Managing dashboard objects
Dashboard objects are the objects that provide the visual display and control elements of the dashboard. The objects can be grouped into five broad categories, each of which is described in the following sections.
Data and Control Objects
The Data and Control objects contain data listing and control objects which allow you to filter the data on the dashboard.
The control panel is a container object for labels, query parameters, filter parameters, images and refresh buttons. The control panel will be described in detail later in this lesson.
The tree view selection panel allows the user to apply complex filtering to a dashboard using a simple tree view interface. The tree view selection panel will be described in detail later in this lesson.
The pivot table is a tabular representation of data that can automatically sort, count, total or give the average of data quickly creating unweighted cross tabulations. The pivot table will be described in detail later in this lesson.
The data grid allows you to display a simple listing of data in a dashboard. It also gives the user the ability to group, summarise and sort the data. The data grid will be described in more detail later in this lesson.
Single Series Charts
Single series charts are charts that display data visually by mapping a single set of textual values (series) against a single numeric value.
This is in the form of a circular area chart (pie and doughnut charts).
Use this type of chart when you are interested in the value of a single variable across a single group. Two examples might be plotting the value of sales by sales representative, or the value of sales each month this year.
Multi Series Charts
Multi series charts are charts that display data visually by mapping one or more sets of textual values (series) against one or more numeric values. This is in the form of a two dimensional chart where the numeric values are plotted on a y axis against the textual values on the x axis.
Use this type of chart when you are interested in the value of one or more variables across one or more groups. One example might be plotting the values of sales and the value discounted by sales representative. Another might be plotting the value of orders shipped, and the value of orders delivered in each month this year.
Stacked charts are a variation on multi-series charts that display data visually by mapping one or more sets of textual values (series) against one or more numeric values. This is in the form of a two dimensional chart where the numeric values are plotted on a y axis against the stacked textual values on the x axis, giving not only an indication of the individual values for each series, but also an indication of the summed values across all series.
Use this type of chart when you are interested in the value of one or more variables across one or more groups, but also wish to see the summed total of the different values. One example might be plotting the total order value for each month, but seeing the total order value broken down by the order status.
Combination charts are a variation of multi-series charts and stacked charts that allow different types of values to be displayed on a single chart. The different types of values can be differentiated by giving them a different visual appearance, for instance displaying them as a column, line or area. In addition, different values that have a significantly different scale can be plotted on a second Y axis, allowing them to be scaled independently to fit neatly on to the chart.
A good example of a combination chart might be to plot the value of orders and quantity ordered each month.
Scroll charts are a variation on single series, multi-series, stacked and combination charts that cater for a large number of series values by scrolling or allowing zooming.
Spark charts allow you to plot a single value against one dimension, for a range of group values. The charts are designed to give a quick and visual indication of how a value is trending for each group value. For instance, you may use a spark chart to give a quick visual representation of how sales are trending in several stores.
Gauges are objects that show a single value. Gauges are useful when you have a single value that you want to be measured quickly against a particular range. Some gauges will allow you to show the value against a number of coloured ranges (such as a traffic light or dial), and others will allow you to show the value only against a total range (such as a cylinder or thermometer).
A good example of when a gauge may be useful is to show the total ordered value against the target, for a specific month or year.