Rethinking what you can do with dashboards
By Webtrekk Product Manager Analytics David Linder
As any web analyst will tell you, content is key when creating a dashboard. The data set extracted needs to generate insights, and it needs to be visualised in a way that minimises the time and effort required to interpret and understand it.
But effective visualisation isn’t just about choosing between sparklines, pie charts and bar graphs. More than that, it’s about the structure of the dashboard as a whole.
And that’s why we created the Dynamic Box – an entirely new way for you to create memorable, impactful dashboards.
Far too often, a standardised grid layout is used for reports. Not because analysts like bland, boxy presentations, but because most solutions simply don’t offer you much flexibility. For any kind of acceptable visualisation options, users of these tools are dependent on external third-party software, increasing costs and complexity.
We know this is a pain point for analysts (and anyone on the receiving end of an analyst’s report). So we set out to create an easy-to-use, powerful visualisation tools seamlessly integrated in our Analytics solution that is ready on Day 1.
Why the Dynamic Box is different?
As the name implies, the Dynamic Box offers you the possibility to freely fill a desired area on the dashboard with the content of your choice. It combines the ease-of-use of a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) rich text editor with customisable HTML code, essentially providing limitless options for what content you can add to your dashboard.
Some of the core features of the Dynamic Box include:
- Written information: Custom headers structuring and grouping data visually, or explanatory paragraphs offering some much needed background information.
- Image information: Icons, product images or logotypes can increase readability of an otherwise information-dense dashboard.
- Access to extended information: Videos, presentations, screenshots and other content can be embedded into your dashboard to enrich its content.
- Interactivity: For larger sets of information that spans over several screens, in-dashboard links can be the solution for convenient consumption. Linking to external content – or why not between Analytics dashboards? – is also possible.
What does that mean in practice? Well, let's take a peek at a few common cases where the Dynamic Box can improve dashboard visualisation by clarifying the data structure.
Process. The free placement and sizing in Webtrekk Analytics already goes a very long way towards fulfilling this need, but some simple arrows added with the Dynamic Box helps clarify the flow:
Relation. Be it a matrix relation, hierarchical relation or any unified modelling language (UML) relationship, the HTML capabilities of the Dynamic Box lets you illustrate it through frames, lines, images and icons. Here an example of KPIs in a matrix structure:
Group. Once again, the free layout that Webtrekk Analytics offers lays the foundation. Just group the data in the desired categories, and create clear sections using the Dynamic box:
Importance. The Webtrekk Analytics flexible grid allows free sizing of any dashboard element, letting you highlight key elements of your choice. However, in some cases, other points of emphasis can be preferable. Here is one example using the Dynamic Box to insert icons that quickly let the user locate the analyses in question: