Creating Dashboards

Last modified: January 19, 2016
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Estimated reading time: 4 min

Creating Dashboards

Dashboards are an excellent tool to show multiple charts on one screen. This lesson will provide an overview of how to create a Dashboard from scratch.

Open the Reports Tab

Open the Reports Tab

To create a dashboard:

  1. Open the Reports tab
  2. Select New Dashboard

This will lead you to the Dashboard Builder screen.

Build Dashboard

Build Dashboard

A Dashboard is limited to 3 columns and 20 total components. From the Dashboard Builder screen you can start adding components (charts) to your Dashboard. There are 3 main areas:

  1. Choose your Chart Type from the Components tab then Data Source. For a reference on Chart Types click here
  2. Define the Dashboard Properties and Add Filter
  3. Dashboard Preview

To add a new component you must select a Chart Type and a Data Source. It does not matter in which order but selecting the Chart Type and then the Data Source works the best for most users. To do this, click and drag a Chart Type then drop it in one of the Preview columns.

Linking the Dashboard to a Report

Linking the Dashboard to a Report

Next you will need to select a Report that the Dashboard will represent. To do this:

  1. Click Data Sources – This will list all available Reports
  2. Select a Report, drag it over to the empty Chart then drop it

Customizing Dashboard Layout

Customizing Dashboard Layout

You can then customize your Chart data:

  1. It is recommended that you adjust the column width to Wide – This will give you more space to work
  2. Enter a description of the Dashboard, if needed
  3. Enter a Header – This is recommended to show the user what your Chart is explaining
  4. Enter Title – This is necessary if you want to use Filtered Source Report
  5. Edit Footer – Here you can describe what your Report is showing or what question it is trying to answer

Click on the wrench icon (6) to edit the Chart layout.

Editing Chart Layout

Editing Chart Layout

There Component Editor will appear showing 2 tabs. The fields available on these two tabs will vary depending on the Chart Type selected (bar, pie, funnel, etc):

  1. In the Component Data tab you can: Define your Y-Axis, X-Axis, and Group By (if applicable). You can also select if you want to make this a combination Chart (Click here for more information). Important fields in this tab are:
  • Display Units – Can be adjusted if the automatic selection does not meet your needs
  • Drill Down to – You will primarily use the first 2 options: Source Report – This will take you to the Report you created if you click anywhere on the Chart, and Filtered Source Report – This will filter the Report depending on where in the Chart you click. See lesson “Drilling Down into Reports” for more details
  1. On the Formatting tab, you can customize the order of your data

Once the Chart is to your liking, click OK to continue.

In this example, Filtered Source Report has been selected for Drill Down to, and Show Details on Hover has been selected for Data Labels.

Adding Filters

Adding Filters

Dashboard filters let users see different views of the data in a Dashboard. You can add up 3 different filters on a Dashboard and each filter can filter up to 10 different field names. When you filter on one of the fields your Dashboard will adjust to the data just matching that filter. Filters are added during the creation process by the owner then later applied to the Dashboard by the viewer once the Dashboard is active. Filters not setup by the Dashboard owner cannot be added later by the viewer.

To add filters:

  1. Click Add Filter
  2. Select a field from the drop down list
  3. The Display Label will auto-populate with the name of the field selected. This can be changed if needed
  4. Select an Operator from the drop down list
  5. Select a Value by either: Clicking on the folder with a magnifying glass icon then selecting from the list, or, by manually typing in the field name (the manually entered value must be identical to field name or the filter will not work)
  6. Click the Add Row button to add multiple filters. You may add up to 10 rows (50 rows is possible but a request must be submitted to Salesforce)
  7. Filters can be removed by clicking the remove icon
  8. Click OK to continue

For instance, let us create a Dashboard filter for “Region”. First choose what Field you want to filter on, in this example “Region” (2) is been entered. Choose what name you want displayed in the Dashboard (3). Next, define the parameters of your filter. You can use Operators like in Reports, in this example equals is selected (4). Now enter a value the filter will operate on. In this example, North America is selected (5). Add another row, by clicking the Add Row button (6) then repeat the process but set the Operator to Western Europe. Once all filters are in place, click OK (8) to continue.

“View As” Function

"View As" Function

Each Salesforce user has a permission set (accessibility allowances) that specifies what data they can view. This is important with regards to Dashboards (and Reports) because data available to one user might not be viewable by another. A way around this is to allow users, with lower permission sets, to view the Dashboard through the “eyes” of the owner. This will allow them to view the Dashboard but they will not be able to Drill Down into the Report data (that the Dashboard represents) if their permission set prohibits it. Click here for more information about Dynamic Dashboards.

To edit the View dashboard as function:

  1. Expand the View dashboard as menu
  2. Select either: Run as specified user – Here you will be able to specify yourself (default), or, Run as logged-in user – Here the user will view the Dashboard with their own permission set
  3. Click OK

Save and Run Your Dashboard

Save and Run Your Dashboard

Now that your Dashboard has all the components in place, you will need to Save and Run it. To do this:

  1. Click Save
  2. Give the Dashboard a Title
  3. Save the Dashboard to either: My Personal Dashboards – This folder is only accessible by you, or, save it to a new or already existing folder
  4. Click Save and Run Dashboard

Your Dashboard

Your Dashboard

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