Dashboards 101

Over the holidays and into the New Year, my son and I played a silly game around the house. We took up the nonsense of talking like the people on an infomercial. We took common, everyday conversation and added exaggerated, boisterous, phrases where we sold each other items around the house for ridiculous prices. One time, I bought a bowl of cereal from him for $19.95 and that didn’t even include processing! Of course, this topic will have to swing toward the field of business intelligence, iDashboards and the New Year. Therefore, we should take a look at what is possible with your dashboards in regards to the New Year.

– Intelligent Dates

Did you know the charts within iDashboards have the intelligent capability to auto-filter data based on the date? The feature is referred to as a “Date Macro”. Macros are a fancy term for Variables. Therefore, Date Macros are fancy date variables. Here’s the idea: A Date Macro for today looks like this: ${ds} or ${currdate}. Translated, both Date Macros really mean “the current date”. But wait, there’s more! You can add a little calculation to those Date Macros to look like this: ${ds-30} or ${currdate-30}. Both of these modifications will look at today’s date, and then go backwards 30-days. You’re probably asking yourself, by now, how can you get one?

Charts can show an accurate 30-day trend line using an intelligent date macro. Create a filter on the chart where the condition looks like this: Date > ${ds-30}. That chart will now display all of the data after 30-days ago.

Now that we’re into a new year, maybe you will find it useful to filter your charts based on 2013 data. Put away those old charts showing data from the past and try one of the Date Macros which recognize the current year. ${curryear} looks at the current year, 2013, and then helps you filter chart data based on that value. Just like the example above, modifiers can be used to go forward, backward, etc. Below is an example of a Date Macro where the chart will only show data from the current year.

There’s virtually no limit to the way users can leverage Date Macros. Order Date Macros today and we’ll double your dashboard functionality…just pay shipping and handling.

Ken Rose – Technical Consultant, iDashboards

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