Creating a New Dashboard

Creating a Dashboard

Dashboard  allows you to combine multiple reports in a single page for a quick  overview. Zoho Reports provides simple and intuitive drag & drop  interface to create a Dashboard. You can easily create a visually rich and interactive dashboard by adding reports, widgets, user filters and rich-formatted text in single or double column layout.

The following is the sample Dashboard in Design Mode.

1 - Custom Title added in the Dashboard

2 - User Filters added in the Dashboard

3 - KPI widgets added in the Dashboard

4 - Reports added in the Dashboard

5 - List of Reports in the Reporting Database to drag into the Dashboard

The above is a sample layout of a dashboard, which could be customized. This following sections describes how to create a Dashboard and layout it as needed.

Creating a Dashboard

Once you have created your reports/views that you want in Zoho Reports you can start designing your Dashboard. Zoho Reports offers easy to use drag and drop interface to design your dashboard. To create a Dashboard, you have to invoke New Dashboard option by clicking the new icon in the Explorer tab and then select New Dashboard option. The Edit Design window will open. Design your dashboard as needed.

The following video explain how to create a dashboard.

Adding Reports

Zoho Reports allows you to add reports to your dashboard easily with a drag and drop interface.
Follow the steps below to add reports to your dashboard.

  1. Open the dashboard in edit mode.
  2. You will notice that all the reports available in this reporting database listed in the left panel, which you can drop into the Design Area on the right.

  3. Report will be added to your dashboard.

  4. Save the Dashboard.

You can add any number of reports in the dashboard. To know how to layout your dashboard with multiple report, refer here.

Adding Formatted Text, Images & HTML

Zoho Reports allows you to enhance your dashboard by adding rich formatted text, images and HTML content to enrich your dashboard with relevant contextual information and styling.

To add text:

  1. Click Add Text option from the toolbar or double click on any point in the Design Area.
  2. Enter the content in the Text Editor that opens.

  3. You can insert an image by clicking image icon.
  4. You can also insert content using HTML editor. Will be useful to insert any Web components like Youtube video etc.,.

  5. Click Insert button. The content you have added will be inserted.

Zoho Reports allows you to organize the added text as needed at anytime. To know how to layout your dashboard, refer here.

Adding KPI Widgets

Zoho Reports offers a widget-based model for adding single number and chart type widgets within dashboards. These are called KPI Widgets. This is a pretty useful feature to highlight any key metric in a dashboard for easy comprehension. The key metric can also be accompanied with associated comparison indicators to highlight the trend or plotted against a target to show progression.
 
On a wider level, Zoho Reports offers,
  1. Single number widget
  2. Chart type widget 

Adding a KPI Widget

Click here to read a detailed help document about adding a KPI Widget.

Editing the Widget

Whenever required, the widget can be edited. Hover the mouse on top of the widget till a menu bar appears, and click the Edit option. The Widget Editor will open. You can modify the settings as required.

Adding User Filters

Zoho Reports allows you to include dynamic filtering capability in the dashboard view mode using the User Filters option. This enables viewers of the dashboard to apply filters dynamically and view the required information. You can add User Filters to the entire dashboard or for the individual reports embedded as required.

The following sections explain how to add User Filters.

User Filters for the Dashboard

To add User Filters to the Dashboard:

  1. In the Edit Mode User Filters section will be available. Click Add User Filters button.
  2. All columns relavent to the reports added in the dashboard will be listed in the column panel at the left. Drag and drop the required columns to be used as user filters.
  3. Editing user filters column is similar to editing user filters for charts (or pivot table or summary view).

Auto Add User Filters

Zoho Reports allows you to add user filters available in the embedded reports into dashboard too. This is a easy & convenient way to add users filters to a dashboard, without the need to repeat the task of user filters creation again.

To achieve this:

  1. Select the Auto Add User Filters check box from the User Filters field.
  2. Add reports with user filters to the dashboard. User filters in these reports will be automatically added to the dashboard.

Adding Timeline Filters

Zoho Reports allows you to create a common Date/Period user filters that can be applied on all reports in the dashboard. This user filter is different from the other filters (described above), as it is not tightly bound to any (date) column in a table.

With this timeline filter you will be able to setup a common Date/Period user filter independent of the tables on which the reports have been created. When you use the timeline filter in a dashboard, Zoho Reports will apply the criteria on all reports, matching it with the best possible date column associated with the report. By default, if the report has a date column, it will filter using it. The matching date columns can also be customized, refer to this section to know how.

Since this is a common period filter, you can setup only one timeline filter in a dashboard.

To add a timeline filter,

  • Click Add User Filter button and select Include Timeline Filter check box (or drag and drop) as shown in the snapshot.

  • Click the edit icon that appears on hovering the mouse on the timeline filter. In the Edit Timeline Filter dialog that opens, you can change the filter name in the Filter Display Name box.
  • Click the Edit link to change the values that you wish to display in the Timeline filter.

