Subscribe to Dashboard

#1

Splitting this out from another thread where someone was interested in subscribing to dashboards (e.g. Emailed version).

My comments were as follows:

Most dashboards are quite large in my experience and are not easily printed, exported, saved and certainly would be too large to drop to excel and email.

However, a carefully constructed dashboard gives you the ability to create what would be a custom report in any ERP system. More structured than a single chart or grid, but not overwhelmingly big.

Essentially I think the main use would be from making a simple A4 formatted report containing a handful of graphs, tables or gauges (think of a simple company overview - current stock level, current sales vs budget, 10 biggest orders yesterday etc as a one page view of yesterdays performance).

I made such a report in SSRS in my last company and while you could access it on the report server, it worked much better delivered to the users inbox as you naturally would open it and read it.

The trouble Phocas will have is how to restrict what dashboard would be email-able and what wouldn’t as too much and it’ll look garbage.

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#2

Just thinking about this. Perhaps we could have a different dashboard mode? Probably blue sky thinking here :slight_smile:

On screen Dashboard - The design we currently use.
Print out dashboard - Works similar to print layout in Excel. If you are a designer would have a dotted line area showing you the confines of the page layout. This dashboard would be a PRINT only version, so would not adaptability adjust on screen size.

Just a very rough screen example:

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#3

I agree, potentially a “Snap Report” rather than calling it a Dashboard.

The designer could then restrict the size of the report and content so that it fits on a page, warning the user if adding a grid or chart would break the margins.

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#4

Hi @JonKemp and @StuartH. We often get asked about exporting and subscribing to dashboards however we believe that opening a live dashboard provides more value as users can focus and analyse and drill down into the data.

That said, more and more customers are using Phocas to deliver “reports”. We’re looking at fleshing out this reporting capability with improvements to dashboard printing and exporting. We’re currently gathering interest in this at the moment.

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#5

HI @will.marriott,

I appreciate the push to make all people use reporting online, however, we are presenting data to shareholders and clients. They do not have Phocas. We are highly critical about the the share link on a dashboard and will not use it for this manner. It really needs to be a PDF or other type of hard copy, so the numbers can be signed off, a snapshot in time and no filtering.

Having the layout of a dashboard suitable for export/printing will reduce the time to produce these detailed monthly reports.

I don’t think I will be alone with this viewpoint, not all readers of reports will be ultimately Phocas users.

A interim middle ground option I believe which is far more achievable and would be quicker to implement (assuming!) would be this suggestion I made a few months ago which we both discussed:

It would be nice to know the status of this request from October :wink:

Thanks,

Jon

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#6

Hi @JonKemp, I agree that exporting a chart image from a dashboard will be much easier than dashboard exporting. We’ve been working in other areas at lately (subscriptions for one) but when we look at dashboard improvements that one will be considered.

What’s your concerns with the share link on dashboards?

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#7

Hi Will,

Opening up a dashboard to a link that can be shared inside or outside of the business is a potential security risk.

I understand the advantages of links, but the concerns I feel for my clients data are:

  1. Not snapshot data.
    The numbers move (as they should), so if you are trying to share with the business a month end report (dashboard) with very specific data time sensitive data, it would require us to develop a new dashboard with fixed dates. The dashboards where we want this are in the region of 20+ widgets. I raised another suggestion recently about having master criteria on the dashboard here
  2. Data Security
    This is a major concern for us. Imagine for example the data is quarterly financial position data, there is a danger if shared via a link this could be passed to a competitor and/or be used for personal financial benefit, there is no way of know who is looking. Also consider SOX/GDPR compliance depending on the data presented.
  3. Combination of the two.
    For example if not managed carefully, there could be dashboards reporting technically the wrong figures (GL books not closed at month end). On standard dashboarding we can manage this as its simple security (you either see it or you dont), with links the security is not as robust.

Please don’t get me wrong, I think links are great I have used them, but they were to quickly grant a senior directorship access to a dashboard for POC’s. But any production signed off report requires security, which I feel links present a real danger on the above points.

Fundamentally, I maybe speaking for the OP (@StuartH) , so please shout if I am in error, we need to obtain snapshot dashboard data which is secured and managed internally by subscription. Having the ability to obtain a printable/subscriber dashboard to export into a PDF/Excel would facilitate this requirement.

I do feel its a “damned if you do, damned if you dont” scenario, hence having subscriber dashboards would be the way of controlling the flow of data in a controlled manner.

Please shout if you want any further clarification.

Kind Regards,

Jon

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#8

Cheers Jon, I posted partly out of my own interest but also someone from another thread sharing the same view.

Often developing reports in an ERP system can be expensive, limited to column data and invariably difficult to change at short notice to meet business needs (adding or removing columns for example).

We can all export data from Phocas and format it in Excel, but I believe harnessing the analytic benefits of Phocas and the formating found with the charts, dashboards etc - Phocas could provide a third option of Snap Reports.

These would essentially be an A4 portrait or landscape report, maybe multiple pages long but never any wider. By subscribing you’d essentially get a controlled report with fixed data but visually appealing to the majority of non-data minded people.

I have often found that Directors and other shareholders don’t want logins to systems, “just give me a report”.

Why would I want to waste time recreating something in Excel that I could get Phocas to do for me?

To some the question will be whether there is an alternative to Phocas that does this.

One example might be the customer scorecard type of dashboard, all well and good if the rep goes in with a laptop, but in some industries, this is just not appropriate, therefore a printed version is preferable. Customer then asks, can I have a copy of that? It is about me after all. Errrr, sorry I’d have to send you a link … oooh, I could do a few screenshots if that helps … oh I don’t have a printer … hmmmm ok i’ll write it out for you :rofl:

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#9

@StuartH @JonKemp thanks for the additional info (also sorry for the late reply). Apart from page sizes and PDFing a dashboard, what else do you think we’re missing when it comes to “reporting”?

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#10

Hi @will.marriott,
Other than printing a dashboard cleanly, export to excel/pdf from a widget (viewer) would be a priority for me.

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#11

Thanks @JonKemp :slight_smile:

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