Data is a gold mine of information, but without proper analysis and reporting, it remains untapped potential. The invention of dashboard linking has improved data visualization and insightful reporting. It has empowered businesses to transform raw data into actionable knowledge, enabling better decision-making across all levels of an organization. In this article, I will break down the process of dashboard linking so that you can apply it in your daily applications.
What is linking in a dashboard?
Linking in a dashboard is the ability to create connections between different dashboards, dashboard widgets, or URLs. This allows users to easily navigate between related dashboards and find specific data at a deeper level. With the resulting improved usability, the business can make better-informed decisions.
Benefits of linking dashboards in businesses
Linking dashboards empowers organizations to harness their data’s full potential and gain valuable insight to drive growth and success. Some of the most significant benefits include:
Improved data visibility
Linking a dashboard allows for a holistic data view by connecting various data sources and presenting them in a unified interface. This enhances data visibility, enabling stakeholders to access and analyze information from different systems or departments in one central location.
Real-time data analysis
Linking business dashboards allows for real-time data analysis. It enables businesses to monitor and measure performance instantly, which can help in making quick and informed decisions.
Better key performance indicator (KPI) tracking
Dashboards are instrumental in tracking KPIs because they make the information easy to understand at a glance through visual representations. Linking dashboards allows users to further investigate areas highlighted by KPIs as performing well or needing improvement. This enables businesses to identify trends and make necessary adjustments to their strategies.
Enhanced efficiency and productivity
By linking a dashboard, users can quickly navigate between related data points, visualizations, and reports, improving efficiency and productivity. It eliminates the need to switch between multiple tools or interfaces, enabling users to focus on data analysis and streamline their decision-making rather than spend time on data retrieval and consolidation.
How to link URLs in a Bold BI dashboard
Linking allows you to link dashboard widgets with valid web URLs by enabling the Enable Link property in widget property panel.
- Select a widget and go to its Properties tab. In the Link section, find the Enable link option as shown in the following figure. By default, the Enable Link property will not be selected.
- Enable linking by selecting the Enable Link checkbox.
- Insert the web URL you want to link to in the URL text box, and then select a column name in the Append Column list. The column you select will be appended to the URL entered in the URL text box.
Types of linking in Bold BI
Bold BI supports two types of linking:
Row linking enables you to access detailed information and related reports for specific data rows in a dashboard, allowing seamless analysis and enhanced interactivity by establishing relationships between data from different widgets. Check this documentation to learn how to set up row linking swiftly.
- After enabling linking, select the Row option as shown in the following image.
- When enabled, click on any value in a row in the linked widget to be directed to the link specified in the widget properties.
Column linking enables interactions with dashboard table columns, such as triggering actions, displaying related information, and connecting data in different widgets. Refer to our documentation for more information about column linking.
- After enabling linking, select the Column option as shown.
- The following image shows the result of column linking being enabled. Click the underlined values in the column to navigate the linked url.
Properties associated with linking in Bold BI
Bold BI has two types of linking properties:
- Encryption query parameter
The advanced linking options provide a variety of ways to enhance how linking in dashboards behaves. By using the Target dropdown in the Link section of the widget properties, you can select how the linked data is shown, from the options New tab, Same page, Current frame, Parent frame, Pop up, and New window. Let’s see what each of these options does.
- Select New tab from the Target dropdown.
- In the linked widget, click on a bar data series to view the two available options, and then select Link.
- You will be redirected to a new tab, as shown by the arrows in the following image.
- Select Same page from the Target dropdown.
- The link will navigate you to the linked data in the same page as shown in the following figure.
- Select Current frame from the Target dropdown.
- The link will navigate you to the linked data in the current frame as shown in the following figures.
- Select Parent frame from the Target dropdown.
- Clicking the link will navigate you to the parent frame as shown in the following figures. The difference is very slight from the current frame target option.
- Select Pop up from the Target dropdown.
- Click the link in the dashboard. The linked URL will pop up as shown.
- Select New window from the Target dropdown.
- Click the link to open a new window according to the measures as shown in the following figure.
Query parameter encryption
Bold BI allows you to encrypt query parameters in URLs to enhance security and privacy when passing sensitive information between different systems or webpages in your widgets. You can learn more about the feature in our documentation. Let’s see how to use this feature.
- Enable the Encrypt Parameters option, as shown in the following figure.
- Click on Link in the linked widget.
You will be redirected to a new tab where the query parameters will be encrypted and passed in the URL as highlighted in the following figure.
Real-time use case for linked analytics and reports
Inventory management dashboard
When used by retail businesses, linked dashboards provide visibility into inventory levels across multiple stores or warehouses. They can be integrated with point-of-sale systems, supply chain data, and sales analytics, allowing retailers to monitor stock levels, identify trends, and optimize inventory management strategies.
Financial services industry
Finance management dashboard
A linked dashboard can combine data from market feeds, customer transactions, and regulatory systems. It provides a comprehensive view of financial exposure, allows for scenario analysis, and enables timely decision-making to mitigate risks, monitor compliance, and ensure regulatory adherence. The following image shows linked pop-ups in a financial management dashboard.
Production monitoring dashboard
A linked dashboard can connect data from production lines, equipment sensors, and quality control systems. It offers insights into production efficiency, downtime, and product quality, allowing manufacturers to optimize operations, identify bottlenecks, and improve overall productivity.
Marketing performance dashboard
Linked analytics and reports provide marketing professionals with actionable insights to measure campaign effectiveness, track key indicators, and optimize strategies. Integrating data from various sources like social media, website traffic, and sales helps identify the most profitable channels and tactics. These tools also enable real-time monitoring for quick trend identification, opportunity leveraging, and strategy adaptation.
Now you have a better understanding of how linked analytics and dashboards empower businesses to achieve in-depth insight and smoothly generate comprehensive reports. This integration enhances analytical efficiency and plays a crucial role in enabling success in the data-driven era.