  • You can select the values by selecting the check boxes.

  • Click Apply to add the filter.

How does this filter work?

When you apply this filter, by default it will be applied only on those reports that have a date column as a part of it. The date columns can be customized using the Timeline filter column mapping section(as shown in the below snapshot).

  • In the Date columns to use for filtering section you can specify the date column to be filtered. You can specify multiple columns as well.

  • You can also specify the order for applying filters in this section
    • On date columns used in the report (default option)- choose this option to apply the timeline filter on the date column used in the report which is a part of the dashboard.
    • On date columns in the table on which the report has been created - choose this option to apply the timeline filter on the reports present in the table on which the report is created, although the report does not contain a date column itself.
    • On date columns in related tables - choose this to apply the timeline filter on the reports in the dashboard which does not contain a date column in its table but has a date column that is contained in a related table.
  • Click Apply. This filter will be applied.

User Filters for the Individual Reports

You can also add user filters for individual reports that have been added in a dashboard.

To achieve this:

  1. Create a report (chart/pivot/summary view) with User Filters.
  2. Add this report to the dashboard.
  3. Hover your mouse over the added Report.
  4. Select the Show User Filter check box from the Options. Click Apply.

User Filters will be added to the corresponding report alone.

Columns Not Related

Zoho Reports will display an alert over a user filters column (refer to the image below), which is longer relavent to the dashboard i.e., All the reports that uses this column is revoved from the dashboard. You can easily remove thers user filters by hovering your mouse over the corresponding column and select Remove. You cannot save the dashboard without removing these columns.

Layouting components in Dashboards

Zoho Reports offers a wide range of options to customize the dashboard. With its drag and drop interface you can layout of the reports, widgets, user filters & formatted text as you need and create a visually rich dashboard quickly. You can do all these in the Edit mode of the dashboard.

Organizing Components in Dashboard

Zoho Reports allows you to organize your dashboard components with easy drag and drop options.

Resizing column

You can easily align the column space for each component by dragging the separation border.

Reorganizing Component

You can rearrange the components in dashboard into any location needed by drag and drop option.

Reports specific customizations

Zoho Reports provides context specific options to customize any report that you drop in a dashboard. These options will appear on mouse over.

  • Refresh - Using this option you can reload the report.
  • Options - Various options will be listed under this based on the type of view/report.

Refer to the following table for the settings available in this section.

OptionDescriptionApplicable View Type
TitleSelect/deselect this option to show/hide the corresponding report's title.All Views
DescriptionSelect/deselect this option to show/hide the corresponding report's Description.All Views
User FiltersSelect/deselect this option to include/exclude the Users Filters for the corresponding report.
Users Filters allows users to apply selected filters dynamically to
show only permitted subset of values in the corresponding view.
All Views
Legend PositionSelect the position of the Legend you need from the drop-down list. Supported positions are: Hidden, Right, Left, Top-Left, Top-Center, Top-Right, Bottom-Left, Bottom-Center and Bottom-Right.Charts
Search BoxSelect/deselect this option to include/exclude search box for the table.Table
  • Expand/Contract - Using this option you can change the dashboard layout to single or double column display for the corresponding view in that row. Choose Expand option for single column display and Contract option, for double column display. When Contract is selected, you can resize the view.
  • Remove - Using this option you can delete the view from the Dashboard.

Text and Image specific customizations

You can customize text and image added in Dashboard. These options will appear on mouse over.

  • Edit - Using this option you can open the text editor to modify the content.
  • Expand/Contract - Using this option you can change the dashboard layout to single or double column display for the corresponding view in that row. Choose Expand option for single column display and Contract option, for double column display. When Contract is selected, you can resize the view.
  • Remove - Using this option you can delete the element from the Dashboard.

KPI Wigdet specific customizations

You can customize KPI widget in Dashboard. These options will appear on mouse over.

  • Edit - Using this option you can open the KPI widget editor to modify the content.
  • Expand/Contract - Using this option you can change the dashboard layout to single or double column display for the corresponding view in that row. Choose Expand option for single column display and Contract option, for double column display. When Contract is selected, you can resize the view.
  • Remove - Using this option you can delete the widget from the Dashboard.

Customizing the Theme

Zoho Reports allows you to customize your dashboard theme as needed. This will be beneficial in case of embedding as you can customize the dashboard to suite with your website or application.

The following steps explain how to customize your dashboard.

  1. Open the Dashboard in View Mode.
  2. Click Themes. The Dashboard Themes dialog will open. Six themes for the dashboard will be available.
  3. Mouse over the required theme, options to Apply or Customize will appear.
  4. Click Apply to apply the theme with default values.
  5. Click Customize the modify the theme.
  6. Change the theme settings as required. Options will vary depending on the theme you have selected.
  7. Click Apply.