We focused this release on a few key enhancements around ease of use and flexibility of the dashboard.
Ease of use
Higher data points cap for visualizations
The goal of the dashboard is to provide a fast, interactive experience to allow the user to find the results they need with minimal spinners. For some visualizations, however, there is an advantage to show more data points simultaneously. To meet that need, we have bumped up the data points cap to 10k on tables and crosstabs, and to 30k for maps.
Of course, keep in mind that the more data points you pass to a viz, the longer the spinner may be depending on your browser and computer.
Filter indicators on visualizations
To better help the user understand which filters are currently being applied to a viz, we now list the filters individually in the tooltip. This comes in handy when the user needs to exclude several data points consecutively, and then wants to add a few back. Now, they can simply remove the exclusions one at a time by using the tooltip.
In the example below, I was looking at Product Types and I excluded one data point at a time. Each action then created a new entry in the filter pop-up, allowing me to clearly see which ones were excluded.
Administration of dashboards
Support for ambiguous connections
To better serve users who have access to multiple connections to the same data source, we now prompt the user to select which one they wish to connect to. This applies to ambiguous connections and sign-ons.
In the example below, I am using a data module that points to a data source where I have access to multiple connections. The dashboard now prompts me to select which one I want.
Once I select the connection, it is set for the remainder of this current session, it will only prompt me a single time. If I want to switch connections, I have two options: close and re-open the dashboard or use the re-link option and select the same source again. The pop-up will prompt again.
Auditing of dashboard
This is for the administrators who want to track the usage of the dashboards. Once Auditing is enabled at a system level, any time a dashboard is opened, it will add an entry to the audit logs in the same way as other Cognos assets such as reports. Upon a dashboard action, the system will log the name of the user, dashboard name, timestamp, sources used as well as execution time.
To make it easier for the admin to see the new data, we have updated the Audit sample deployment archive to include dashboards as an output type. See example below:
To close things out, I’d like to mention two more smaller improvements we have also made:
- The widget titles now remain a fixed size, regardless of the size of the widget. This will provide a consistent look across all widgets.
- The button to change visualization when in focus mode is now in a more visible location above the viz, and it also indicates the name of the current selected chart type.