Your home dashboard is the first screen you see when logging in. It can either be a mundane place that adds little value to the system, or it can be designed to provide you with a tailored overview, so you can start your day off with the knowledge you need.
Usually most of the screen real-estate on the home dashboard is taken up by portlets. Portlets are these windows here that provide you with a quick view into your business, and right now I only have a few. I have this Quick Search here on the left, followed by Reminders, then Settings which is being cut off by the bottom of my screen. On the right I have Shortcuts which we looked at in the previous video. In order to demonstrate how to setup a dashboard it’s easiest if I clear mine. I’ll remove each of these by hovering over the hamburger icon, which is this icon with three lines, and select remove. I cannot remove Settings because it is a special type of portlet, but I can collapse it by double clicking on the blue title bar if I want. You can actually collapse any of these though, not just Settings.
Let’s go ahead and start adding content back. If we click Personalize, here in the upper right, we get a drop down window where we can add things back to our dashboard. On the left hand side we have horizontal style grouping tabs that show what’s available and what’s currently used. Standard Content contains more options than any of the other groups, and is kind of the catch all for content options. Portlets are listed alphabetically, but they are in two rows which can make this seem a bit chaotic. We can add multiple calendars from here, to allow us to see at a glance resource or people scheduling. We can add key performance indicators, or meters and scorecards associated with them, if we are interested in business metrics. We can add lists and searches, including tasks we have to complete. We can add RSS feeds to incorporate other data sources into NetSuite. With the help of a developer we can even add Custom Portlets to display almost anything we can think of. Of course, there is more here we didn’t cover, but these are some of the most popular options.
Under the Report Snapshot tab, we have up to ten report snapshots we can add. We can use existing reports to show how the business is doing, and we can do this directly on the first screen we see when we login. Trend Graphs allow us to see a more visual representation of how business is going, and we have five of these available. The SuiteApps tab is empty, but that is because we do not have any SuiteApps, bundles, or other add-ons that have portlets we can add. Lastly, we have this Currently Used tab, and this shows us what we currently have displayed on our dashboard. Right now, the only thing we have is Settings, but if we checked this later we would see a lot more.
To add content back, all we have to do is, click the appropriate icon. Let’s add a Calendar, a KPI Meter and the Key Performance Indicators. Scrolling to the right, let’s also add an RSS/Atom Feed, the Reminders, and Shortcuts. Now that we have the content we want, we can close the Personalize Dashboard window with the X in the upper right hand corner. We’ll take a look at what we just added in a moment.
For the most part, NetSuite just throws portlets in, in the order you select them. Sometimes this is okay, but more often than not you will want to arrange these in an order that makes sense to you. This is easy to do by clicking on the blue title bar, and dragging each one where you want it. When I initially configure my screen, I find it helpful to collapse all the portlets first by clicking on their title bar, then move them. I will go ahead and get this laid out in a logical order now.
Now that this is laid out in an order than makes sense, we can take a look at customizing what we see. Reminders and Calendars are similar, in that they both tell us things we need to do, so I have these listed at the top. Right now, we only see a few reminders, however if we hover over the hamburger icon, which again is this icon with three lines up here on the right, we can modify the reminders settings. Clicking on Setup allows us to add or remove reminders by clicking on them in the left or right hand pane. We can find more in the list, or we could search for them using the Search dialog box at the top. We can also reorder the ones we have showing by clicking and dragging. If you want to see the title of a reminder even if you don’t have any tasks for it, for example, if you have zero bills to pay but you still want to see the reminder, then you can click on the zero results checkbox. Let’s click Save and we are taken back to the dashboard with our changes.
The Calendar shows us what we have coming up today, this week, or this month; or we can see an agenda view. We can go to Setup to change any of these settings we want, but we will not go through them in this video. I’m in agenda view now, but let’s look at a day view. We can scroll between days using the less than and greater than arrows. You can always get back to the current day by clicking on the Today button. Like many calendaring systems we can click on a blank space to add an event, call or task; I’ll click cancel for now. We can hover over the time or meeting title to get more details, and we can click on the time or meeting title to be taken to the corresponding event, call or task. Much like other links, we can also right click and open these in a new tab. We could also display an entirely different calendar, such as one for a coworker or resource, by using this dropdown menu. The truth is, most people use Outlook or another mail or scheduling application to manage their calendar. NetSuite offers the ability to integrate with some of the more popular platforms using a few different methods or third party services. While this is beyond the scope of this course you should know that it is possible, and it’s a great way to help minimize the number of systems you need to go between.
