We’ve made some changes to the Dashboard and we’re excited to share them with you! Announcing, Dashboard Version 2.0.
Over the past number of years, we’ve been listening to user feedback in regards to what changes could be made to improve the dashboard, make it more intuitive, and extend it’s functionality. We’ve made a number of changes that we hope will help meet some of these requests. Included in the changes are things like: count pads with colored thresholds (change color based on count), global variables (change a variable that will affect your entire layout – a date range for instance), resize-able widgets, a 3D option for some charts, Quick Link widgets that allow you to link to your most used Nektar modules (or external websites/web apps), the ability to embed Youtube videos and other media, improved layout management and distribution, and much more! We can’t talk about every new feature here, but below you will find a brief overview of some of the bigger changes, as well as a basic widget creation tutorial.
Creating a New Widget
First off, let’s create a new widget. This process is similar to the previous dashboard version, but with a few changes. In the create widget window, you will find some fields that need to be filled in:
Type: Select the type of widget you wish to create.
Primary Focus: For widgets that query data, the primary focus will direct the way the query is built so it returns the correct data. For instance, If you create a count widget that has filters that target 5 assets and you set the primary focus to Assets the count widget will return 5. However, if you leave the filters to target the same 5 assets but change the primary focus to Tasks, you will get a count of all the tasks that are on those 5 assets, likely a much higher number. The same logic applies if you select Work Orders.
Show On Mobile: Due to size constraints on mobile devices, you can choose to not show some larger widgets (mainly charts) that would be difficult to read on smaller devices.
Filters: Allows you to add an assortment of filters to look at very specific data.
Lets Make a Sample Widget!
To start we are going to make a simple count widget that returns the number of heavy duty trucks in our demo company.
Step 1 – Input a title, select Count for the type, Assets for the primary focus, and select a color using the color selector tool.
Step 2 – When you selected Count from the Type dropdown you may have noticed a checkbox appear beside the color selector, labeled Use Threshold Colors. Check that box now.
Step 3 – Threshold colors is a feature limited to count widgets. This allow you to change the color of the widget when the count returned is greater than, less than, equal, or between a specified value. In the picture shown above the widget will turn green when the widget value is greater than 12.
Step 4 – Currently the widget will return a count of all assets that we have permission to instead of only heavy duty trucks, because we have no filters selected. Let’s go ahead and add some filters by clicking the Add Filter button.
Step 5 – After clicking the Add Filter button, a new filter row will be added to the filter group. The filter row consist of three parts. The left side button allows you to select a column to filter by. The middle button is where you choose what type of comparison to make. The right side is where you input the value to compare to. Click the left side button that says “Select Column” now.
Step 6 – In the select column window you will select the column you wish to compare to. In our example we’ve selected Assets as the type of column to look at, and then got a second dropdown labeled Asset Class. When you open the Asset Class dropdown there is an important option to take note of. The first item in the list is All Classes. This is a special option that will allow you to select columns that are shared across all asset types i.e. Created Date, Asset Type, Created By, etc. Any other option will lead you to the selection of a specific column in a specific asset type. For our current example we will select All Classes and then select the Category column from the third dropdown that appears. Finally, we will click the Select button at the bottom right.
Step 7 – Now that we have our column selected let’s take a look at the comparison options we have. When you click on the middle blue link button a menu will open allowing you to change the comparison type. These options will depend on the data type of the column you have selected. The comparisons for numeric columns are different than the ones for text columns. We will select equals for this example.
Step 8 – We now have the column we would like to compare to, the type of comparison we would like to do, the final step is to select which value to compare it to. For our example we are going to select HD trucks. We can now click the create button on the bottom right and the widget will be added to our layout.
The way layouts are served has significantly changed in version 2. There are now 2 types of dashboard layouts, personal layouts and global layouts. Personal layouts are ones that only you can see and change, Global layouts are ones that anyone in your company can see and edit (provided they have the required editing permissions).
When you click on the top left layout title you will get a dropdown that shows your 5 most recent layouts. If you wish to see all the layouts you have access to then click the Show All Dashboard Layouts button. When you do, you will see a side panel slide out. At the top of this panel is a dropdown where you can choose between My Dashboards and Global Dashboards.
To manage who can see and interact with global dashboard layouts (if you are an administrator), go to the Permission Manager page and select the Dashboard Permissions tab. The Create Global Dashboards permission will allow users to create new global dashboards. Next you will see a list of the current global dashboards in your company which will allow you to set view and edit permissions for each global dashboard layout.
Variables are a brand new way of interacting with your entire dashboard layout by changing a single value. Examples of this would include date ranges, divisions, etc. Variables allow creating a static value that can be used in numerous widget filters. When this static value is changed on-the-fly, all the widgets that use it as a filter will also update. For instance, if you set up a dashboard layout that had widgets showing counts, trends, activity, etc for a certain date period, you could set the date range as a global variable. Then, any time you wanted to view data for a different date range, only the global variable(s) would need to be changed.
When you click the Variables button in the top toolbar area, a side panel will slide out that shows the current Variables for this layout. In the screenshot below, there aren’t any variables set up yet. To start, we will click the Edit Variables button.
Now in the Manage Variables window we will add a new variable that can be used later on in our widgets. First select the data type of the variable from the dropdown. Then, input a name for the variable. You can also set a default value for the variable for use when the layout is initially loaded.
Now that we have a variable let’s attach it to a widget. Click the Edit Layout button in the top toolbar then hit the edit pencil icon on a widget. On the right hand side of any filter row is a “more” button (three dots). Click it and select the option Use Global Variable, then select the variable we just made and hit Save.
In our example the widget is now looking for assets that have an Asset Category equal to the value of the Asset Category global variable we created. In the image below, you can see the widget shows 0 because the value in the variable is empty. You can also see that if we change the variable to “HD Trucks” the widget will once again show 29 assets. We can now use this variable and widget to see any Asset Category count such as ‘Light Trucks’ or ‘Off Highway Trucks’, etc.
In our example, we only attached a global variable to one widget. However, variables become more powerful when you use them in multiple widgets and have them all update with a single variable change.
We hope you find these, and the many other dashboard changes we’ve made, useful in helping guide your business decisions and getting a quick heads-up view of the state of your business and business processes!