The Dashboards feature is available in both Countly Lite and Countly Enterprise. However, some components can only be implemented in Countly Enterprise.
At Countly, we know that data is the most important basis for actions to be taken and should not be displayed randomly. Each organization's requirements are different and so are its key metrics and performance indicators. To help with this, the Dashboards feature allows you to create widgets that display the most crucial pieces of information you need to track in fully-customizable dashboards, sharable with the team members of your choice.
The Dashboard feature pulls and consolidates, in one place, information generated through other Countly features that need to be individually deployed in your applications and enabled on Countly. Note that some of such features are available in both Countly Lite and Countly Enterprise, while some are only available in Countly Enterprise.
The table below indicates if a feature appearing in Dashboards must be individually enabled, if one or more of the feature's components are only available in Countly Enterprise, and where you can find more information.
|Feature Name||Must be enabled?||Countly Enterprise only||Documentation|
|Some components||Some components||User Guide|
|Push Notifications||Yes||Yes||User Guide|
|Feedback||Yes||Some components||User Guide|
Benefits of Dashboards
What are some of the reasons that dashboards are important for your business?
- They help you visually manage the complexity of running your company.
- They allow consolidating the information from your organization or department.
- You can display crucial information from all applications (mobile, web, desktop, IoT, etc.) in one place.
- They allow you to get instant access to critical, real-time information.
- They give you a clear picture of how your projects and their KPIs are doing.
- They ultimately help you make product development customer-driven to boost user satisfaction.
For example, if you want to see the crash rate you are currently dealing with in your applications and the affected users, you can simply add a few widgets to your dashboard and see that information instantly and in real-time:
Countly Dashboards depend on several other Countly features to unleash its true potential. Take a look at the Feature Dependencies section and take the appropriate steps to enable the features that will provide the metrics and indicators that make sense for your business.
The Dashboards feature allows you to create as many dashboards as you want, each displaying whichever widgets you wish to include. You can also share your dashboards at will with other Countly users in your organization. However, keep in mind that the other users need certain permissions to access the information in a public dashboard you create. More on this is available in the "Dashboards" row of the Countly Feature Permissions table.
Finally, you must enable the Dashboard feature in order to visualize it in Countly. To do so, in the Sidebar, go to Management > Feature Management, and enable the Dashboards feature toggle.
Applicability and Use Cases
Depending on which events you track and which key metrics are critical for your business, there can be dozens of dashboard layouts to efficiently track your data. We prepared a couple of examples below.
Mobile Application Dashboard Use Case
In this dashboard, you can instantly see how many push notifications you sent from your mobile app are turned into action, the number of fatal crashes, and how many users are lost. In addition to this, you can instantly track how well your app retains users and discover if there are any actions to take.
You can track the usage of your app drilled down by country so you can manage your marketing activities more efficiently. As shown in the example above, this application is very popular in Vietnam; therefore, you can increase your campaign effort in that region.
Web Application Dashboard Use Case
This dashboard shows what is happening on your website, and you can start taking actions aligned with this information.
In this specific example, you can track the type of users who have logged in. You can also keep important success metrics front and center and identify changes over a given period of time. If you see abrupt changes, you can start looking for a reason right away, and correct the course if necessary.
You can also track which pages are most viewed by visitors and if those views are of crucial pages of your website.
Creating a Dashboard
1. In order to create a new dashboard, in the Sidebar, click on the Dashboards icon and then, in the Menu, click + New.
2. The Create new dashboard drawer will open. Here you can define the new dashboard's name and user permissions. You can control if individuals or groups of your team members can make changes on this dashboard and who can only view it.
3. Next, you will see the new dashboard screen. On this screen, from the buttons in the top-right corner, you can:
- Create a new widget.
- Delete or duplicate the dashboard.
- Create an email report for the dashboard
- Edit the dashboard's name and visibility settings.
You can also select the date range for which the information in the dashboard gets shown.
Adding a New Widget
Clicking on + New Widget will let you choose from different widgets types, which are populated from your enabled features. Each widget type has different widget settings that you need to select. Each widget will also have different visualization styles, such as:
- Time Series: see changes in the last day, today, 7 days, 30 days, or a custom date range.
