How to Visualize Data with the Lightning Dashboard Builder

Introduction

Dashboards enable us to visually depict the reports we create. Dashboards provide quick summary data from single or multiple reports at once. They facilitate accountability within teams as the numbers are right in front of you in black and white.

Dashboards enable us to display multiple reports side by side using Dashboard Components in a single dashboard page layout.

This is a Dashboard that includes multiple Dashboard Components:

 

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Dashboard Builder

We’ll be using the Dashboard Builder to create dashboards for our org. To access the Dashboard Builder, launch Dashboards from the Dashboard tab and then click New Dashboard.

Enter a unique name for your Dashboard and thereafter click Create.

And voila! You’ve launched the Dashboard Builder!

Before we jump into creating a dashboard, let’s learn the basics.

  • To insert a dashboard component – Click + Component. Select the underlying Report and a chart type when prompted. Each component is based on a single report.
  • To update a component – Click on the pencil icon next to it.
  • To delete the component – Click on the x-symbol in the component.
  • To resize the component- Click on it and make the changes as per your liking.
  • To position the component – Simply drag and drop them.

We have a couple of Component Types to choose from. Keep these points in mind before selecting the component:

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NOTE: Joined reports and historical trend reports cannot be used as the source report for a dashboard component.

Create a Dashboard

Every dashboard component requires a source report, so let’s start by creating a basic report → Leads by Lead Status.

1. Click on the Reports tab to open Reports, and then click New Report.

2. For Report Type, select Leads.

3. Open Filters from the sidebar and apply the following standard filters:

  • Show Me: All Leads
  • Date: Create Date & Range: All Time

4. Open Outline from the sidebar. Click Add Group, and then select Lead Status from the list.

5. Click Save. Name your report as Leads by Lead Status.

6. Click Run.

The report should be similar to this. It’ll depend on the data in your org:

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Now that we’ve created a report, let’s visualize the data in the report using a dashboard component.

1. Click on the Dashboards tab to open Dashboards.

2. Click New Dashboard.

3. Name the Dashboard as Leads, and then click Create.

4. Click + Component to insert a component.

5. For Select Report, choose Leads by Lead Status. Click Select.

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6. In Add Component, for Display As, select the Donut Chart.

7. Your report should have the Name and Title as Leads by Lead Status.

8. Optionally, you can add a Subtitle and Footer to the component.

9. Click Add.

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10. Resize and position the component to your liking.

11. Click Save, then click Done.

The Dashboard you created should be similar to this:

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That’s it! Way to go, you created your first Dashboard in Salesforce.

Dynamic Dashboards: Choose Which People View a Dashboard

What if there was a way to create 2 dashboards instead of 40 different dashboards for 40 different users? With dynamic dashboards, the users see only the data they have access to based on their security and sharing settings. This means we don’t require a separate dashboard for each user, all we need is a single powerful dashboard.

An organization can have up to 5 dynamic dashboards in Enterprise Edition, 10 in Unlimited and Performance Edition, and up to 3 in Developer Edition.

Example:

An organization has a Marketing team that consists of one VP, 2 managers, and 20 employees working under the managers( 10 employees per manager).

The employees should only see their own data, the managers should only see data for the employees they manage, and the VP should be able to see data across the entire team. Typically, this would mean we have to create 23 different dashboards, but with Dynamic Dashboards, that’s not going to be an issue anymore. We just need to create 2 dashboards, one for the employees and the another for the Managers and the VP. With Salesforce, users only see what they have access to!

Setting up a Dynamic Dashboard:

1. From the dashboards tab, open the dashboard, Leads we just created.

2. Click Edit.

3. Open the Properties menu by clicking on the gear icon ( ).

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4. You’re going to notice View Dashboard As – this is where we select who gets to view the dashboard and how.

  • Me – This means the readers of the dashboard view the dashboard according to your access to data.
  • Another person – You can specify a particular user here. The readers can see data in the dashboard based on the data access level of whomever you specify here.
  • The dashboard viewer – The data displayed in the dashboard depends on the readers’ own data access levels. These types of dashboards are referred to as Dynamic Dashboards.
  • We have a checkbox here – Let dashboard viewers choose whom they view the dashboard as – Here, the reader with appropriate user permissions can choose who they view the dashboard as.

5. Click Save in the Properties Menu, then click Save again in the Dashboard Builder.

Report Charts

In case you don’t want to create a Dashboard, you don’t have to! There’s a way to add a chart directly to your Report. Report Charts allow you to add a single chart right at the top of your report.

Here’s how you can add a report chart:

1. Create a new report or open any existing report, and click at the top of your report.

2. To edit the chart, simply click on the gear icon next to the chart.

3. To remove the chart, click the chart icon ( Icon Description automatically generated ).

 

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