Introducing Dashboard 2.0
In this article we take a look at the new Dashboard 2.0 included with the September 2020 release of Oracle Planning.
Dashboards are extremely useful for getting a quick view on KPIs and key metrics. Often data is easier to understand when seen using a visual representation. In Dashboard 2.0 these are called “Visualizations” or sometimes referred to as “Infographics”.
Dashboards have many uses, for example they may be used by Executives or senior management to quickly see how the business is doing, or to help at the beginning of a planning cycle.
The new Dashboard 2.0 includes new Visualizations based on Oracle’s JET Technology. Currently the visualisations available with Dashboard 2.0 are a variety of Graph Types, Gauges, Tables with optional Sparkline graphs, Performance Tiles and Maps.
Each visualization is based either directly on a “Cube” or a Pre-built Form. Using Forms as a basis for the visualization has the advantage of allowing drill down using members as specified on the underlying Form. Using a Cube as a direct data source is referred to as “Quick Analysis”. Unlike an Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) Dashboard, no “Data Prep” or data manipulation functionality is available in the dashboard designer.
Point Of View (POV) control Bars can be used to control the data seen on all Visualisations (Global POV) or on a single Visualisation (Local POV).
Creating a Dashboard Using Dashboard 2.0
A new dashboard is created and designed using the Create dashboard 2.0 dropdown (shown below).
Using the Dashboard 2.0 Designer to add dashboard content
The create dashboard 2.0 opens the Dashboard Designer screen which has the following Panels and Toolbar :
- The Library Panel on the left (with Dashboard Objects in it)
- The Dashboard Workspace in the centre
- The Properties Panel on the right
- The Dashboard Toolbar on the top right
The properties panel on the Right allows for the setting of properties for an individual Visualisation or for the whole dashboard (using General properties). For instance, General Properties is used to set the Dashboard name.
Choosing a Data Source for a Visualization
Data for the dashboard comes either directly from a “Cube” or from a Pre-built Form. You can start by Dragging a Data Source (a Cube or a Form) or a Visualization onto the Dashboard Workspace.
Building a Visualization using the Cube Data Source
Each Visualization on the Dashboard has its own Data Source. Start to build a Visualization based on a Cube by dragging a cube Dashboard Object from the Library Panel on the left onto the Dashboard Workspace panel in the centre.
This example has the Plan1 cube dropped into the Workspace panel. Next, select the cube dimension members by either typing in the member name in the search bar or using the Member Selection (Launch MS) option on the top right as shown below.
If a Cube has already been used for a previous Visualization, a useful feature is that the POV member selection is “remembered”.
Using the Member Select utility, select the members you want to appear. A green tick mark means it is selected and it gets added to the selections on the left. To deselect, click on the member and it will get removed from the selection.
Click OK and the resulting Visualization is a Table, the default visualization.
To Change the Layout of the Table
To change the layout of the Table, use the Properties Panel as shown above and drag the dimensions as required. To move the column and rows around, I had to temporarily drag another dimension into the row selection area as it would not allow the Row or Column selection to be empty.
I was not able to change the number of decimal places being displayed in the table. To do this it seems we need to use a Form as the data source.
To Change the Visualization Type
Clicking on the Visualization selection Icon on the top right of a Visualization gives the option to change the Visualization being displayed.
For Example, choosing the Bar Chart changes the Table to a Bar Chart. The Visualization type may also be changed using the Property Panel.
When a Visualization is selected, the Property Panel on the right now displays the options for the selected visualization. In this case the options are for the Bar Chart displayed.
How to edit or modify the Cube data selected for a Visualization
To change the members selected for a Visualization when the data source for the Visualization is a Cube, do the following:
- Click on the Visualization
- Click on the Magnifying Glass icon in the top right of the Visualization
- The current member selections are shown. Modify to get the required members
Adding a Visualization using a Form
Using Forms for Visualizations has additional features to the visualizations using a Cube.
Drilling down on a displayed member is only possible when the data source is a Form designed with drill down. Formatting data, e.g. the number of decimal places only seems possible by using the Form formatting.
