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Get Started with Analytics Dashboards

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
  • Explore Analytics dashboards to find insights.
  • Navigate to different dashboards within an app.
  • Use dashboard filters to narrow down the data displayed in charts.
  • Sort and drill down into data.

Meet Analytics Dashboards

Perhaps you’ve read about the magic of Analytics. How it makes business intelligence easy, even if you don’t know much about data. How it helps you quickly go from data to insights to action. How it paints a picture based on your data so you can answer questions you didn’t even know you had. And how it can accelerate your business success.

The magic begins with Analytics dashboards. They’re made up of data visualizations and comparisons that weren’t possible with tools you used before. A dashboard is an interactive collection of widgets that show query results from your data, whether that data comes from inside or outside Salesforce. Dashboards tell a multifaceted story about your business from different angles.

The Analytics dashboard isn’t just a static picture; it invites you to dig deeper into the underlying data. You explore dashboards by clicking displayed elements. Key metrics are calculated with fresh data from the last dataflow run. Every chart shows an interactive picture of a filtered database query.

Parts of a Wave Dashboard

It’s easy to filter data displayed in the dashboard by selecting from drop-down lists, switching toggles, and clicking in charts. View details in tables, drill in, and take action. You can also use dashboards to collaborate with colleagues and to set goals for yourself. We get to all that in the following units.

You can use Analytics dashboards to keep up with all the data that’s being generated by your colleagues and customers. Track activities of sales, service, marketing personnel. Collect, analyze, and distribute insights to your team. By putting all your data sources together into a single view, Analytics makes it easier to create new data-based strategies to increase business.

Sounds magical, doesn’t it?

No Training Required

You’re a new sales manager at DTC Electronics, where they’re using Analytics. You’ve heard that Analytics is a powerful tool that helps you understand your data. With Analytics insights into your business, you can significantly improve how you work and collaborate. You can better represent your division to upper management and help your sales reps grow their numbers. The only catch: you have to learn how to use it before the next meeting with your manager!

In the Analytics Basics module, you signed up for a special Analytics-enabled Developer Edition org and created your first app. In this module, you’ll use an app that’s already set up in your org. The Salesforce admin at DTC Electronics created an app called “My DTC Sales” and gave it dashboards designed for sales managers. Now you’ll learn how to make those dashboards work for you.

But you’re the first to admit that you’re no analyst. You know the admin put in some hours with the Sales Operations team to understand what was needed in the dashboards. You’re worried they might have created complex visualizations that will be hard to interpret. You don’t want to be lost in a wilderness of data! But when you asked about Analytics training, the admin just smiled and said, "Oh, you don't need training.”

In fact, for this module, we’ll do some of the work in the Analytics tab that’s integrated into Salesforce. This will let you experience Analytics as a typical business user. The next few steps will get you ready.



If you haven’t completed the Analytics Basics module, go there first. You need to sign up for a special Developer Edition org before you can complete this module.

  1. If needed, launch your Analytics-enabled Developer Edition org again now. If you’ve just completed the first module of this trail and still have your Developer Edition org open, move from Analytics Studio to the tab with Lightning Experience.
  2. From the App Launcher ( App Launcher icon), select Sales. If you don't see it in the list, click View All.
  3. Open the App Launcher again, click View All, and now find and select Analytics (not Analytics Studio).

Now you’re viewing the Analytics home page in the Analytics tab of Lightning Experience.

Prepare for the Meeting

Imagine an app that’s specially tailored to help you with your job. This app displays the latest data from your org in a way that helps you easily find answers to the questions your manager asks. Could such a thing be real? Let’s dive in and find out!
  1. In the Analytics tab, click All Items in the left panel, and then click the Apps tab.
    Notice that each app has a Browse option. That’s because in the Salesforce environment, clicking an app opens the app’s first asset and starts it running. In contrast, clicking an app in the Analytics Studio opens the browse mode of the app so you can see its assets. In both environments, it’s easy to switch from run to browse and back as needed, but each is set up with the optimal work flow for that environment.
  2. Since you’re in the Salesforce environment and you want to run the app, simply click My DTC Sales.
    Note: If the app doesn't load on your first attempt, close the tab and log in again with this link:
    The app opens with the first dashboard or lens on the navigation list, in this case “DTC Sales.”
  3. In the running app, you have access to all the app’s dashboards and lenses from the navigation list. Click the down arrow next to the name to open the list. App navigation menu Here you can see all the dashboards and lenses in the app, in the suggested order for exploring them.
    The first dashboard, DTC Sales, is an overview of the key business indicators, a sort of “big picture.” The other dashboards provide different avenues to details about your data. For example, Opportunity Details lets you sort and zoom in on opportunities so you don’t miss anything. Regional Sales lets you see opportunity amounts by region.
  4. Start by changing the big picture. In the toggle at the upper-right corner of the DTC Sales dashboard, click 2016 and watch what happens. Date Toggle Did you see that all the numbers changed and the line chart shifted dramatically? You filtered the data being used by the dashboard according to the year—2016. All the widgets in the dashboard are connected, and if you make a change in one place, that change is reflected throughout. That’s called faceting.
  5. Now click the refresh button ( Refresh Button) to return the dashboard to its original state. Or remove the 2016 filter by clicking it again.
    Notice that Won Opportunities goes up to reflect the total over both 2015 and 2016.
OK, that wasn’t too scary. Pretty intuitive, even. If a dashboard is designed well, it’s easy to use. Your worry about the difficulty of using Analytics is starting to melt. Now that you’re getting your bearings, you’re excited to explore the next dashboard.

