How Data Dashboards Make Business Decisions Easier through Embedded Analytics

How a Data Dashboard Makes Business Decisions Easier through Embedded Analytics

Nowadays, data determines the growth of a business or company. For a continuously profitable company, KPIs and metrics should always be tracked using its business data. Making the right business decisions drives an organization to success, and using business intelligence analytics tools allows evidence-based decision-making. In this blog post, we are going to explore what a data dashboard is and how to reap its benefits through the following topics:

What is a data dashboard?

A data dashboard is a set of reports showing different KPIs and metrics derived from business data in real time. It provides a unified view of the business data. A data dashboard is also used for business intelligence that analyzes, monitors, and visualizes metrics and KPIs from various key data points. Together with analytics applied for raw data analysis, dashboards enable you to make the right decisions quickly for your business. Data dashboards allow a business’s decision-makers to understand their data, implement effective business processes, and gain new business opportunities through the proper data visualizations.

Visualizing key metrics simply and attractively using visuals can give viewers—business leaders, analysts, executives—an important perspective on the data. When visualizing data, it is necessary to determine which types of visualization widgets are suitable to the data set so that it can be converted into meaningful visuals.

How to represent your data dashboard

Let’s see how to represent your data dashboard through the right data visuals. Basically, there are five data representation types:

  • Comparison: Comparison charts help you see differences over time by comparing one or more data sets.
  • Relationship: Relationship charts help you showcase the connections or correlations between two or more variables. 
  • Indicators (card and gauge): Indicators can be used to measure numeric KPIs and show their progress. 
  • Proportion: Proportion charts help you compare the different parts of a category and how they change over time.
  • Distribution: Distribution charts help you see how variables are distributed over time and analyze trends.

Refer to the blog “Choosing Visuals for Embedded Dashboards – Tips & Tricks “ for more information on choosing the right chart for your metrics to make your dashboards better.

Next, let’s explore the essential features of a data dashboard.

What are essential features of a data dashboard?

Drill down

Drill down allows users to explore in-depth details of showcased chart elements with just a click. They can view a more detailed breakdown of the business data.

In the Retail Inventory Management Dashboard, users can drill down in the pie chart shown in the following screenshot. The Jacket category is highlighted because we can click on it to drill down into its data.

Data Dashboard for Retail Inventory Management with Drill Down
Data Dashboard for Retail Inventory Management with Drill Down

After navigating into the multilevel breakdown of the Jacket category, you can see the average inventory value items categorized as jackets as shown in the screenshot below.

Data Dashboard for Retail Inventory Management with Drill Down Applied
Data Dashboard for Retail Inventory Management with Drill Down Applied

Bold BI allows you to add drill-down functionality to charts and tree maps. You can refer to the documentation to learn how to enable drilling down in widgets.

Filtering

With the filtering feature, you can limit the data displayed in a chart or dashboard. This feature is used to provide different combinations of data. Instead of having a separate visual or dashboard for each category, you can add filters and let users change their criteria to explore the data.

Refer to the blog “Data Filtering Options for a Seamless User Experience” to explore different filters supported in Bold BI and their uses, and how to configure them to create multiple views of data using a single dashboard.

Linking

Widget linking allows you to connect dashboards that are related to one another. You can link the dashboard with valid web URLs.

In the Retail Store Performance Dashboard, linking is applied to the combo chart shown in the following image.

Data Dashboard for Retail Store Performance with Linking
Data Dashboard for Retail Store Performance with Linking

The chart shows the product category’s sales volume and gross profit value. Clicking the T-shirts product category reveals the inventory details of that category by using the Retail Inventory Management Dashboard that is linked to it.

Data Dashboard for Retail Store Performance with Linking Applied
Data Dashboard for Retail Store Performance with Linking Applied

Check out our linking documentation for more details on configuring links in your dashboards.

Forecasting

Forecasting helps you predict future data based on past and present data, which is particularly helpful for data such as revenue and expenses.

In the K-12 Enrollment Dashboard, forecasting is applied to a line chart that forecasts what enrollment might look like over the next three years, based on previous years’ enrollment. This allows school leaders to plan for the future and allocate resources accordingly.

Data Dashboard for K-12 Enrollment with Forecasting Applied
Data Dashboard for K-12 Enrollment with Forecasting Applied

Check out our forecast documentation for more details on configuring this feature.

Trendline

With trendlines, you can explore the general pattern or overall direction of the data in a chart widget. In the Release Management Dashboard, a trendline is applied to a line chart that visualizes completed story points by sprint as shown as following screenshot.

Data Dashboard for Release Management with Trendline
Data Dashboard for Release Management with Trendline

Refer to the trendline documentation for more details on configuring trendlines in charts.

