Tracking Usage on Dashboards by Users

Anybody know a way to track user usage of dashboards? I’m talking only about users with licenses, since I know that individual usage cannot be tracked with external links. It seems that usage logs and detailed query logs on user licenses only have to do with Favorites, not dashboards.

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Interested in this, I have recently taken full licenses off some users who were only logging in daily to view dashboards, we gave them viewer licenses instead and they can still do the same thing that way.

That’s exactly what we are thinking of doing. A group of people that we originally gave external links to dashboards to. Gave them full licenses expecting them to find stuff on dashboards, then run other reports to drill further into things that sparked interest, but that doesn’t seem to be working so far.

What would be the advantage of a viewer license over just an external link or two, if they’re just looking at one or two dashboards anyway? The way I set up the dashboard is to give them their role’s dashboard, then I have two external links at the bottom of that dashboard to other customer-centric dashboards. So, realistically, all they need off the bat is one external link. Thoughts?

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There’s one big advantage of the viewer licenses vs external link that I can think of. This may or may no apply to you, but is huge for us. With the viewer license, having the ability to set restrictions / filters on the data. We have multiple locations. We have a dashboard we’ve designed for our branch managers. Each of their logins has restrictions on the database to show only their locations. So we only have the one dashboard to manage, yet each manager is only seeing the appropriate data for their location.


We decided with the viewer licenses because we want to give access to our customers for them to self expedite their orders using dashboards created for them and be able to have a bit of security over the information by giving them a username and password as oppose to a link that could fall into the wrong hands.

I love the idea of having a dashboard with links to other dashboards, you could then create a self service hub for anyone that wants to use specific dashboards but not do any of their own reports.

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@aaron.roma I see. Thanks for the input. The users we have given licenses to at the moment we’re okay giving cross-company information to, but I like the idea of limiting using viewer licenses. Can they still slice and dice the dashboard with a viewer license?

@ShaneAngel Viewer licenses for customer visibility is a very cool idea, too! I think I’ll discuss that idea with my team here.
I just used a text widget with a title of “Linked Scorecards” at the bottom of the dashboard and threw in the external links to the other dashboards, while giving them display titles that are user-friendly. Simple and effective! If you know a little bit of HTML coding, I think you can customize the text widget to make it look a little cooler, too :slight_smile:


@tim.janes Yes, they can still focus on the Dashboard. So, as an example, we have a few managers responsible for more than one location. So we have the database restriction in place to limit them to their warehouses. When the first call up the dashboard, they’re seeing a rollup up number for all their locations. But they can select a warehouse to focus the dashboard just to that location, even with the viewer license.

@ShaneAngel That’s sort of what I’ve been setting up. Since the users can’t really drill down into the data their seeing on the dashboard itself, I’ll setup a link to another dashboard or favorite. An example would be a dashboard that showing a breakdown of order types. The dashboard is just showing overall figures for the order types. Then I’ll have a text widget just beside that with links that will link them to a saved favorite that’s showing the individual orders making up those numbers.

In addition to using the text widget with the appropriate URLS to other dashboards, depending on how you have your dashboards organized, you can also use a list widget to list widget as well. (You can filter the list widget to show dashboards belonging to a particular folder, for example.)


@aaron.roma @ShaneAngel @tim.janes can you only review Usage and Query Logs for users who have a Full license? I noticed when trying to view Usage and/or Query Logs for a user who has a Viewer license, it doesn’t return any data. It only says “User has no activity in period”, but I know that isn’t true because I know the user has been working Phocas.

If I look up a user with a Full license, I am able to see data for Usage and Query Logs.


I’m not too familiar with Viewer licenses because we still don’t currently have any. I would think if those users that use Viewer licenses are only on dashboards, then you wouldn’t see any usage data, because the Usage tab in the profile tracks according to database use (something I still think Phocas should improve…recording usage on dashboards!!). Though I don’t know exactly how it would reflect for Viewer licensed users that view saved Favorites.

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@Justin, @tim.janes has hit the nail on the head here. You see the same as you would for a full license user who only logs into Phocas to view dashboards. You can see them logging in but you can’t see any of their activity as they are not querying the database, at least in the way the current tracking has been setup anyway.