I’m going to collapse the reminders and calendar now, so we can take a look at the KPI meter, and the Key Performance Indicators, without the need to scroll. Key performance indicators, which are often abbreviated as KPIs, are metrics into how your business is doing based on a variety of data. The KPI meter and Key Performance Indicators are closely related items since they both provide a different view into the same or similar metrics. The meter here on the left, is kind of like a speedometer in a car. It gives you a quick, at a glance, view of a single metric to see how the business is doing. This compares data from one time period or date range to another period or date range. This way you can see if a specific metric is going up, down or staying the same. You could compare a time period of a month to a time period of a week, as an example, but usually you will compare time periods that are equivalent or roughly equivalent, so month to month or year to year.
Right now, we are looking at our open case metrics, but we could just as easily change this to look at a different piece of data. For example, I can choose sales, and we see this meter change. If we hover over our hamburger menu we have some additional options. We can print this chart, or save it in a few different formats, so we could share it, or embed it in a presentation. At the top we have our ever present Set Up option. If we click this, we get a view into how the meter is being calculated. Right now, we see that the snapshot is of Sales, and the comparison is between this fiscal half and the next fiscal half; so we are doing a forward looking projection. We could change either of the time period ranges with this dropdown menu. We could also select highlighting options based on a threshold provided here. I will leave these settings alone for now.
One of the counterparts to the KPI meter is the Key Performance Indicators Portlet; located over here to the right. We can see both the Sales and the Cases we were looking at earlier, but we can see them at the same time over here. We also see a few more metrics as well. The period links here drill down to the report that is generating the data for the KPI. We can right click on these and open them in a new tab, the same as we have for other links, but I’m not going to do this now. If we hover over any of these lines, we have the option to refresh it with this circular icon, or click on this graph icon and get a trend graph for the indicator. You can change how this trend graph looks if you want. If we want to change the KPIs that are displayed, or their date ranges, we need to go to the setup menu, found over here.
In this window, we can do things like change the order of the KPIs by dragging the dominos around. We can remove the ones we don’t need by clicking the X, on the right-hand side. We can change the ranges for one or more of these by selecting the range, and compare range, options in the dropdown menus. We can change highlighting and the highlighting threshold the same as we can for the meter. We can add custom or standard KPIs using the buttons here. We also have this subtab where we can modify how the popup trend graphs look. There is a lot more in this window to cover than we have time for. You can always explore this on your own, with the help of the support articles provided by NetSuite. The last video in this chapter provides information about using the help center.
If you want to change the date ranges for your KPIs temporarily, you can do this using the Viewing option here. This does change the date for more than just the KPIs though, it actually changes it for everything listed here, but it’s easy to change back. For example, I can choose a different date range and click done. I can review my corresponding portlets, and when I’m done I can simply change this back to Portlet date settings. I’ll go ahead and collapse these now, so we can look at the last two items we added earlier.
Shortcuts is the same as what we looked at earlier, and should be familiar if you watched the previous video in this chapter. Basically, this portlet provides links to places inside and outside of NetSuite, and is similar to, and linked to the Shortcuts menu in the menu bar. Since we covered this earlier in the course, we will not cover it here, but you can always go back and watch that video.
This RSS Atom feed, which in our case is titled MarketWatch.com, is a link to articles stored outside NetSuite. RSS, which stands for Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication depending on who you ask, is a method to allow for easy content sharing. Here, it is used to embed information from one site, in this case Market Watch, into another site, in this case NetSuite. Basically, this allows you to view things, like financial headlines, which we are viewing now, directly on your dashboard. You can click on any of these links and you will be taken to the corresponding article, but you are taken in the same browser window you are currently in. I usually right click on these and select open link in a new tab, so I don’t lose access to NetSuite. You can also click any of these links to email the article, save it, or share it on Digg or Facebook.
Like most other portlets there is also a Setup menu for this one, let’s go there now. From here we can select the source for the feed, from a list provided, or even select a Custom Source, and provide our own URL for the RSS feed. We can also select the number of links to show, and if we want to show any details for the links, if there are any to display. I’ll go ahead and click cancel for now, because I don’t really care about saving any changes, but I think you understand how to do it.