Customized markers

With customized markers, you can use customized icons in maps to identify specific information for dashboard viewers. In the Real Estate Management Dashboard, customized markers are used to visualize sold and unsold properties by region.

Data Dashboard for Real Estate Management with Custom Marker
Data Dashboard for Real Estate Management with Custom Marker

Refer to the blog “Visualize Geographical Data Using Maps in Dashboards” to learn about business strategies that can benefit from presenting geospatial data using Bold BI maps with custom markers.

Conditional formatting

With conditional formatting, you can modify various properties of visual elements such as colors, icons, and images based on conditions. In the Construction Project Monitoring Dashboard, conditional formatting is applied to the combo chart as shown in the following image.

Data Dashboard for Construction Project Monitoring with Conditional Formatting
Data Dashboard for Construction Project Monitoring with Conditional Formatting

The combo chart shows the budget variance, which is the difference between the planned budget, or baseline amount of expense, and the actual amount spent. The bar color depicts the budget variance status. A green bar indicates the expense utilized less than the planned budget, and a red bar indicates the expense exceeded the planned budget. These colors make it easy to identify the budget variance at a glance.

Refer to the formatting documentation for more details on configuring conditional formatting.

Refer to the blog “5 Interactive Data Visualization Features You Should Know” to explore the five most useful interactive data visualization techniques and how to apply them using Bold BI.

Now let’s explore the key benefits of using a data dashboard.

Key benefits of using a data dashboard

  • Better decision-making: A data dashboard helps monitor all KPIs in one place, providing an overall picture of the company’s performance to managers and helping them make better decisions that improve the growth of the company.
  • Future data predictions: With a data dashboard, you can predict future data by using the forecasting feature. Forecasting helps predict outcomes and adjust goals based on market trends. You can extract insights from a business’s historical data and track its financial health.
  • Improved customer satisfaction: A data dashboard helps you analyze large data sets and prepare better visualizations, allowing users without technical knowledge to extract insights from their data. You can track response times to customers and their feedback, leading to improved customer satisfaction.
  • Improved productivity: With a data dashboard, you can organize data in one place, make visuals based on that data, and further analyze potential challenges such as production quantity, rework quantity, and production costs. Knowing these challenges can help mitigate them and increase productivity.
  • Improved revenue: With a data dashboard, you can analyze and monitor key financial metrics and the cash flow of your business. This helps administrators know how well the organization is performing and what areas need to improve.

Let’s check out a variety of data dashboard examples.

Data dashboard examples

Data dashboards help you achieve specific business goals no matter the industry or department. They let you see the story that lives in your data by presenting it graphically.

Education dashboard example

K-12 Enrollment Dashboard

The K-12 Enrollment Dashboard helps track enrollment trends, student-to-faculty ratios, the top 5 districts by enrollment, advanced course enrollments, and the operating budget of each school. This gives a comprehensive view of the performance of each institution and student body. It also forecasts enrollment for the next three years.

Data Dashboard Example - K-12 Schools Enrollment Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – K-12 Schools Enrollment Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for education.

Healthcare dashboard example

Clinical Trials Dashboard

The Clinical Trials Dashboard provides a review of all trials, summarizing the clinical trial data by intervention type, clinical phase, clinical condition, trial status, location, and more.

Data Dashboard Example - Clinical Trials Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – Clinical Trials Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for healthcare.

Pharmaceutical analysis dashboard example

Pharmaceutical Labor Dashboard

The Pharmaceutical Labor Dashboard provides summarized details for a pharmacy’s labor management with metrics such as operation costs, labor costs, revenue and gross profit per prescription, work hours per job title, and prescription growth rate.

Data Dashboard Example - Pharmaceutical Labor Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – Pharmaceutical Labor Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for pharmaceutical analysis.

Finance dashboard example

Balance Sheet Dashboard

The Balance Sheet Dashboard shows the financial state of a company account through financial metrics and can track the financial account performance for a particular period of the year.

Data Dashboard Example - Balance Sheet Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – Balance Sheet Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for finance.

Information technology dashboard example

Forum Management Dashboard

The Forum Management Dashboard helps moderators effectively manage and maintain their forums by tracking key metrics and KPIs such as average posts per forum, average views per forum, overall questions and answers for posts, posts with the most votes, and more.

Data Dashboard Example - Forum Management Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – Forum Management Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for information technology.

Sales dashboard example

Sales Manager Summary Dashboard

The Sales Manager Summary Dashboard helps sales leads and managers track the company’s revenue, including revenue trends, opportunity details, sales opportunity pipeline, revenue by country, accounts by revenue, win count, lost revenue, revenue won, win count trends, top sales leaders by revenue won, revenue by industry, new accounts, and opportunity status by owner.

Data Dashboard Example - Sales Manager Summary Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – Sales Manager Summary Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for sales.

