Part IV: Creating a Dashboard

Welcome back to the ‘Introduction to CogBI’ series. In Part 1 of this series covered the meaning and practical application of Mobile Business Intelligence. In Part 2 we introduced CogBI’s Dashboards. Part 3 explains what a Data Source is, why is important to the app and how to add them.

Now that the basics have been covered, this part of the series will tie them all together and demonstrate how to create a Dashboard to keep track of the sales of a fictional PC retailer. As you will see, creating a complete and useful Dashboard in CogBI to help you consult your data is very simple.

1. Start opening the App and creating a new Dashboard:

Choose the 'Personal' accountTap on the 'Add' button to create a new DashboardType the name of the new Dashboard

2. After you create the Dashboard you will be presented with the options to connect a Data Source. In this example we’ll connect a spreadsheet that is stored in a Dropbox account:

The first step is to select the location where your Data Source is stored. Dropbox for this example.Complete the authentication steps. After you're authenticated, you'll see your account available. Select it to continue. Browse through the spreadsheet files in your account and select one. Enter the title for the file. This will be your Data Source.

 3. After you select the Data Source you will be presented with a preview of its contents and a list of the fields that it contains. You can assign alias names for each field and define its type. Once you’re ready the app will validate the data in the Data Source and you’ll be able to continue to the Dashboard:

Select the range of data to use. Red for data headers and green for data values. Define aliases and data types. In this example we'll set our 'Date' field as a 'Date/Time' type. We'll tap the settings button to set the format of our 'Date' field. Select the appropriate date format from the list and tap 'Done'. Tap 'Done' after you finish defining fields. You'll receive a confirmation message after the Data Source has been validated.

4. Now we’ll create charts for our Dashboard. We’ll create four charts: a Pie chart, a Column chart, a Line chart and a Gauge chart. We’ll use different features for each one so that you give you a sense of the possibilities. The first chart will be a simple Pie chart to display the proportion of every kind of PC type sold:

Tap the 'Add' button in the toolbar to create a new chart. Select the Pie chart from the list. Enter a title, select a field for the labels (name of slices) and one for the values (size of slices) and tap 'Done'. Done! Tap and drag the chart to move it anywhere you like.

5. Next we’ll create a Column chart to display the PC sales by model while grouping them by brand (manufacturer). We’ll also add a ‘Drill Down’ so that we can view the how much of each model was sold per sales associate:

After moving our Pie chart to the top left we'll tap the 'Add' button to create a new chart. Select Column chart from the list. Select labels (column names), values (column heights), stacks (column sections) & a Drill Down field. Tap 'Done. The Column chart is ready. Tap and drag to move it.

6. Next we’ll create a Line chart to displays the monthly sale amounts along a time series. We’ll use custom formatting for the fields in this chart:

Move the Column chart to the top right and tap the 'Add' button to create a new chart. Select fields for the labels (point names) and values (point position). Notice the default formats (green) & tap the 'Format' button to change them. Select 'Month/Year' format to display the Date field as MM/YYYY. Select the currency format for the amount field to display it as dollar amounts. Notice the new formats (green). Tap the 'Sort' button to order the data points chronologically. Notice the applied sorting method (green) and tap 'Done'. Column chart ready. Tap and drag to move it. You can also drag the corners to resize it.

7. Finally we’ll create a Gauge chart to measure the progress of a specific goal against the Data available for the current year. To do this we’ll filter the data so that this chart only includes the sales from the current year and then select a value to compare them against.

Tap on the 'Add' button and select the Gauge chart. Enter a title, select the value field (gauge mark) and its format ($). Scroll down to the 'Filter' section. Select the 'Date' field to use it as a filter. Tap the 'equal to' sign to select a different comparison operator. Tap the 'Year' button to view the operators avaialbe for years. Choose the 'Year to date (YTD)' operator and tap 'Done'. Tap on the 'Gauge Maximum' to enter the value that will be used as the goal to track. (100% of the chart). Enter the value (250,000 for this example) and tap 'Done'.part-4-dashboard_38 Tap 'Done'.The Gauge chart is ready! You can see how the sales of the year compare against the sales goal.

8. Now that we’ve finish editing our Dashboard we will learn how to view it. To view a Dashboard we must ‘lock’ it, this means that we will switch from the Dashboard’s ‘Edit mode’ to the Dashboards ‘View mode’ in which we can interact with the charts and the data that they display:

Tap the 'Lock' button in the toolbar to change the Dashboard to 'View mode'. You can now tap on any chart to view it in full screen. Tap on the Pie chart. The Pie chart is displayed in full screen. Tap any slice to view details. Tap the 'X' to return. Tap on the Column chart to view it in full screen. Tap on any of column segment to view details about it. The details will appear in a pop-up. You can tap the 'Drill Down' button to view more data about that segment. This is the composition of that segment. Details are shown in the section at the left. Tap the 'X' to return. Tap on the Line chart to view it in full screen. Like on the other charts, tap any point on it to display details. Tap 'X' to return to the Dashboard.

9. The Gauge chart does not have a full screen view. Congratulations! You’ve created your first Dashboard. You can come back to it at any time to visualize your data and since the CogBI App maintains a real-time connection to your Data Source you’ll also see any changes to your data reflected in the Dashboard.

| | Introduction |
« Part III: Data Sources Part V: Exporting Information »