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Using the Dashboard Designer
You must have designer-role rights to create and edit dashboards with this tool.
You can use the Dashboard Designer to create real-time, interactive dashboards of your target data sources' data. Each connected data source, as well as the Xtraction data model your administrator has set up, determines the data (components) available for adding to a dashboard. A dashboard can contain one or more available components selected from the eight component types. To understand more about components, see About components.
The best way to get started on a basic dashboard is to see Creating a dashboard in one easy procedure, though the general process is this:
With a target data source selected, expand the navigation pane's components list and drag and drop one component at a time onto a pane of the dashboard design canvas. The number of panes is determined by the layout you select in the dashboard properties dialog. To change the content in a pane, just drag and drop a new component on top of the current one.
Dashboards are meant primarily for onscreen viewing, though you can export the content into a variety of formats to share with others.
To quickly copy all elements of an open dashboard to the Document Designer, click Tools > Copy to document. This action automatically opens the Document Designer with the dashboard elements displayed in the right components pane. From here, you can edit components as necessary before exporting.
Learn how to
You can define several options that will be the defaults for all of your dashboards.
1.Open the Dashboard Designer by clicking the the icon in the toolbox left of the navigation pane.
2.Click the icon in the navigation pane.
•Apply changes to: Select whether to apply filters to all components in a dashboard or a single component.
•Filter action: Select whether a new filter action should replace or add to the current filter.
•Time component filter action: Select whether the action should:
•Add a new series: Create a new series for the dashboard content with values generated by the filter.
•Add to current series: Adjust the dashboard content with values generated by the filter; otherwise, a new series results. This is useful when you want to display separate values from within the same set of data.
•Edit action - refresh: Decide whether to refresh the dashboard display automatically after every design action you take. Each refresh will re-query the data source, imposing processing time on your actions, which generally is not a problem. If processing time is too long, you can select Don't refresh data and manually refresh content by clicking the icon in the component display.
When creating a new dashboard or editing one, you can configure a variety of property settings.
1.With the Dashboard Designer open, click File > New.
If editing—Click File > Open, find a saved dashboard, and double-click to open. In the dashboard title bar, click the icon to open the Dashboard dialog where you can edit the settings.
2.In the Dashboard dialog, access the following tabs:
•Title: Enter a title for the dashboard.
•Layout: Select a layout for this dashboard as it will display in the design canvas. Each pane in the layout can contain one component. If editing—A new layout may add space for a component or drop off some content depending on the current arrangement and what you select.
•Security tab: Select Public to enable others to see the dashboard.
•Linked Dashboards tab: Link other dashboards to this one if they contain content that you want to view in conjunction with this dashboard. Right-click in the blank area and select Add link. Search for the dashboard you want to link and double-click it to select. If you link dashboards, the link icon will display in the dashboard header—click the icon to view the list of dashboards linked to this one.
•Alert Checks tab: Set up a dashboard alert to notify you when the content status changes at the dashboard or component level. For details, see Setting up alerts for status changes.
•Notes tab: In the blank space, type an optional description for the dashboard.
A Default Filter applies filter conditions to any new components that you drag onto the dashboard design canvas.
To create a new filter for an open dashboard
1.In the navigation pane, click the icon next to Default Filter to open the Edit filter dialog.
2.Right-click and select Create standard filter or Create advanced filter. For most situations, a standard filter will be sufficient. For details about creating filters, see Filtering data.
To use an existing filter for an open dashboard
1.Click Tools > Folder to open the Folders dialog.
2.Open the folder where the filter is stored, select in the list, and click Close to close the dialog and apply the filter.
When components are displayed in a dashboard, you can view the underlying data in more detail using a variety of methods. Temporarily adding filter conditions to components on a dashboard has no effect on any default filter conditions you may have applied as well.
You can temporarily filter component details by:
•Clicking the record count number in the header ("360" in the image below) to show the full list of detailed records underlying the component. Not all components have record counts.
•Hovering over individual data points to see more details ("ThinkPad W530" in the image below).