Survey analysis

Business Survey Analysis Dashboard

The Business Survey Analysis Dashboard helps viewers understand customer opinions about a product or service. Also, it showcases customer feedback on the product, identifies gaps in the offering, and thus helps the company make changes to processes or the product or service accordingly.

Data Dashboard Example - Business Survey Analysis Dashboard
Data Dashboard Example – Business Survey Analysis Dashboard

Check out more of our interactive dashboard examples for survey analysis.

You can also explore more sample dashboards categorized by industry and department under the Solutions menu on the Bold BI home page.

You can also embed a data dashboard into your business software application to gain insights without wasting time navigating to a separate application or website. Now, let’s look at what embedded analytics is and how to embed a data dashboard in your application.

How to embed a data dashboard in your application

Integrating analytical solutions and data visualization capabilities into a software application’s user interface to improve data comprehension and usability is known as embedded analytics. 

Let’s see how these analytics can be embedded into your application. Bold BI helps you embed dashboards in your apps for 12 web platforms, including React with ASP.NET CoreReact with GoWinFormsNode.jsVue with GoVue with ASP.NET Core, and more. In the remainder of this blog, I am going to explain how to embed dashboards into your Angular applications. Consider a scenario in which your company has a website like the one shown in the following image.

Sample Website of an Oil and Gas Company
Sample Website of an Oil and Gas Company

You can embed dashboards easily using Bold BI Embedded and avoid building an analytics or BI solution yourself. Follow these steps to embed your dashboard successfully in an Angular application.

Prerequisites

Download and install the Bold BI server in your local machine and create a dashboard. You can find the installation and deployment steps here.

Step 1: Create an Angular application

To successfully embed a dashboard in your application, you first need to create an Angular application. Create a new Angular project in Visual Studio Code and add the necessary TS files to the project, as shown in the following image.

Adding necessary ts files
Adding necessary ts files

For more guidance, refer to the sample code in the Bold BI documentation.

In this demonstration, the Angular application acts as a client, and an ASP.NET Core application acts as a server. You need to add several properties in the app.component.ts file, as shown in the following table and screenshot.

Properties

Property Value Descriptions

RootUrl

Bold BI dashboard server URL. Example: http://localhost:58094/bi.

SiteIdentifier

For Bold BI Enterprise, it should follow the format `site/site1`. For Bold BI Cloud, it should be an empty string.

Environment

Your Bold BI application environment. If using Bold BI Cloud, you should use `cloud`. If using Bold BI Enterprise, you should use `enterprise`.

apiHost

An ASP.NET Core application would be run on http://localhost:5000/, which needs to be set as `apiHost`.

 

Adding required variables in the app.component.ts file
Adding required variables in the app.component.ts file

After adding these properties, we need to create the Bold BI instance.

Step 2: Create a Bold BI instance

After the Angular web application is created, you need to create a Bold BI instance to communicate between the server side (any web application) and the client side (the Angular application), which allows us to embed a Bold BI dashboard in the Angular application.

Step 3: Create an authorization server to authenticate the Bold BI server

Every application that embeds a Bold BI dashboard or widget must be authorized with the Bold BI server. This authentication step requires sending confidential information to the Bold BI server, such as users’ email addresses, group data, and embed signatures. So, in your server application, implement this authentication flow and provide the URL for connecting to your server in the Bold BI Embedded instance.

Step 4: Run the Angular application to view the embedded dashboard

In the Angular application, update the authorization URL and dashboard URL that were defined in the ASP.NET Core application. Finally, you can that see the dashboard created in the Bold BI server is embedded in your web application.

Data Dashboard Embedded into an Angular Application
Data Dashboard Embedded into an Angular Application

By following the previous steps, you can successfully embed your dashboards into your Angular application.

Oil and Gas Production Monitoring Dashboard Embedded in an Angular Application
Oil and Gas Production Monitoring Dashboard Embedded in an Angular Application

To learn more about embedding dashboards into your Angular applications, refer to this blog. You can also download the sample code used in the previous steps from our documentation.

Conclusion

Now you know about data dashboards, their benefits, and how to embed them in your application to gain actionable insights, make the right decisions, and prosper in your business. Bold BI Embedded helps you integrate dashboards in your applications written in ASP.NET CoreASP.NET MVCASP.NET, and Ruby on Rails. It will save you time by helping you avoid redundant work. Click this link to explore its features. To learn more about embedding dashboards into your application, refer to this blog and our documentation. You can create a dashboard any way you like with Bold BI Embedded’s 35 widgets and 130 supported data sources.

To get started with Bold BI, schedule a free 30-minute demo with our experts about creating dashboards and any other features you would like to learn more about. You can contact us by submitting questions through the Bold BI website or, if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your support question.

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November 10, 2021 5 min read

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