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Article ID: KB320
Keyword Name: Dashboard, Widget, Reports, Graph, Statistics
Created: March 31, 2017
Viewed: 16740

How to Use the New Dashboard Features - Adding Graphs and Metrics with Drag-and-Drop

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Author: Kristenson, Joel

Last Updated: 2017-03-31


This article walks through the steps on how to add your custom reports as well as pre-build metrics to your dashboard, and how to save your dashboard for future use.  The intent of the dashboard is to push important metrics to you in real-time as well as make it easier to view these stats visually as configurable graphs.

Below are 3 screenshots of an example dashboard:

Img 1 of 3

Img 2 of 3

Img 3 of 3  If there are other dashboard widgets and reports that you would like for your Trail Blazer that we don’t currently have, you can add those upgrade requests through the Comment Box on the Start Page when you first log into your database.  These requests will go directly to our development team, if they get developed, you’ll have access to them for free in a future release:


#1 Create a New Dashboard and Add a Saved List (Query) & View (Format) onto your Dashboard

#2 Add Trail Blazer’s Predefined Metrics with Drag-and-Drop (Ex: Donor Retention & Organization Stats)

#3 Related Resources

#1 - Create a New Dashboard and Add a Saved List (Query) & View (Format) onto your Dashboard (Ex: New Donors this Year)


- Learn about building and saving search queries by reading this article and watching this video

- Learn about building and saving formats by reading this article and watching this video

For this part you’ll need to first build and save a search query and a format (view) to go along with it, in either the Contacts (Donors/Voters) list and/or the Contributions list.  In my example I saved a query for ‘new donors - 2017’ and a format that shows their name, phone, location, and contribution total.

Click on the New Dashboard branch under the Application Menu.

Create a name and click [OK]In my example I called mine Joel’s Dashboard.

A blank dashboard canvass will open like the one below.

Expand the Lists branch under Dashboard and then click-and-drag either the Contacts (Donors/Voters) or Contributions list onto your dashboard and release it.  In my example I dragged the Contacts list (which is where I previously build and saved my query and format).

Click the drop-down next to [Refresh] and select the query you’ve previously saved.  In my example it was called New Donors Year (2017).

The query (list) you select will populate.  Click the [Format] drop-down and select the format (view) you previously saved.  In my example it was called ‘Dashboard #1 – Contact Info and Total Donations’.

Adjust the height and width of the new metric you created, and then click [Save].

Click [OK] once your changes are saved.  The next time you log in these changes will be retained when clicking on your new dashboard under the Application Menu.

You can rename or remove items off the dashboard by right-clicking on the banner to bring up a context menu.  In my example below I renamed my first widget from Contacts to ‘New Donors (2017)’.

Repeat these steps for all Contact (Voter/Donor) and Contribution lists you want to display on your dashboard.  In my example I added three different ones as shown below, and renamed each of the metrics (widgets).

The next section will show you how to use some of the pre-defined dashboard widgets i.e. Donor Retention and Organization Metrics, as well as how to modify each of these options with a variety of pre-build metrics that come with your Trail Blazer database.

#2 - Add Trail Blazer’s Predefined Metrics with Drag-and-Drop (Ex: Donor Retention & Organization Stats)

To add the Donor Retention report, expand the ‘Metrics’ branch, and then click on the ‘Donor Retention’ branch.  This will place the report on your dashboard canvass as shown below.

Click the [Refresh] button on the Donor Retention report to display the graph.

You can adjust the size and placement of the graph on the dashboard canvass, and then click [Save] in the upper-left once you’re satisfied with the results.

The begin adding predefined ‘Organization Metrics’ click-and-drag an instance of the ‘Organization’ branch onto your dashboard canvass and release it.  My example is below.

On your new Organization report click the [Configure] drop-down and select ‘Select Predefined…’.

Make sure the ‘Predefined’ radio button is selected, choose which metric you want to add, and then click [Select]You can check the box for ‘Details’ to see the date in which the metric was created.

In my example I started with the oldest metric that we had which was ‘Contributions – Totals, Counts, Average, Yearly, Qtrly, YTD’.

Below is my example predefined dashboard metric in a ‘grid view’.  Adjust the size and location and save as you go.

You can toggle the view of the metrics to grid, split screen (grid and graph), and graph.  You can also collapse the different widgets you put onto your dashboard by using the collapse button.  My example is below of a metric shown in split screen mode along with a variety of others that are collapsed.

You can configure the metrics further, such as selecting which graph will display.  To change the graph click on the [Chart] drop-down and select ‘Properties…’.

Select which chart/graph you want from the drop-down menu In my example I selected the Pyramid graph.

You can also swap between the different preconfigured ‘chart’ displays by clicking directly on the [Chart] button as shown below.

Continue dragging the different organization metrics onto your dashboard canvass, configure them as desired, modify the height/width, and click [Save] as you go.  My finished example is below.

The next time you log into your database you can click on your saved dashboard(s) under the Application menu and your metrics will refresh.  You can also click the [Refresh] button periodically while you’re logged in.  My example is below.

The related resources below link to a variety of other useful videos and articles related to this topic.  Let us know if you can’t figure out how to build a specific dashboard report or if you have suggestions for others we should provide out of the box.

Related Resources

Article: Creating Formats

Article: Creating Formats for Custom Views and Editing of Your Data

Article: Add Attributes, Attribute Dates, and Attribute Notes to the Grid by Formatting them in as Columns

Article: How to Create a Year-by-Year Giving History Report Using Filtered Contribution Columns in the Grid – Primarily for Nonprofits

Article: Creating and Saving Default Formats for Reporting with the Grid

Article: Querying by Email

Article: Delete Saved Search Queries

Article: Saved Searches – Favorites

Article: SQL Wildcards

Article: Save and Load a Search Query as a Favorite

Article: What Donors Have Increased Giving History Over Last Year

Article: Advanced Queries – the SQL Tab

Article: How to Create a Donor LYBUNT Search Query (Donors Who Gave Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year) and How to Save and Load it as a Search Favorite

Video: Reporting 102 – Quick Reports and Export

Video: Filter Using New Date Controls

Video: Reporting 105 – Pivots – summary reporting

Video: Attributes – Add attribute dates and notes to your lists

Video: Reporting 104 – Joined tables

Video: Reporting 103 – Format with various contribution columns

Video: Filtered Contribution Columns in Format

Video: Favorite – Update and Delete Favorite

Video: Favorites Deleting Saved Queries

Video: Getting Started 104 – Queries with wildcards

Video: Getting Started 102 – Beginning Queries

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