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Visualize Advancement Goals with Dashboards

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Use dashboards to get an overview of your progress.
  • Customize dashboards to enhance efficiency.

Once your key metrics are identified and reports are set up, it’s time to take them to the next level with dashboards. Dashboards allow your team to review pertinent information in an easy-to-digest, organized way.

Nina Brown and Kyle Bowers review the dashboards she helped him create.

Salesforce Dashboards Make Data More Accessible

You often see reports and dashboards mentioned together because they are such a dynamic duo. Reports provide you with the critical insights revealed in your Salesforce data, and dashboards are the key to organizing those details visually so they can really tell a story. Seeing the information in dashboards helps your whole team track and understand changes in the data and use it to make impactful decisions.

Most reports can be displayed as dashboard components. A dashboard component allows report data to be represented visually in a way that best expresses each metric and goal. Keep in mind that dashboards can be used for personal and team goals. Your customized dashboard can provide a snapshot of where each team or team member stands on their targets, helping everyone prioritize their efforts for individual pursuits as well as group initiatives.

Kyle Bower's Dashboard with graphs for 2019 Annual Giving Day, Kyle's Fundraising Progress, and 2019 Annual Giving Outreach

Take a look at Kyle Bower’s dashboard. There’s a component for the email responsiveness report he created to track donor communication for Cloudy’s annual giving day. As the Director of Annual Giving, it makes sense that he’s tracking donations that have already come in as well as individual outreach to those top prospects we mentioned earlier. One of Kyle’s personal goals is to close three more gift opportunities before the end of the month, so he also has a component on his dashboard to show how close he is to reaching that metric.

Dashboard Tips and Best Practices

Now that his dashboard is up and running, Kyle can use it to keep himself and his team in the know about progress and potential needs. For instance, he can share his custom dashboard with his manager Virginia so she can have a better understanding of how he’s doing and where she can provide support.

Follow these steps to share a dashboard.

  1. On the Dashboards page, find the dashboard you want to share and select the Share row level action. (If you have customized columns on the page, you might have to scroll to the right to see the row-level action arrow More Actions.)
  2. Alternatively, navigate to the dashboard folder, click Folder Actions Menu next to the New Folder button, and select Share.
  3. From the Share With dropdown, select who you want to share with.

    Drag from list view

  4. For Name, enter the name you want to match. The name must match the category (such as user, group, or role). For example, Kyle enters Virginia's name.
  5. Select the folder access level for the user, role, or group.
  6. Click Share.
  7. When you are done, click X in the upper corner of the dialog box to close it.

The folder is now listed on the Dashboards menu. You can select the folder when saving a dashboard.

Kyle can also embed his dashboard as a Lightning component directly on his Home page so he can do a quick pulse check of his most important info each morning, making prioritization and planning a more organic part of his work process.

Follow these steps to embed a dashboard component on your Home page.

  1. Click the Gear icon.
  2. Go to Setup, enter App Builder in the Quick Find box, then select Lightning App Builder.
  3. Click New, and select Home Page.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter label and click Next.
  6. Choose Page Template and click Finish.
  7. Add the dashboard component.
  8. Click Save.
  9. Click Activate.
  10. Choose where you want to assign the dashboard on the Home page.
  11. Click Save.

Once the dashboard component has been added to the Home Page Layout, you will need to have at least read access to a dashboard folder in order to view the component.

Best Practices for Leveraging Dashboards

Here are some additional tips for getting the most out of Salesforce Dashboards.

  • Manage Report Types. Keep your team’s dashboards relevant by removing unnecessary report types that could clutter up your view. Your Salesforce admin can hide irrelevant report types so when they’re creating new reports from the dashboard, users have a concise list of report types that relate to their specific roles and goals.

  • Tell a Story with Your Dashboard. Take a moment to consider the narrative you want your dashboard to express. What actions can you and others take after reviewing the dashboard? To create a dashboard that tells a story, organize information in a way that is easy to process. One strategy is to place higher level metrics in the top row and drill down to information a level below. When building a team dashboard, think about what you want managers to see first.

  • Don’t Forget about Filtered Dashboards. Apply filters at the dashboard level for different types of users to view what is relevant to them.

And now, you’ve got the complete picture of the relationship between reports and dashboards and the efficiencies they bring to advancement teams. Ready to continue the advancement data journey? Next up is an introduction to Einstein for advancement insights. 

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