A few releases ago Einstein Analytics introduced pages as a beta feature, however, in Summer 18 this will be generally available. This also means that we will be able to have up to 20 pages on a dashboard, where we during the beta period only had 5. You may be wondering why should you use pages, why not just create a few more dashboards. While you can create more dashboards I think pages are brilliant for:
- increasing dashboard performance where you have many steps as each page will only fire off steps on that page,
- guide the data story by focusing on what’s most important and allowing to drill down in stories,
- ensure a compact dashboard which is easier embedded onto record pages in Salesforce.
So how can you use pages? There are some cool examples out there on how to use pages and especially this video inspired me to step up my game. So let’s have a look at some tips that can be used when you want to use pages.
How to create pages
Before I dive into my top tips when using pages it’s worth having a look at how you create pages though It’s pretty straightforward. When you are viewing your dashboard in the dashboard editor click on the drop-down arrow and click “Add Page” – note that I am using a developer org that still runs on Spring 18, which is why pages are still in beta.
You know need to name your new page and click “Add”. I’ve named my first page “Open Oppty” as this will expand to show my open opportunities in full view.
Next, I need to follow the same steps to create a page for my won opportunities. But instead of clicking the drop-down arrow I will click the plus sign.
I now have three pages in my dashboard editor, which I can use to tell my data story. I can click on the drop-down for “Untitled” to rename the page to something that makes a little more sense – I will call mine “Home”. As you can see, I already have a few widgets on my home screen.
In order to move or add a single widget or a whole container to a page click on the element you want to move or add and click “Move/Add”.
In my case, I want to add the whole container to my “Open Oppty” page. So I will click on the name of the page (I could choose several pages) followed by clicking “Apply”.
And now you will see how the whole container is added to the “Open Oppty” page and you can continue adding more elements to this page as well as modifying all the pages to create a unique user experience.
Tip 1 – know your dashboard
Before you get started with creating your dashboard which will be using pages I recommend you have an idea of how you want to do with the pages. If you decide as you go it make take some extra effort moving widgets around and adjusting the design, which can become quite time-consuming. So the number one tip is to understand the design you want to achieve.
Tip 2 – adjust the number of columns
The second tip is closely related to the first tip. Once you decide on the way you want to use pages adjust the columns to match this. If you want a thin bar to the right make sure to adjust the column to have the width you had in mind. If you change this in the end then it’s a lot of effort to change how many cells your widget goes across as when the cells are wide it will be less than if your cells are thin. So you want to change the number of the columns as the very first thing. You can do this by clicking the gear icon and change the properties to the right. If I want a thin bar to the right I will choose 50 columns and change the cell spacing to 4.
These setting will allow you to create a thin hide and expand bar that can show more details as seen below.
Tip 3 – use graphical symbols
I’m sure you have seen symbols when working in word or other text editing tools. If not I am sure you have used emojis and symbols writing text messages to your friends. Well, you can use the same symbols in Einstein Analytics as icons in your links. I especially use the arrows to signal hide and expand functionality within my dashboard. Have a look at this page for inspiration on different arrows you can add to your page and when you have found that is just right simply copy and paste the symbol into a link widget. Make sure to adjust the background and text color of the link widget as well as change the “Link To” to “Page in Layout” and choose the correct page.
One the individual pages, if you are using the same link widget as you have on the home page, make sure to unlink the widget so you can change the page that the link is referring to by clicking “Unlink” in the warning and update the page reference.
When the pages are fully set up with the links and adjustment of widget it should look something like this.
Tip 4 – use images as links
So when you are adding your links to your page you may not always want to use arrows or other symbols, maybe you want to have an icon as a link. This could be if you want to show an overview of different brands or different roles. Well, a link widget cannot contain an image and the image widget cannot be a link, so we have to be a little creative. Instead of using an image widget we will add a container widget to our dashboard.
The container widget can have a background defined so we will choose to upload an icon. Play around with the image scale and alignment to make sure it looks great on your dashboard. Since I have a dark theme I will also adjust the background of my container widget.
Once you have your icon as you want it you can now place a link widget in the container with the background. Remove the button text, so that it’s blank and define the page you want the link widget to refer to.
The next step is to make the white box transparent. So find the background color and click “Custom” now drag the transparency slider from the right to the left to make it 100% transparent.
Make sure to do the same to the border color and you know have an icon that acts as a link.
Tip 5 – bubble background
If you want to have several different bubbles or another shape that can be expanded that is possible too. We will build on the other examples from this blog.
So drag a container widget onto your dashboard canvas. Once it’s there it’s time to add a background to your container, so make sure you have the circle or another shape you want ready to use and adjust the properties as we did in Tip 4.
Now you are ready to add your chart widgets and link to the bubble container. For the widgets within the bubble make sure to make their background transparent by choosing a custom background color and drag the transparency bar all the way to the left as we did in Tip 4.
Oh, but remember!
Though with Summer 18 you can create up to 20 different pages, be careful by maxing it out and using all 20 pages. It may be fun to use pages and create many different options for your end user but you still want to remember
- too many options will confuse the end user, the focus should always be on user-friendliness, so test your new dashboard with pages out on a colleague.
- the more pages you use the more pages you need to maintain. So though you can easily modify the same dashboard to multiple departments you will still need to maintain it, meaning less may be a lot better for you.
Other than that play around with pages and if you create something cool I would love to see it.