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GilesWalker Established Member
Established Member

What is the point of the dashboard?

Hi everyone,

 

Looking for some clarification on the use of the Dashboard. From what I can tell once you pin a visual to the dashboard it then becomes a static image of that visual and will not update with the report. I noticed you can pin a live page, however this does not show up properly on the iOS mobile App.

 

My understanding of the what the dashboard should be is a quick snapshot of some important information, however if it does not change with scheduled refreshes then what is the point of it, especially for the mobile app where all you can see is the dashboard.

 

Hope some one can help elaborate.

 

Giles

6 REPLIES 6
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Super User
Super User

Re: What is the point of the dashboard?

The way you can imagine it working well is no doubt the destination. Some features take a couple of goes to get right. I think MS has done a great job getting is product to where it is - remember it was only released mid last year.

 

I would like the dashboard to be fully interactive and live, and also allow drill through to an underlining report. Anything less can only every be described as "under development" IMO.

 

I think the trick with Power BI is to love what we've got, and get involved in giving feedback to help it get better. 



* Matt is a Microsoft MVP (Power BI) and author of the Power BI Book Supercharge Power BI.
konstantinos Senior Member
Senior Member

Re: What is the point of the dashboard?

@GilesWalker You are right the dashboard is a snapshot of important information. And it refreshes when the underlying data refresh ( the time depends on the data source ) . Also you can pin a tile with a specific filter i.e. current month while when you click the tile and move to the underlying report it shows data for all months..

Also phone apps only show dashboard and not reports. Can set in phone apps alerts ( ios) for a tile value etc.

Not to mention web widgets, videos , etc.. 

Dashboard are important part for me..

If you have a problem refreshing tiles that is another issue we need to discuss..

Konstantinos Ioannou
greggyb New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: What is the point of the dashboard?

Following up on the responses above.

 

Yes the dashboard tile should refresh with the dataset. One thing that catches a lot of people up is the behavior of dashboard tile filters. The filters applied at the time of pinning are preserved in the dashboard tile. Thus, if you filter to Month = "2016 January" and then pin the visual as a dashboard tile, that tile's default filter state will be for Month = "2016 January", no matter what you set the filter to in the report.

As the month of "2016 January" rolls on, the tile will refresh as the backing dataset refreshes. Once "2016 February" comes around, you change the report filter to Month = "2016 February". This filter is not reflected in the dashboard tile.

 

If this is the behavior you're seeing you can simply change your filtering to a "Current Month" field, where the flag value always indicates the current month. Then the filter criteria can remain the same, and the data underneath changes as time moves forward.

 

If, instead, you are seeing an issue where the applied filter should reflect new data in the refreshed dataset but doesn't, that's something to pursue further as a bug.

GilesWalker Established Member
Established Member

Re: What is the point of the dashboard?

Thanks for the great responses and for clarifying how the tils work on the dashboard. I beleive the issue I had was with the filters I had selected causing the tile to not update when the report did.

 

@greggyb - are you able to explain how you have a filter set up to show current month, last three months etc? I couldn't seem to figure it out. 

greggyb New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: What is the point of the dashboard?

So, filters can only be saved with a literal selection, or a hard-coded rule. E.g. "July", or Month Number <7.

 

We can't change the behavior or programmatically set the filters in Power BI natively.

 

We have lots of flexibility in Power Query and in DAX to create dynamic data. Since we plan on data being refreshed daily or more often, we can create a field that is defined by a formula that will indicate whether the current row has the same date as today's calendar date, for example. Assume this field is true when the row has today's date and false otherwise. Now we can set a filter to Today = True. Our filter value never changes. When our model refreshes, though, and the calendar date has changed, a different row in the date table will have the flag equal to True.

 

The filter is static, but the rows that meet the filter criteria change as the days pass.

 

Power Query has a bunch of built in date functions that help in making this sort of flag, else you can do arithmetic and conditional tests on the value of the date or associated attribute fields (e.g. year, month).

 

E.g. Rolling 3 months:

// Power Query
// Add custom column
// Rolling 3 month period, the 3 consecutive whole months that
// terminate at the beginning of the current month.
Rolling3MonthFlag =
let
  Today = DateTime.Date( DateTime.LocalNow() )
  ,StartOfCurrentMonth =
    #date( Date.Year( Today ), Date.Month( Today ), 1 )
  ,StartOf3MonthsAgo =
    Date.AddMonths( StartOfCurrentMonth, -3 )
in
  [Date] >= StartOf3MonthsAgo and [Date] < StartOfCurrentMonth
GilesWalker Established Member
Established Member

Re: What is the point of the dashboard?

@greggyb - thanks for the info on the Dax formula, I will have a play around and see what I can do.

 

In regards to the dashboard tiles, I changed a graph to show the current month and next month, the tile then updated with data for the current month on the tile. Thanks for clarifying how the filters work on tiles.