
Figure 21 Entering Edit Mode
Once in Edit Mode, several changes will take place on your screen. Notice how the Edit Toolbar replaces the Navigation Bar along the top of the page.
Figure 22 The Navigation Bar changes when you’re in Edit Mode
In place of the navigation tabs in the upper left corner, you now see dashboard element menus called Report, Widget, Text, Line, Web Content, and Filter. These all represent categories of dashboard elements that you can add to your dashboard.
In Edit Mode, the general option dropdown menus also disappear. They are replaced by the Actions dropdown, the Cancel button, and the Save button, which appear along the Edit Toolbar.
The remainder of the chapter will address the menus and tools that appear along the Edit Toolbar.
Figure 23 The actions menu appears along the Navigation Bar while Edit Mode is activated.
Renames your dashboard
Duplicates your dashboard
Deletes your dashboard
Dashboard Tab Configurations
You can modify a dashboard tab by clicking the triangle icon to the right of the tab. This will open a dropdown with four menu options.
Figure 24 Accessing the configurations dropdown
Renames your tab
Duplicates your tab
Sends a duplication of your tab to another dashboard
Deletes your tab
Dashboard Element Configuration Tools
You can modify elements that already appear on your dashboard with the tools that appear when a dashboard element is selected in Edit Mode. Configurable elements include reports, key metric widgets, Geo chart widgets, filters, and other elements like text boxes, lines, and embedded web content.
Figure 25 Configuring a report added to a dashboard
The dashboard element tools that are available may vary depending on which type of dashboard element you have selected. All tools are explored in greater detail below.
The link tool allows you to create a link from text descriptions to an external webpage. In the link dialog, enter a title for you link. This is the linked text that will appear on your dashboard. Any text that appears in the Link Title field by default represents text that was highlighted on the dashboard at the time the link dialog was opened. If you opt not to specify a link title, the URL of the web address you enter will serve as the link on your dashboard.
Figure 26 Link from text descriptions to external webpages
The configurations tool allows you to reconfigure a dashboard element. Depending on the type of element selected, the following configurations panes may be available:
• Drilling (Reports only)
• Selection (Filters only)
• Arrange (All elements)
• Style (Reports, widgets, text boxes)
• Metric (Widgets only)
• Filter (Widgets only)
Amongst the various configurations options for elements that have been added to a dashboard, Arrange and Style are the two configuration panes shared by all elements.
Arrange configurations allow you determine the visibility of the selected dashboard element with respect to other dashboard layers. Arranging dashboard elements is only vital in cases where they overlap.
Figure 27 Rearrange the visibility of overlapping elements
Style configurations allow you to determine the background style of a dashboard element. In this way, you can customize the look of widgets, reports and text boxes that overlap other dashboard elements.
Figure 28 Alter the appearance of the background of a dashboard element
Other configurations are discussed in sections relating to relevant dashboard elements below.
The edit tool lets you navigate directly to a report’s Report Editor page. From the Report Editor, editors and administrators can alter a report at a fundamental level. Change the report type and add new report filters. Redefine which metrics are displayed on the report and which attributes contextualize those metrics.
Figure 29 Access a report’s configurations in the Report Editor.
Clicking the trashcan icon removes a dashboard element from a dashboard.
Building Dashboards: Dashboard Element Menus
The following sections explore the six menus that appear atop the dashboard in Edit Mode: Report, Widget, Text, Line, Web Content, and Filter. Each menu relates to a different type of element that you can add to your dashboards.
Figure 30 The dashboard element menus appear when you enter Edit Mode
Adding a New or Preexisting Report
The Report menu allows you to find and select predefined reports to add to your dashboard.You can also use the Create a New Report button to navigate directly to the Report Editor.
Moving and Resizing Reports on Your Dashboard
You can move and resize a report by selecting it on your dashboard while in Edit Mode. Circular markers will appear around the dotted-line perimeter of the report, indicating that the report is ready to be moved or resized. Notice how the report tools also become available when you select a report.
Configuring Local Drill Paths on Dashboard Reports
Modify predefined drill paths or establish a new drill path while in Edit Mode by selecting a report of interest, clicking the gear icon, and selecting Drilling.
You can modify preexisting drill paths by using the arrow dropdowns beneath. When I Click On and Show Me to select newmetrics, attributes, and reports.
In the following example, a report drill path has been established such that when a viewer clicks on one of the Sales Rep attribute values, the report’s data will be recomputed, broken down by the Account attribute and filtered for the particular sales representative who was selected.
