Tips for Designing Dashboards
Charts and small cross-tabs are best suited to dashboards. However, you can design table reports that work well in the dashboard. Such reports tend to be narrow and are typically used with input controls to limit the number of rows they return.
Keep reports small since dashboards typically contain multiple reports. In particular, reports also should not be too wide, as horizontal room is always at a premium in a dashboard. The server strips margins from an Ad-Hoc report when displaying the report on a dashboard.
This section provides helpful tips to designing current dashboards. If you would like tips for legacy dashboards, see Working with Legacy Dashboards.
Input Control Tips
When designing input controls for a dashboard, keep these guidelines in mind:
If you want a single input control on the dashboard to control the data displayed in multiple reports, the reports themselves need parameters with the same name as the input control. For example, you might have a query-based list of employees names that can be used in both sales reports and human resources report.
When defining a parameter in a report, give it a meaningful name that can be reused in other reports. Then, when two reports that include this parameter are added to the dashboard, their input controls appear as Special Content in the Available Content list. Storing such input controls in the repository encourages reuse in other reports as they are designed and added to the repository.
Consider the ramifications of designing input controls to use radio buttons. A report's input control that displays as a radio button set appears as drop-down on a dashboard.
To pass a value to an external URL, the URL Parameter Name you give to the input control must match the name of a parameter that the URL can accept. The value of the input control must also be a value the URL can accept. The target URL is likely to have additional requirements and limitations. For example, the name of the parameter may be case-sensitive; in this case, the value you enter in the URL Parameter Name field is also case-sensitive.
The input control must pass data that the URL can accept. Otherwise, the server may be unable to retrieve the correct data from the external URL.