Creating a dashboard

A dashboard is an interactive display that you can create to showcase and explore business data. You can add simple visual representations of the data (called visualizations) to the dashboard to make the data easier to interpret, perform manipulations on the data to customize which information to display, organize data into multiple sheets and pages to provide a logical flow to your dashboard, and so on. You can quickly and easily create a polished dashboard without requiring a lot of design time using visualizations and pre-defined, presentation-quality formatting. An example of a dashboard is shown below:

Example of a dashboard in Visual Insight

You can add data to a dashboard in the following ways:

By importing the data from an outside data source, such as a file, Freeform script, database, or report. For an overview of importing data, see About importing data into MicroStrategy Web.
Based on an existing report, including Intelligent Cube reports and MDX reports. For background information and steps to create a report, see Creating a report.
Based on an existing Intelligent Cube, including imported data. For an introduction to Intelligent Cubes, see the In-memory Analytics Guide.
Based on a report that you create within the dashboard. For background information, see Creating a dataset in a dashboard.
Based on data in the current project. For background information, see All Objects panel.

Dashboards open by default in Visual Insight Mode, where you can easily drag and drop attributes and metrics to display data, create filters, group data, and more. You can also maximize the amount of space available for data display by viewing dashboards in Presentation Mode, or view dashboards on an iPad with MicroStrategy Mobile. You can share a dashboard through email, by linking to the dashboard, or by embedding the dashboard in a web page.


You must have document designer privileges.
You must have the Web Edit Dashboard, Web Create Dashboard, and Web Run Dashboard privileges.
To create a dashboard by importing data, first familiarize yourself with the best practices information for importing data. See Best practices: Importing data into MicroStrategy Web.
To create a dashboard from existing data, you must first create the report or Intelligent Cube to use to create the dashboard. For steps to create a report, see Creating a report. For background information on Intelligent Cubes, see the In-memory Analytics Guide.

To create a dashboard

1 On the home page or any folder page, click Create, and then select New Dashboard. Your dashboard is created and displayed, containing a single blank visualization.
If the Getting Started page is displayed, click Get Started to open the dashboard. The Getting Started page contains dashboard sample and tutorial videos.
 If a message displays about accessing Getting Started and Quick Tips, click OK to close the message.
To skip the Getting Started page the next time that you open a dashboard, on the Getting Started page, select the Don’t Show This Again check box.
To display the Getting Started page once you are in Visual Insight, from the Help menu, select Getting Started.
If tips are displayed to guide you through the process of creating a dashboard, click Hide Quick Tips and begin creating your dashboard. To display the tips again, from the Help menu, select Quick Tips.
2 You can add data to the dashboard in any of the following ways. You can combine multiple methods of adding data.
To import data into the dashboard to use as a dataset, click the Add Data icon Add Data icon, and select External Data. Select the appropriate options to import, review, clean, and publish your data, then click Create Dashboard. For a list of the available data sources, and detailed steps to import data from each, see About importing data into MicroStrategy Web.
To add data from an existing report or Intelligent Cube, click the Add Data icon Add Data icon, and select Existing Dataset. The Select Dataset dialog box opens. Navigate to and select the dataset to add. You can make multiple selections at once by pressing CTRL as you select each item. Click Select.
To create a new dataset within the dashboard, click the Add Data icon Add Data icon, and select New Report. The Report Editor opens. Select the appropriate options to define your new dataset. For steps, see Creating a dataset in a dashboard.
To add data within the current project to the dashboard, click Browse All Objects in the Datasets panel. The All Objects panel is displayed.
3 The selected data is added to your dashboard as a dataset. (If you selected Browse All Objects, the project's objects are displayed as dataset objects.) Datasets provide the data in a dashboard; by adding multiple datasets to a dashboard, you can use objects from multiple datasets to create visualizations, analyze data, and so on. For steps, see Adding, replacing, and removing datasets from a dashboard.

Add content to the dashboard

4 You can add visualizations to the dashboard. A visualization is a simple visual representation of your data. For steps to add a specific type of visualization, see the related links below:
Creating a Map visualization
Creating a Graph visualization
Creating a Grid visualization
Creating a Heat Map visualization
Creating a Network visualization
5 After you create a visualization, you can format it, to rename attributes or metrics, choose whether to display a visualization’s title bar, whether to apply banding to values in a grid, and so on. For steps and a complete list of formatting options, see Formatting visualizations.
6 You can add text, images, and Web content to the dashboard. For background information and steps to perform a specific task, see the appropriate link below:
Adding text to a dashboard

Text can serve as a label for your data or provide background information, a description, or instructions for the dashboard.

Adding images to a dashboard
Adding an HTML container to a dashboard

An HTML container displays the contents of a web page or content formatted in HTML.

7 You can create new attributes, metrics, and groups of attribute elements based on existing objects. For background information and steps to perform a specific task, see the appropriate link below:
Creating a metric based on existing objects: Derived metrics

Derived metrics are metrics that you can create based on existing metrics on the dashboard. A derived metric performs a calculation on the fly with the data available on a dashboard, without re-executing the dashboard against the data source.

Creating an attribute based on existing objects: Derived attributes

Derived attributes are attributes that you can create based on existing dataset objects that are already included in the dashboard. Once you create a derived attribute, it works the same as any other attribute. For example, you can add it to a visualization.

Grouping attribute elements in a dashboard

You can replace multiple attribute elements with a single group in a visualization. For example, you can group regions into areas such as North, South, and Central. You can create a new group by combining attribute elements with a calculation, such as sum or average. Groups allow you to manipulate the display of your data.

8 You can organize your content into multiple pages and sheets, as described below:
Adding, renaming, moving, and deleting sheets in a dashboard

Sheets allow you to create layers of data that are filtered in different ways. Each sheet has a separate set of filters, allowing you to create different filters for different sheets. Each sheet is displayed on a separate tab in the dashboard.

Adding, modifying, and deleting pages in a dashboard

Pages allow you to create layers of data that are filtered in the same way. Each sheet in a dashboard can contain multiple pages.

9 You can limit and select the data displayed in the dashboard by filtering the data. You can filter data based on an attribute, the ranking of elements in an attribute, or a metric. You can filter a sheet, a visualization, or another filter. For steps, see Limiting the data displayed in a dashboard: Filters, sheets, and pages
10 You can format the dashboard, including selecting whether to use a light-colored or dark-colored display theme. For steps, see Formatting a dashboard.

Save the dashboard

11 Click the Save icon Save icon to save your changes. The Save As dialog box is displayed.
12 Navigate to the location in which you want to save the dashboard, then type a name and description for the dashboard in the Name and Description fields.
13 Click OK. The dashboard is saved.

Related topics

About Visual Insight
Converting a report to a dashboard
Importing multiple dashboards or reports into a dashboard