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Build Powerful Dashboards Quickly with Analytics

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Describe the benefit of using a template to create a dashboard.
  • Describe how apps impact users’ access to dashboards.

Analytics Dashboards, From Millions of Records to Insights

How effectively can you describe a complex picture? Let’s find out. You and your partner are sitting back to back. Your partner needs to draw the picture shown below based solely on your description. You can’t show the image. Ready? Go! A photo of the sand dunes of Death Valley with mountains in the background.

It’s not easy. It’s just as challenging to describe your business data so others can visualize it. There’s so much information from sales, service, marketing, social media posts, device sensors—it’s overwhelming just to think about! Where do you start to describe it clearly? And how do you synthesize the information and make it easy for stakeholders in the company to form their own clear picture? Analytics dashboards can make this job much easier.

In this module, you build your own dashboard using the dashboard designer. You explore the following features:
  • Wizards to build widgets that summarize your data.
  • Widget interactivity to answer different types of questions without leaving the dashboard.
  • Layouts to optimize the dashboard for different devices.

Sounds like a lot of work, right? It’s actually not so bad because the designer guides you as you build. With the help of wizards and the layout builder, you can quickly and accurately create the right dashboards for different device types, like desktop and mobile.

Before you start building, watch this video (English only) to learn about the different widget types that you can add to a dashboard.

Ready to build? Let’s go.

Build a Dashboard to Reward Sales Performance

You’re the Salesforce admin at DTC Electronics, a leading provider of tablets, phones, and other hardware devices. Laura, the worldwide sales manager, is offering each sales rep a one-week, all-inclusive trip to Bora Bora if all reps hit their $22.5 million quota by the end of this year. Laura has asked you to create a dashboard that analyzes sales performance and identifies reps who have not yet reached quota. Oh, and by the way, you’re also invited to join the team on this luxurious vacation!

After chatting with Laura, you nail down the following requirements. The dashboard must:
  • Provide the total amount of open, won, and lost opportunities.
  • Analyze sales performance of each rep to see how best to support them.
  • Analyze opportunities by stage to help move opportunities from leads to won deals.
  • Analyze sales by product family to see if any product lines are struggling.

Let’s create it now.

Sign Up for an Analytics Developer Edition Org

Before you work through this Trailhead module, sign up for a free Analytics-enabled Developer Edition org. This org is a safe environment where you can practice the skills you’re learning. Unlike the regular Developer Edition org, the Analytics-enabled one comes with a limited Analytics platform license and contains sample data required for this module. Sign up here: developer.salesforce.com/promotions/orgs/wave-de.

For detailed information and sign-up instructions, see the first unit in the first module of this trail.

Important

Important

Even if you already have an Analytics-enabled Developer Edition org, sign up for a new one. The older orgs don’t get recently released features—signing up for a new one ensures that you get the latest and greatest. In some cases, you can’t complete the challenges without the new features.

Signed up? Great! Now, it’s time to connect your new org to Trailhead. If you’ve already done this, feel free to skip to the next section in this unit.

  1. Make sure you're logged in to your Trailhead account.
  2. In the Challenge section at the bottom of this page, select Log into a Developer Edition from the Trailhead Playground picklist.
  3. On the login screen, enter the username and password for the Developer Edition you just set up.
  4. At the Allow Access? screen, click Allow.
  5. At the Want to connect this org for hands-on challenges? screen, click Yes! Save it. You are redirected back to the challenge page and ready to use your new Developer Edition to earn this badge.

Create the Dashboard

When you create a dashboard, you can start from scratch or use a template. Templates do the heavy lifting for you—they come with an industry-proven design and suggested widgets. To learn the basics about dashboard templates, check out the following video (English only).

To give you the complete experience of building a dashboard from scratch, you’ll start with a blank dashboard. Based on Laura’s requirements, here’s your plan for the dashboard. The Sales Performance dashboard shows filter widgets across the top, number widgets along the left side, and a chart and table in the middle.

It contains number widgets that you can use to track key performance metrics. It contains selectors that let you change the filters while viewing the dashboard—you don’t need edit access. It also has a chart that you can use to compare the performance of each sales rep and show a quota line to determine who’s currently meeting quota. Not only can this dashboard do everything Laura wants it to do, it can also help reps evaluate their own performance.

Let’s create this dashboard now.

  1. If you haven’t already done so, sign up for a new Analytics Developer Edition org—even if you’ve already signed up for one while completing another module.
  2. Log in to your Analytics Developer Edition org.
  3. Open Analytics. To do so, in Lightning Experience, click the app launcher (App Launcher icon), and then click the Analytics Studio tile. Or, in Salesforce Classic, select Analytics Studio from the app menu in the upper right.
  4. Select Create | Dashboard.
    Choose whether to create a new dashboard or one from a template.
  5. Under Blank Dashboard, click Create Blank Dashboard.
    Tip

    Tip

    Although you won’t do it for this exercise, you can click Create Dashboard from Template to create a dashboard based on a template. You can apply a template only while you create a dashboard—you can’t apply one to an existing dashboard.

  6. To add a title to the dashboard, drag a text widget from the widget toolbar to the top left corner of the dashboard canvas.
    The default text appears in the text widget.
  7. To change the default text, enter “Sales Performance” in the Text widget property.
    Tip

    Tip

    To display a widget’s properties, select the widget while editing the dashboard.

    The new title appears in the widget.
  8. Drag the right handle of the text widget to increase the width to 12 cells.

    The text widget now spans 12 cells wide by 1 cell tall.

    The Sales Performance text widget is 12 cells wide.
  9. Drag a container widget to the top right corner, below the text widget, and then drag the bottom handle to make it 6 cells tall.
    The container widget appears as an empty box.
  10. Drag a new text widget inside the top left corner of the container widget and change the text to “Key Metrics.”
    Note

    Note

    The container widget is special because it’s the only widget that can contain other widgets. Other widget types can’t overlap.

  11. Add three number widgets under the Key Metrics text widget.
    The three number widgets are beneath the Key Metrics text widget inside the container widget.
  12. Drag the right handle of each number widget to make it 3 cells wide, fitting perfectly in the container widget.
    The number widgets are each 3 cells wide by 1 cell tall.
  13. To save the dashboard, click Save button, name the dashboard “Sales Performance,” select My Private App, and then click Save.
    We save this dashboard in My Private App to hide it while you work on it. After it’s ready for prime time, you can place it in a shared app for others, like Laura, to access.
Hip, hip, hooray! In a matter of minutes, you created a dashboard with a label and a section for the key metrics that Laura requested. In the next unit, you learn how to populate the empty number widgets in that section.
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