Actions are interactive elements added to dashboards and the tabular reports embedded within that can be configured to launch a particular function for the user consuming the information. They allow an end-user to do something when they see a KPI or metric on their dashboard.
Historically, when people looked at numbers on a dashboard, they would have to switch contexts and go into other applications to take action and try to remember what they’ve consumed or have two windows open, then push the action in the second application, such as raising a ticket, or performing data entry to update a sales record.
Actions instead enable users to act on insights directly via their dashboard. They can be defined within the analytics component – the dashboard – so the end-user doesn’t have to switch context to act on a discovery from their data. For example, a user can see relevant data on the dashboard, and are given the choice to raise a ticket by being able to click on the actual ticket data within the dashboard. This affords a new level of interactivity with your dashboards.
Actions are generally assigned to buttons that can be added to your dashboard to trigger internal or external events, push and pull data (to and from applications), or perform custom workflows when clicked on. For example, you can add a button to move to the next sub tab on a dashboard using out-of-the-box actions, or push a lead record into an external Sales CRM application.
Using Yellowfin as an example, dashboards actions that are often offered out-of-the-box and can be assigned to a button include:
- Next sub tab: Navigates the user to the next tab within the same dashboard.
- Previous sub tab: Navigates the user to the previous tab within the same dashboard.
- Reset filters: Allows users to clear filter selections, or in case default values are set, then reset filters to their default values.
- Reset dashboard: Refreshes the dashboard by clearing any user interactivity performed on it, as well as removing all applied filters.
- Go to report: Navigates users to a specified report. This report can be specified by providing its report UUID.
- Go to sub tab: Navigates to any sub tab in the same dashboard, where the sub tab is specified by its order number. For example to jump to the forth sub tab, enter 4 in the sub tab # field.
- Go to URL: Navigates to an external link or page using the specified URL. You can also choose to open the new link in a new tab or window or in the current window.
Understanding how each of these actions can improve the way your users interact with and act on data on their dashboards is key to ensuring a consistent, valued dashboard experience for all.