To Add a visualization based on a Form, Drag the required Form Dashboard Object in the Library Panel on the left onto the Workspace Panel. A blue line and a “+” symbol indicate where the new Visualization may be placed. This screenshot is adding the new Visualization above the existing Bar Chart.
The new Visualization is placed above the Bar Chart using the default Table Visualization. The blue outline around the new Table Visualization indicates that the Property Panel settings are for the table.
The Property Panel shows the Data Source Type is from a Form and shows the Forms Name.
Changing the Visualization from a Table to a Performance Tile
Performance Tiles and Gauges are included in the Visualizations Available. These are good Visualizations for looking at High level KPIs.
The Property Panel for the Performance Tile shows the modified Background and Percentage of screen to be used for this Visualization.
Adding a Visualization using a selected Visualization Dashboard Object
A desired Visualization can be directly added to the Dashboard Workspace rather than starting with the data in a Table and then changing the type of visualization. To do this, drag a Visualization Object from the Library Panel on the left onto the Workspace. The Blue Bar and the “+” sign show where a Visualization can be placed.
This example shows a Waterfall Visualization being placed on the Dashboard Workplace.
Add data to the Waterfall Chart by either:
- Dragging a Form from the Library Panel onto the Visualization.
- Clicking on the Magnifying Glass Icon to select a Cube as a Data Source.
Select the Data Source using the Properties Panel settings for the Waterfall chart.
Drilling Down in a Chart
If a Visualization chart has been created from a Form with Drill down Hierarchy specified in the Dimension members, then the Chart will drill down as well.
This Bar Chart has been created from a Form with Descendants specified in the rows and Columns.
The above example is from the Form named “Balance Sheet – Plan JG” used as the Data Source for the Bar Chart shown below.
Clicking on Q1 will drill down to Months, Clicking on Fixed Assets will Drill down on Fixed Assets.
To go back to Quarters and Fixed Assets, click on the back arrows (highlighted in the example above).
Geomap Map Visualization – Place Names
When using Maps with the Geomaps Visualization please see the excerpt below from the Oracle documentation
Note that geomaps only work if the geography names in the Form s match exactly the geography names that Dashboard 2.0 uses for its map layers. So, if your entity/geography dimension says, for example, USA, that won't be recognized as a valid name in the map layer, which uses United States.
Oracle have provided a metadata load file that contains the geographical elements the geomap uses like countries, states, and cities. Click to download a CSV file which you can then upload into a dimension as new members or (with some manual changes) as aliases to existing members in your application.
The downloaded Files seems to only have Country name Level data for non-US Regions and State names level for the US.
Running the Dashboard
To see what the Dashboard will look like when Run, click on the Cog Icon and “Run Dashboard” on the Dashboard Toolbar which is on the top Right of the Designer screen.
Other options on the Dashboard Toolbar are Close, Save, Hide Properties Panel, Add New Visualization, Revert to the Last Saved Version, Refresh Data and POV Bar Auto-Apply.
If the Auto-Apply option is deselected, then Apply and Reset Buttons will appear on the POV toolbar.
The Dashboard 2.0 Dashboard can be saved in a Folder along with Dashboard 1 Dashboards. To differentiate between the two, the Dashboard 2.0 Icon has a Blue slash top right, as shown below.
Dashboards 2.0 is a definite improvement on the original Dashboard 1 version. Being able to Drag a Cube in for Quick analysis is a useful and powerful feature, however, to get the added benefit of drilling down on a chart or table, Forms currently need to be used as the data source.
While the visualizations available look good and can have some of the properties modified, it would be useful to have more control, such as being able to configure the number of decimal places.
Having to bring a data source for each Visualization is inconvenient, it would be useful to be able to duplicate an existing visualization and then just modify the Visualization.
Unlike more advanced Dashboarding products, such as Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC), Dashboard 2.0 lacks many useful features that would give it more impact, such as being able to add additional data, create your own calculations, Trending etc.
As Dashboard 2.0 uses the feature rich JET Technology and Oracle release a new version of EPM each month, I fully expect to see this already improved version of Dashboards getting even better.
Watch this space as we will update this blog with any new features as they arrive.