- Bar Chart: most effective view for events, users, and sessions.
- Punchcard: used mostly for times of day, this shows the distribution of data as represented by the intensity of dots over a timed chart.
- Number: most used for real-time data visualization.
- Table: good for viewing a long list of items.
- Pie chart: best for comparing percentual distributions.
- Funnel: shows step-by-step progression.
Remember that many widgets are feature-based and are only visible in Dashboards if the related feature is enabled.
You can either select a single app or multiple apps — in the latter case, you can select up to 4 applications so that those apps can be compared side by side.
After you create your widget you can experiment and change its size and position within the dashboard however you like. Please note that the widgets in the same row will have the same heights. The height of all widgets in the same row must be at least equal to the maximum min-height of the widgets in that row. The height of widgets in the same row is automatically increased to fulfill the aforementioned criteria.
One of the major differences between the old and new UI is that we have removed the following four widget types from the new UI - Time series, Bar chart, Number, and Table. These widget types are now moved under the setting called Visualization. So in the new UI you will have to first select your widget type (Analytics, Push, Crash, etc.), then select the visualization for it (Time series, Bar chart, Number, and Table), and then other widget related settings.
As there are multiple visualization styles for different widgets, you can combine them freely to display data in the way you need.
Let's go over an example for creating a User overview data type for a User Analytics widget.
In the example above consider that:
- App count: As noted in the drawer, when selecting a Single app to draw data from, you will be able to select multiple metrics. However, when you select Multiple apps, you will only be able to select one metric.
- Breakdown: User Analytics only aggregates data as either Online Users, Active Users, or User Overview.
- Visualization: Notwithstanding what's noted in "App count" above, note that even when you select a Single app, you can select up to 3 metrics for in Time Series or in Bar Chart; the Number visualization only allows one metric to be selected.
Sharing a Dashboard with Your Colleagues
Dashboards not only lets you keep track in real-time of all the summarized information you need about your product from a single screen, it also lets you share this information with your colleagues.
In order to share your Dashboard, click on the three-dot ellipsis menu on the top-right, and click Edit. In the Visibility section if you select some specific users, you can set users who can either make changes to your Dashboard, or who can view them without the possibility of making any changes. All you need to do is enter their emails in the fields provided.
Please note that only dashboard creators or global admins can change the dashboard sharing/visibility settings. Global admins can also disable sharing completely for dashboard creators from Management > Settings > Dashboards.
Once you have a clear understanding of which key metrics you are going to track to be more product-focused, choosing the right visualization method using Countly is straightforward. Easy-to-use Countly dashboards provide you with an intuitive way of viewing your business insights — and it’s totally fun, too!
Exploring the possibilities are endless — it will take some time before polishing your best dashboard. However at the end, what you see on your screen will be worth the time!
Countly Dashboards on a TV Screen
There are a few methods to view Countly on a TV, which is then visible for team members to check anytime.
- Connect a simple PC or laptop to your TV. You can connect several monitors, including USB Type-C to your computer. This process is explained here in detail.
- Another method is to use a new generation smart TV, which includes a Chrome browser, either when you buy it or installed afterward. New Samsung and LG Smart TVs are well known in this regard — you can directly install a Chrome browser on most of those smart TV sets, and your chances are higher if they run on Android.
- The third method is similar to the first, with a small enhancement — it’s possible to use a wireless connector between your TV and your computer, like a Chromecast. This small and inexpensive device can easily stream your computer screen to a TV since it is directly plugged into your TV’s HDMI port. For older TVs in particular, this is quite an inexpensive (about USD 35) method of streaming.
When sharing a dashboard, why can't I autofill my colleague's email address?
You may notice that, when sharing a dashboard, the auto-fill functionality for the email input field does not work and you are forced to write the entire email address. This was intentionally restricted by Countly due to data privacy.
Can we visualize the app version adoption in the Countly Dashboard?
Yes, in the latest version of Countly, you can add a new widget based on app version adoption and view the dashboard.