Figure 31 Local drilling configurations on a dashboard report Create a new drill path by clicking Add more…
- When I ClickOn: Decide whether your drill path will allow your report’s viewers to drill into an attribute or a metric value. You can also select multiple attributes, metrics, or a combination of metrics and attributes to allow the same drill path to be triggered from multiple places within a report.
- Show Me: Choose a new attribute of interest by which your chart’s data will be broken down. Remember: the original attribute will still play a role in the new report’s definition; the value of the original attribute that was selected will become a filter within the new report. You can also click Reports to set a preexisting report as the destination of a drill path.
The Widget menu contains three types of widgets that you can add to your dashboard: two varieties of a Key metric widget and the Geo chart widget.
Key Metric Widgets
Key metric widgets are minimalistic dashboardelements that display a single metric of interest—much like simple headline reports. (Like a headline report, key metric widgets can be impacted by dashboard filters, but widgets do not support drill paths.)
Figure 32 Key metric widgets are similar to headline reports.
Key metric w/ trend widgets also include a small sparklinethat contextualizes the key metric by displaying its historic variation in a simple axis-free line graph.
Figure 33 Trend lines add context to the metric’s value.
Configure a Key metric widget by selecting a Key metric widget in Edit Mode and clicking the gear icon.
A number of configurations are also available for Key metric widgets.
From the Style pane you can set your widget’s background settings as well as customize the key metric’s number format. For more information on number format, see Number Formatting.
From the Filters pane, you can connect your widget to relevant preexisting dashboard filters. Selected filters affect the source data that is used to compute the widget’s key metric.
From the Arrange pane, you can establish your widget’s visibility relative to other dashboard elements.
Geo Chart WidgetsGeo chart widgets are heat maps that allow you to visualize your data broken down by geographic region across an actual map. Regional boundaries such as country, state, and county are all supported.
Metric values are visualized as color shades along a spectrum, which may be contextualized with a chart legend. You can also hover your mouse over a particular region for the precise values and region labels.
Pan across your Geo chart map by grabbing and dragging anywhere on the map. Zoom in [+] (or double-click) and out [–] for a new perspective on your data, and toggle between layers in the chart’s dropdown to determine the granularity of the regions by which your data is broken down.
From the Data tab, select a metric of interest and determine the color that will represent this metric’s values. From the list of available layers, select those you would like to make available to dashboard viewers. Drag layers to alter the order in which they appear to dashboard viewers. The first layer listed will become the default layer.
From the Filters tab, select which dashboard filters will affect your widget.
From the Arrange tab, determine how the widget will be displayed when overlapping another dashboard object.
From the Style tab, determine whether the map and legend will be displayed. You can also choose background preferences for the legend: transparent or opaque (white).
Headline• Can be resized horizontally to fit more text, but not vertically
• Displays only one line of text
• Displays text in large, bold font
Sub-Headline• Can be resized horizontally to fit more text, but not vertically
• Displays only one line of text
• Displays text at medium-sized, bold font
Description• Can be resized both horizontally and vertically to fit more text
• Displays multiple lines of text, automatically adding line breaks where necessary
• Displays text in neutral font
Variable Status• Displays a variable’s current status (see following section)
Variable Status IndicatorThe Variable status indicator is a useful tool you can use to make user-friendly dashboards. It allows viewers to check which variables are already present on a given dashboard that may be affecting how data is displayed for specific users – eliminating any potential confusion that could arise from discrepancies between different users’ dashboards.
Web Content Menu
The Filter menu contains two types of interactive filters that you can add to your dashboard: Attribute Filters (including Variable Filters), and Date Filters.
Dashboard filters allow users to zero in on just the data that is of immediate interest— like certain categories of data or data from specific time periods.
When a dashboard filter is set, each report on the current dashboard tab is recomputed to exclude data from unselected categories (Attribute/Variable filters), or from dates that fall outside the specified time period (Date filters).
While dashboard filters can be applied to one or more of a dashboard’s reports, dashboard filters affect report computations on a superficial level—without altering report definitions (fundamental report configurations).
Only filters added to a report’s definition from the Report Editor can change the data displayed within every instance of that report
Dashboard filters affect all of a dashboard’s reports by default, but can also be customized to apply to some reports but not others.
To customize which dashboard filters affect any given report in Edit Mode, while in Edit Mode select a report, open the Filters tab. Any dashboard filters selected on this pane will affect the active report.
Dashboard Attribute Filters
Figure 35 Attribute is the first of two main types of dashboard filters.
After selecting the Attribute Filters button from the Filter menu, you can toggle between the Attribute and Variable filter sub-panes. Selecting the Show Date Attributes checkbox at the bottom of the sub-pane displays date attributes above the non-date attributes in the same list.
