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Add a Basic KPI and Column Chart to a Dashboard

Version: Discovery

Explains how to create a basic KPI chart and a basic multi-series column chart

Charts provide insight into your business. Well-crafted charts can give you and your target audience a visual representation of data. Charts can help you pick out exceptional results for a given period or sales region, or draw attention to anomalies or extreme dips in sales of a particular product.

You can build charts on a dashboard that can visually tell a story about the state of your business. The following is an example of Quarterly Sales Results that you can present to executives about the sales performance of each product line that you support:

Example of a Sales Results for an Executive Summary

You must be in edit mode to add a chart to a dashboard in perspective. The chart changes dynamically as you configure and format the chart – you can see changes instantly and tweak the format to get the results that you are looking for.

Note: Your data sources may be different than the ones illustrated in this example.

Create a KPI

The following KPI example shows the variance between planned product revenue for Q4 compared to actuals. A micro chart will visually represent the quarterly trend from October through December.

Example KPI Chart

See KPI Chart Settings for descriptions of Appearance, Data, and Time settings.

To create a basic KPI:

  1. Open the perspective and click Edit Mode Icon.
    Example: Navigate to the Executive Summary perspective .

  2. Click the Dashboard.
    Example: Open the Sales Results tab.

  3. From the left pane, click the Chart Tab chart tab to view the list of charts.

  4. Drag and drop the KPI Chart Icon KPI chart icon from the left pane to the dashboard canvas (center pane).

  5. Click the Account Tab Account tab and drag and drop an account into the chart.
    Example: Expand GL accounts and drag Product Revenue to the chart.

  6. From the right pane, Click Appearance Settings Tab Appearance Settings tab to tweak the overall appearance of the chart.

    1. Change the name of the chart.
      Example: Rename the KPI: Product Revenue

    2. Change the Layout: Remove any unnecessary information from the layout.
      Example: Use the toggle switches to hide Series Header and Period Header.

    3. Format the Reference Value - the source for the comparison.
      Example: Keep defaults for Time Alignment, Period, Date Range, Version. Change the Font style, size, and color.

    4. Keep the defaults for Comparison Value, Variance, and Variance Percentage.

    5. Format the Micro Chart.
      Example: Keep the defaults for Time Alignment, Date Range, and Accumulate. Change Period to Quarter and Breakdown Period Level to Month. This will allow you to see the 3-month trend for the quarter. Change the Type to Line and Color to a color of your choice.

  7. Click the DIS-dataSettingsTab.png Data Settings tab to configure the account.
    Example: Keep Net Income as the Account. Keep defaults for Filter and Negative Number Format. Change Display Units to $(#,##0).

Navigation Tip: Click the arrow in the account field to expand the detail section for that account.

  1. Click DIS-timeSettingsTab.png Time Settings tab to configure the time component.
    Example: Keep defaults for Data Range and Span Type. Change Granularity to Quarter and Period to Q4 2016.

  2. Add a second and third KPI. Configure each KPI using the settings described in prior steps.
    Example: Create two more charts using the accounts Product Revenue - Tablets and Product Revenue - Smart Phone.

Note: Override the time settings by hovering over the toolbar at the bottom of the chart. You can override the period and granularity. You can reset these overrides to the settings configured from the Time Settings tab. Time overrides are available from all chart types.

Add a Column Chart

These steps explain how to add a multi-series column chart to your dashboard. This column chart will show actual revenue for three products for each month in Q4.

Note: To create a version-based comparison, you can add the same account multiple times to a chart and change the version on each account from Data settings tab.

Multi-series Column Chart

See Bar and Column Chart Settings for descriptions of Appearance, Data, and Time settings.

  1. From the left pane, drag the Column Chart Icon Chart icon to the dashboard canvas area.

  2. Click the Account tab Account tab and choose an account to drag to the chart.
    Example: Expand GL > Revenue and drag Product Revenue - Laptops to the chart. This account represents the first in a data series of three.

  3. From the right pane, click Appearance Settings Icon Appearance Settings tab to tweak the appearance. Experiment with the following:

    1. Change the name of the chart.
      Example: Rename Sales by Product.

    2. Keep the default for Legend.

  4. Click Data Settings Icon in the right pane to configure the account. Experiment with the following:

    1. Keep the Account as is.

    2. Change the Version to Actuals. Click the arrow to expose a list of available versions.

    3. Keep the defaults for Filter, Series Type, Data Labels.

    4. Change the Color of this series to a color of your choice.

    5. Change Display Units to $(#,##0).

  5. Click DIS-timeSettingsTab.png in the right pane to configure the time component. For example, do the following:

    1. Keep defaults for Span and Span Type

    2. Change Granularity to Month.

    3. Change From to Oct 2016 and To to Dec 2016. This will display data for each month in Q4.

  6. Add a second and third data series. Configure each data series using the settings described in prior steps.
    Example: Drag accounts Product Revenue - Tablets and Product Revenue - Smart Phone to the chart.

This completes the steps for creating a dashboard based on a series of KPI and Column charts. 

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