Why a dashboard?

A dashboard provides quick access to important or relevant data. Using a dashboard this is much easier than a spreadsheet which was never designed to provide this facility.

Our 2021 portfolio will have a dashboard. Dashboards are becoming very popular with most major sites adopting them.

The IT industry describes a data dashboard as:

An information management tool that visually tracks, analyses and displays key performance indicators (KPI), metrics and key data points to monitor the health of a business, department or specific process.

A dashboard is ideally suited to display data to facilitate decision making and the Avpals spreadsheet is no exception. Its main purpose is to display convey specific facts in a more effective way than the basic tabular format.

The portfolio financial data is still entered and maintained in a spreadsheet. The portfolio information displayed in the dashboard is sourced from the spreadsheet. No data is edited in the dashboard.

The visualisation of the data in the spreadsheet enables non tabular data in the spreadsheet to be moved to the dashboard resulting in a cleaner look for the sheet.

About the dashboard

The dashboard uses data from a number of sources. The spreadsheet is the primary source along with websites.

The dashboard provides ‘visualisation’ of data that is beyond the scope of previous data presentations. For example, the user can select date ranges and link data to multiple visualisations such as tables and charts.

Using the dashboard

Users can use manipulate the visualisations to suit individual needs. You can add a control to your report to make it more dynamic. For example, adding an ‘Input Box’ control lets people search for values in a report. Control options include drop-down lists, fixed lists, inputs, advanced filters, sliders, and checkboxes.

Each chart has a date range which determines the amount of data that it presents. The default date range can be changed to a custom date range. Custom date ranges can be fixed (and not change) or dynamic which will mean the data will be different depending on when you view the report. Dynamic date range options include:

  • Last 7 , 14, 28 days etc

  • Today,Yesterday, This week

Data updates and retention

Data is updated every 15 minutes. In addition, users can force updates at any time, top right on the screen. A copy of the dashboard can be taken at any time as a PDF document. Data has no retention.

Data not displaying

Data is sourced from several sources and used in the elements of the dashboard such as charts, tables, maps, scorecards etc. If the data is, for any reason, not available the element will not display. Try refreshing the dashboard data or try again later. Some data will not display if some data in a composite set is not available such as the portfolio totals.

Users need to explicitly allow content not coming from Google such as this Help to appear in the report. This is security against unauthorised data entering the dashboard. For example, this Help data is being sourced from our website which is outside the Google security.