How to use Dashboards and Reports

The major difference between the reports and the dashboards is the outputs, but the module doing the calculations is actually the same. This article highlights the differences in output.

 

When should I use Reports vs Dashboards?

The main difference between Dashboards and Reports are that your Dashboards are personal drag and drop items that are placed on your start view. The Reports can be created as either Public or Personal reports, where the Public reports can be accessed by other Admin users, and the personal users are only available to the user who created them. When you save your report, you can select if it should be Private or not.

The two types of options are also a little bit different in that the dashboards are intended to create a clean good overview, while the reports are for handling heavier data, and working dynamically with the data. It is of course possible to have a large Dashboard of a 3000 line table if that is something the user wants to have, but in most cases large tables tend to be more related to reporting. All the reports can be exported as CSVs.

 

Each Report and Dashboard can also use different types of graphical output, like Line/Bar Charts or PieCharts, and some of these graphical output are better suited for your amount of data also. The Charts are basically very nice for single or maybe dual Dimension presentation, but anything beyond that we recommend you use the tables for, to avoid a lot of cluttered graphical output. This is an example of a good way to show a single dimension (Sites) in a PieChart; showing the distribution of Revenue between the websites:

 

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The Dashboard:

The Dashboard is intended to give the user a good overview of what is happening in the system, using multiple dashboards, that are setup by the user to cover the areas most relevant for that particular user. As such, the Dashboard tends to be more graph heavy, but of course tables can also be used (or a combination of both). As the dashboards are dynamic, and you can change them on the fly, minor changing, without saving; is also a good usage option if you just need a quick additional breakdown.

There is really nothing wrong or right setup wise, but from experience these might be good Dashboards to start with:

  • A revenue graph Dashboard showing revenue per day over the last month.
  • A revenue graph per SSP Dashboard, broken down per day for the last month.
  • A revenue table showing revenue levels per site for the current month. (If you are an programmatic adOps, you maybe want to go even deeper by breaking this down per placement, and have a longer list, but maybe only cover the last 3 days or similar; to catch temporary drops)
  • An Advertiser trend table showing the Top advertisers performance, and how they are currently trending

All of these are just examples, and we encourage you to experiment with your Dashboard setup, so you can get the Dashboards that are most useful to you.

The Reports:

The reports are intended to cover more in-depth reports with a lot of data, or reports that you intend to share in the organization and make public with other users. Just like with the Dashboards, it is very dependent on what tasks you are supposed to fulfil, and no report is really wrong; but these might be good examples of reports, that you might want to work with continuously:

  • An end of month report, showing all the revenue levels per Publisher and per Website; maybe broken down per revenue type also. If you are a programmatic network, this information can also be exported and shared with your finance if they want to send out statements (if you are not using the built in statement generator). By reusing the same report, you can just update the dates, and save, to get an update report every month.
  • A Start to End report, showing the revenue per Publisher per month, since you started working with the tool, so you can always report on a holistic full scale development. By adding a dynamic end date, and a fixed start date, the report will always be up to date, when needed.
  • Large and complex reports in general. Reports that are complex in setups, and that you want to reuse, should be saved, so you don’t have to redo the setup multiple times. 
  • Large Advertiser reports. These reports fits better as tables and lists, so is usually used more through the reports, as a Dashboard can be very large, if folded out. But it can of course also be used through the Dashboard;, if not expanded, and broken down into more “pages”.

Then you of course have the day to day, investigations and optimization reports, that you might don’t want to save, but rather work with on the fly. As these reports may or may not require deep “drill-downs”, they can be quite large, and in most cases it is easier to use the tables and graphs for these, but again; experimentation to find the right setup that fits your purpose is very useful.