•Clicking data points within a particular component to open a menu where you can cross-filter components:
•Filter Components (Replace): Applies a temporary filter to all other components in the dashboard and replaces any existing temporary filter conditions with the new temporary filter. For example, if you select this option on "ThinkPad W530" below, the filter condition is applied to other components in the display to show data with the corresponding focus.
Note that the temporary filter is only applied to components that pull data from the same data source or that are linked in the data model via field groups.
•Filter Components (Add): Creates a filter condition based on the selected item and adds it to the existing temporary filter conditions.
•View Records: Displays the underlying record set.
To re-establish the base display after adding a temporary filter: In the pane's header, click the icon and select Clear Temporary Filters.
Depending on the content type, you can export a dashboard to these formats: Word, PDF, HTML, Excel, or PowerPoint. To schedule periodic exports, see Scheduling content exports.
To export dashboard content
1.In the dashboard title bar, click the icon and select Export to export all onscreen content. To export at the individual component level, click the same icon in the component header. (You may have to expand the icon to view the export icon.)
2.The Export dashboard dialog displays with these options:
•Format: Select the file format for the export.
•Theme: Select the background color to be black or white—this only affects graphics-based content. The white theme helps save on toner when printing.
•Use template: Export content to a template. (If the content wasn't designed for a template, this option is dimmed.)
•Show description: Include a summary of the series, data source, and filter conditions used in the dashboard.
•Show notes: Include any optional notes that are part of this dashboard.
•Show table data: Include data that's presented in tables. Consider the number of records, as this option can export a lot of data.
•Show URL record link: For list components, embed URLs for any included links in the record list (for example, links that open an incident for a service desk).
3.Click OK to save the item in the Downloads folder defined for your browser. Depending on the type of export, you may be prompted to acknowledge the Save or Open action as displayed by your browser.
In the dashboard title bar, click the icon and select Export Screenshot to export all onscreen content. To export at the individual component level, click the same icon in the component header. (You may have to expand the icon to view the export icon.)
The screenshot will be saved as a .PNG image file in the Downloads folder defined for your browser.
To present a dashboard in an MS Word document as it appears onscreen (in a single view rather than across multiple pages), you can export the layout using an Xtraction-generated Word template.
Simple dashboards with fewer panes work best when exporting to a template. Dashboards with many panes aren’t as well suited (the space needed is often insufficient), but in such a case, the template uses placeholders instead of the layout of the dashboard. You can delete the placeholders as needed.
After exporting, the template will display with the same panes of the dashboard layout, along with separate panes for Notes and Descriptions (if included). Note that if Description and Note fields are very long, your exported result may not have the desired look.
Exporting to a template is a three-procedure process—use Xtraction to create the template, upload the template into Xtraction, and finally export the dashboard content to the template.
To create a template
1.Make sure that your dashboard composition is complete and contains all components to be included in the result.
2.On the menu bar, click Template > Create > Dashboard.
3.Xtraction creates the template and opens the standard Windows Open/Save dialog.
4.Click Save File, then OK to save the dashboard in the Downloads folder defined for your browser. Depending on the type of export, you may be prompted to acknowledge the Save or Open action as displayed by your browser.
The template created by Xtraction is simple in layout and has these characteristics:
• Is landscape orientation only.
•Has an initial layout of one page.
•Has placeholders in a table structure, which constitute important links that enable Xtraction to insert components into the template. You're advised to keep the placeholders in the table so they can be located when exporting the dashboard, but you're free to alter the format by:
•Splitting the placeholders into multiple tables on multiple pages.
•Changing the table/row/cell sizes.
•Changing or deleting Xtraction-generated titles (which precede some placeholders).
•Removing any unwanted placeholders or reordering the sequence.
To upload the template into Xtraction
1.In the menu bar, click Template > Upload Template.
2.Your browser opens a window enabling you to locate the template in your folders.
3.Double-click the document and click Upload. Xtraction acknowledges this process by confirming the upload.
4.In the menu bar, click File > Save to have the template saved with the design.
The menu bar's Template option also enables you to download a template, provided that one already exists.
To export the content to the template
With the template prepared, uploaded, and saved, export the dashboard content to the template following the "Exporting dashboard content" procedure above. The exported file will save to the default Downloads folder for your browser.
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