There are a few more things to mention that are not really specific to any one portlet, but are specific to all of them in general. Most portlets do not refresh on their own. You may have noticed this icon, of a circle with an arrow, when we hovered over the title bar. If we hover over this, we notice that it is titled Refresh, and that is exactly what it does; it refreshes the data. There are some portlets that refresh their data each time the home screen is loaded, others that refresh when NetSuite is loaded, and still others that only refresh once a day.
Right now, I have my dashboard setup where I have a small column on the left and a large column on the right, and this is usually the default. There are, however, a few other options you have if we click Layout here on the far right. We can flip these so that we have a large column on the left, and a small column on the right. We could also have a three-column layout which is helpful if you have a high resolution monitor, or we could have a single column layout which is helpful on a lower resolution monitor or a tablet in portrait mode. You should choose whichever one makes the most sense to you.
As you may have noticed when we were adding portlets earlier, each time we clicked on an icon, that icon went away and the portlet was added. If I click on KPI Scorecard, you will see the icon disappear. We have a limited number of any given type of portlet, so keep this in mind as you are adding them, or if you can’t find an option you think should be available. If you can’t find an option you think should be available double check to see that you are not already using it. Also it has been my experience that with portlets, less really is more. You usually want to avoid having more than two pages worth, and one page is best.
The last point I want to make is that your administrator can publish a dashboard and overwrite what you have configured. In practice this is rare, but it’s worth making sure your admin knows you have customized yours, so he or she doesn’t do this.
There’s a lot more to learn about customizing a dashboard than we could fit into this video, and we plan to do a course on this soon. Now that you’re a little more familiar with dashboards my recommendation is to work with them a bit and see if you can come up with one that helps streamline your day.
Questions this video will answer:
- 0:03 – How do I get to my home dashboard?
- 0:12 – How can I improve my home dashboard in NetSuite?
- 0:18 – What are portlets in NetSuite?
- 0:38 – How do I remove portlets?
- 0:45 – Why can’t I remove my settings portlet?
- 1:00 – How do I add portlets to my dashboard?
- 1:30 – What are some of the kinds of portlets I can add in NetSuite?
- 1:45 – Can custom portlets be designed in NetSuite?
- 1:55 – What are report snapshots for?
- 2:10 – What is the SuiteApps tab in the NetSuite dashboard customizer?
- 2:30 – How do I add content to the NetSuite dashboard?
- 2:40 – How hard is it to add content to the NetSuite dashboard?
- 3:00 – How do I move my dashboard components around?
- 3:25 – How do I setup my reminders in NetSuite?
- 4:15 – How do I modify my calendar portlet on the NetSuite dashboard?
- 4:25 – What are the different calendar portlet views?
- 4:40 – How do I add calendar events to NetSuite?
- 4:50 – How do I modify calendar events in NetSuite?
- 4:55 – How do I display a different calendar in NetSuite?
- 5:05 – Can I sync my NetSuite calendar to Outlook, Google Mail, Android, iPhone?
- 5:25 – What is the KPI Meter Portlet, and Key Performance Indicators?
- 5:50 – What do the KPI’s display in NetSuite?
- 6:25 – How do I print, export, or share NetSuite KPI’s?
- 6:37 – How do I modify KPI meters in NetSuite?
- 6:50 – How do I change KPI Meter time period comparisons?
- 7:15 – How do I get to the data that is driving my KPI’s?
- 7:30 – Do KPI’s refresh automatically?
- 7:30 – How do I see a graph or chart for my KPI’s?
- 7:45 – How do I move KPI locations?
- 8:30 – How to I see at how my KPI’s looked on a different date?
- 9:00 – How to I work with web site RSS feeds on the NetSuite dashboard?
- 9:30 – How do I view another webpage inside of NetSuite?
- 10:00 – How do I change where my NetSuite RSS dashboard feeds come from?
- 10:30 – Why do some of my portlets not refresh?
- 10:50 – How to I change NetSuite dashboard columns and layout?
- 11:30 – Why are some of my dashboard portlet options missing?
- 11:50 – Can a NetSuite admin change my dashboard?