Dashboards and visual applications
A dashboard is an interface that integrates data from a variety of sources and provides a unified display of relevant contextual information. Visual applications extend the functionality of dashboards with concurrent development support and additional Flash-only objects that are not available with dashboards.
Unlike reports, which usually contain a fixed amount of information, dashboards and visual applications have the capability to deliver real-time information on demand, as needed by the user.
For example, an executive might need to see an operational summary across all business units. Real-time color coding of data (for example, red, yellow, and green) can be used to draw the executive's attention to areas of concern. Clicking on problematic areas immediately produces dynamic reports that reveal the information underlying each area of concern.
Dashboards can present both interactive and persistent data. They are typically designed to run interactively, but are not required to do so. The data that is presented in a dashboard can be obtained from querying multiple data sources across the enterprise and displaying it in a wide range of visual images, including graphs, maps, charts, and custom graphics.
- Drag a dashboard object from the graphical palette and arrange it on the dashboard canvas.
- Set appearance and font by using the Properties view.
- Add queries and graphical objects (such as date selectors and charts) to your dashboard and define relationships between these objects by graphically wiring the objects together and specifying their relationships.
All elements that can be used in visual reports can be used to create a dashboard as well. The following figure shows the dashboard design environment:
- Display query results
- You use layout objects or control objects such as the List and Combo controls to display query results. You can explore the different display options and decide which options best suit the kind of analysis you want to show.
- Capture user input
- You can capture user preferences by using standard user interface controls.
- Pass information to and from the dashboard
- You can use parameters to pass information that has been acquired from user actions. This information can then be used to tailor the information displayed within the dashboard.
- Implement navigation features
- You can use navigation features to allow users to move around the dashboard to get to new information.
- Display and present information visually
- You can drag and drop visual elements on the dashboard canvas and define relationships between them.
- Point to data sources
- As you create your dashboard, you specify the data sources that are referenced in the queries that your dashboard uses.