Get Down to Details

You want details about business that’s in the late stages, where you can help your reps focus and close deals. But you know that more details means more complicated analytics. Even though you had success with the overview dashboard, there’s no telling what you’ll find next. Nothing to do but delve in and try it.
  1. Open the navigation list and select Opportunity Details.
    Right away you note the Open Pipeline KPI—this is something you want to keep an eye on. The funnel chart is an easy-to-read indication of which percentage of your business is in which stage. The line chart shows you the business over time. The stacked bar chart gives you an overview of each rep’s opportunities, and how they’re doing against quota. The table below the charts shows details.
    This is actually making a lot of sense. You’re feeling that you’ll find your way through the data wilderness after all.
  2. Click Won in the Stage toggle at the upper left of the dashboard.
  3. Click Open to see only open opportunities. Open Opportunities Dashboard Notice the dashboard comes alive as all the widgets change, thanks to faceting.
    Now you can clearly see the promising 27M in the Perception Analysis stage in the funnel chart. But the line chart shows a major downward trend in opportunity amount since last September. You’re going to want to discuss both of these with your manager.
  4. Locate the Oppty Type widget, which lets you break out opportunities by type. Click the down arrow, and select New Business.
    Now the dashboard has two filters. It shows you only open opportunities that are new business. Looking at the Sales Rep bar chart, you see that Nicolas Weaver has the most open new business. But what you really want to know is who’s holding the most in the Perception Analysis stage?
  5. Click the Perception Analysis section in the funnel chart and watch the names in the bar chart change places. Funnel Chart with Perception Analysis Stage Selected So it’s really Johnny Green who’s on the front lines with the highest amount in the Perception Analysis stage.
    Just for fun, let’s see if you get the same results looking at the data from another angle.
  6. To refresh the dashboard to its original state, click Refresh Button.
  7. Find Johnny Green in the stacked bar chart, and click the New Business segment of his bar. New Business Selection Notice that all of the charts in the dashboard now show only results for Johnny Green. His Perception Analysis number is the same, even though you approached it from a different exploration of the dashboard.
  8. Finally, scroll down to see the table below the bar chart.
    Notice that it’s filtered for your current selection, giving you only details of Johnny Green’s new business.
Now you’re beginning to see the power of Analytics—and how Analytics can help you navigate through your data to the insights you need. It’s as if Analytics is opening up the path before you, showing you the way. You’re ready to blaze some more trails!

Sort and Drill In

You want to know who the top DTC sales reps in the USA are. You’re now convinced that your Analytics dashboards can help you quickly find out. The data is all there, and the questions have already been asked by the dashboard designers. It’s just a matter of becoming familiar with the terrain as you explore each dashboard. Time to check out the third dashboard in your app.
  1. Open the navigation list and select Regional Sales.
  2. To filter the dashboard, click the USA bar in the Total Sales bar chart.
    If you scroll down, you see that all the entries in the table now have USA as the Billing Country.
  3. To sort the table by amount, click Amount in the column heading. The down arrow appears in the heading. The values in the column are sorted in descending order, and you can answer the question, “What are the top amounts?”
  4. To switch to ascending order, click Amount again. Then click a third time to return to the original order. Sorted Table It looks like a variety of reps are contributing to the large USA number.
  5. Hover at the corner of the bar chart to locate the drop-down menu, click to open it, and select Explore. Drop-down Menu with Explore This changes the view to a lens, which lets you learn more about these deals by drilling in to see the data behind that long bar.
  6. Click to select the USA bar, and then click Drill down icon to open the Drill menu. In the menu, select Account Owner. Right-click the bar to drill In This view lets you quickly see your team’s leaders. Although there were many names in the table, you couldn’t compare each person’s totals until you reached this view. The lens shows won US opportunites grouped by account owner Can you drill in again to learn which products Laura Garza is selling to get the largest amount? Yes!
  7. To open the menu, click Laura Garza’s bar to select it, and then click Drill down icon. In the menu, select Product Family. Drill In by Product Family Looks like laptops are Laura’s big seller. Good to know before the meeting!
Now you’re ready to meet your manager armed with useful, data-backed information. And in case he has additional questions, you’re going to bring a laptop. You can show him your app and explore together, now that you know a few things about Analytics.

Well on Your Way with Analytics Dashboards

You’re off to a great start using the dashboards in your specially customized app. You’ve learned how to navigate the app, and you’ve seen that dashboards can present high-level and detailed views. You’ve applied filters and watched widgets faceting. You’ve also explored the data behind the charts in the dashboards. It’s clear that the app is going to help you tremendously in your job.

In the next unit, you learn how to personalize your app to make it even more useful. You can’t wait! But first, take the challenge and earn your points.