The labels of some date attribute filters are customizable via a dropdown list of labels that appears when that date attribute is selected
Dashboard Variable Filters
In some situations, it may be useful to limit the number of options certain users see on their attribute filters.
By selecting a predefined variable from the Variable filter sub-pane, dashboard editors can limit the number of filterable options visible on a dashboard viewer’s attribute filter. This could be useful for filtering out all attribute values not related to the region of California for an employee tasked solely with monitoring data in California.
The diagrams below compare this user’s options on an account attribute filter and on a similar filter with options limited by a variable set up for him by a dashboard administrator.
In this example of an Attribute Filter, thousands of accounts are displayed, most of which are irrelevant to the user in question.
Figure 36 Attribute filters show all available values for a given attribute
In this example of a Variable Filter, only relevant accounts are displayed in the filter drop-down.
Figure 37 Variable filters show just those attribute values that the active user is permitted to see.
From the perspective of the dashboard viewer, regular attribute filters and attribute filters with variables function in the same way. Both allow viewers to zero in on just the categories of data (attributes) that are of most interest. But for the dashboard editors there is an important distinction between the two: unlike attribute filters, variable filters only affect reports that have corresponding variable filters added to their report definitions. This means the Account variable filter from the example above would only affect reports to which the Account variable filter had been assigned from the Filter pane of the Report Editor.
To learn more about how project administrators can establish variables that limit filterable options available to individual viewers, refer to the Variables section that appears later in this guide.
Dashboard Date Filters
Figure 38 Date filters are the second of two main types of dashboard filters.
Dashboard date filters allow dashboard viewers to zero in on data from specific periods of time, relative to the present. Such time periods that are defined in relation to the present are described as floating. They treat time in a relative rather than an absolute sense with words like last, this, next.
Selecting Date from the Filter menu opens the Date Filter Configuration pane.
When configuring a date filter, you must first determine the default date granularity and date range of the data that will be featured in a dashboard’s reports. Date granularity defines the magnitude of time units that will be used to zero in on your data. Your options run from smallest granularity to largest: days, weeks, months, quarters, or years. Date granularity can be selected using the Day, Week, Month, Quarter, and Year buttons.
Figure 39 Date granularity buttons
While dashboard viewers can modify the date range that is filtered, they cannot modify the date granularity the dashboard editor has established. For example, if you have set the default date range to last month a viewer could change the date window to this month, or to 8 months ago, but they could not modify the filter granularity to display data from all of last year, or from the last 30 days.
Use the Time Period Selector, just beneath the granularity buttons, to determine a time period of interest. Data attached to all other dates, outside of this period, will not be used to calculate report metrics that appear on the dashboard. For the Day granularity, define your time period by selecting one of the ranges provided.
Figure 40 Day Time Period Selector
For all other granularities, define your time period by dragging the blue Time Period Selector across a certain window of time: for example, within the week granularity, the blue selector could be dragged to highlight all dates between this (week) and 4 (weeks) ago.
Figure 41 Floating Time Period Selector for all time granularities besides Day
While the time period selector is handy, it isn’t as precise as selecting time periods manually by clicking the Advanced dropdown arrow. The Advanced sub-pane can also be helpful for selecting a wider range of time than is permitted by the Time Period Selector. For example, the Time Period Selector allows you to filter for dates up to 6 weeks ago, but if you wanted to analyze data associated with dates up to 13 weeks ago, you could manually specify this in the advanced sub-pane.
Figure 42 Select precise time periods with the advanced date filter settings
Date Filters vs. Date Attribute Filters
Date filters are not the same as the date attribute filters that you can add to your dashboard from the attribute filter sub-pane.
• Allow you to select a continuous range of time.
• Allow you to select floating date ranges, relative to the present.
• Are found by selecting Date in the Filter menu.
• Allow you to select discrete days, weeks, months, quarters, or years of interest (depending on which granularity of time has been established). These selections can be discontinuous across time.
• Allow you to select absolute dates, unrelated to the present.
• Are found by selecting Attribute in the Filter menu, and then selecting show date attributes.
Dashboard Filter Groups
Filter groups allow you to make changes to multiple dashboard filters before any dashboard reports are recomputed. When you're finished reconfiguring filters in the group, click apply and watch as all the filters come into effect simultaneously.
Setting up filter groups is similar to adding a traditional filter to a dashboard. After selecting Group from the Filter menu, select the dashboard filters that you would like to group together.
Figure 45 You can now add filter groups to dashboard.