How to Create a Dashboard in Salesforce

The Salesforce dashboard allows users to visualize performance and data points from reports and identify trends.

Dashboards in Salesforce are one of the most searched topics, so I decided to write a complete article on how to create a dashboard in Salesforce.

In this Salesforce Dashboards tutorial, I will explain the Salesforce dashboard, salesforce dashboard components, and how to build a dashboard in Salesforce lightning and classic interface.

What is Dashboard in Salesforce

In Salesforce, the dashboard is a visual representation of key metrics and data points from Salesforce reports. Dashboard in Salesforce helps users to identify the organization’s performance, track goal progress, identify trends, and measure areas that need attention.

Using Salesforce dashboards, you can present the Salesforce reports in the form of summarized texts, graphs, and images with the help of dashboard components.

Moreover, you can personalize the Salesforce dashboard according to your needs. You can give it a title, a subtitle, and a footer for additional information. Even you have the option to choose between a light or dark theme to design your dashboard.

Salesforce also has a feature of a dynamic dashboard; go through the complete tutorial on how to create a dynamic dashboard in Salesforce and learn dynamic dashboards in Salesforce.

Salesforce Dashboard Components

In Salesforce dashboards are made up of the components. You can show important information in up to 20 different sections, called components.

Dashboard components are the individual elements that display specific data or metrics in various formats, such as charts, tables, gauges, etc. Each of these components takes data from a report and turns it into a different format type that you prefer or require.

Additionally, the data you see on these dashboards is based on the reports that were last run. So, if you make some changes in the reports, you will not see that change on the dashboard until the reports are run again.

There are commonly four types of widgets in the dashboard component in Salesforce Lightning:

  • Chart: Charts are graphical representations of data.
  • Table: Tables display data in a tabular format, making it easy to view detailed information, such as records, fields, and related data.
  • Text: Text components allow users to add text and instructions to a dashboard.
  • Image: Image components allow users to add images to a dashboard for branding purposes or for visual context.

Furthermore, there are different types of chart and table components in the Salesforce dashboard. If you are creating a dashboard in Salesforce Classic, you will get these components only, not the above-stated ones.

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ComponentDescription
Horizontal Bar ChartDisplay comparisons between categories of data, with each bar representing a category and its length indicating the value.
Vertical Bar ChartSimilar to the horizontal bar chart, but the data display shows the bars in vertical orientation.
Stacked Horizontal Bar ChartDisplay multiple categories of data horizontally on top of each other. Each bar represents a category, and the segments within the bar show different subcategories of that category. Only available in Salesforce Lightning.
Stacked Vertical Bar ChartSimilar to the stacked horizontal bar chart, but the bars are oriented vertically. Only available in Salesforce Lightning.
Line ChartDisplays data points connected by straight lines.
Donut ChartThis is a circular chart with a hole in the center, like a donut. It represents data in segments, and the size of each segment shows the proportion or percentage of the whole.
Metric ChartPresents a single value or metric to provide quick insights into key performance indicators (KPIs) without complex analysis.
Gauge ChartA gauge chart looks like a speedometer or gauge, showing a single value within a range of values.
Funnel ChartFunnel Chart is shaped like a funnel, with different sections representing stages in a process.
Scatter ChartDisplays individual data points as dots on a graph to show relationships between two variables.
Lightning TableA lightning table presents data in rows and columns with the features to group, sort, or filter the data.
Pie ChartA circular statistical graph that is divided into slices to show numerical proportions. Only available in Salesforce Classic.
Visualforce PageVisualforce pages as dashboard components are only available in Salesforce Classic. Visualforce is a markup language used to define and create user interfaces that can be integrated into the Salesforce platform.

You have learned about the dashboard in salesforce, with components and types of dashboards in Salesforce.

How to Create a Dashboard in Salesforce

The creation of a dashboard in Salesforce is available in EssentialsGroup (View Only), ProfessionalEnterprisePerformanceUnlimited, and Developer Editions.

You can even create a dashboard in both the Salesforce Classic and Lightning user interfaces. If you want to learn, go through the complete post:

How to Create Dashboard in Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce dashboards are built upon reports. Before creating a dashboard, you should have at least one report that contains the data you want to visualize.

The following are the steps to create a dashboard in Salesforce Lightning:

1. In the navigation bar, click on the “App Launcher” (grid icon), search, and select “Dashboards”.

salesforce dashboard

2. Click on the “New Dashboard” button to create a new dashboard.

how to create a dashboard in salesforce

3. In the pop-up, enter the following details and click on the “Create” button.

  • Name: In this field, enter a name for your dashboard.
  • Description: Optionally, add a description for your dashboard.
  • Folder: In this folder field, choose a folder where you want to save your dashboard. You can either create a new folder or select an existing one. By default, the “Private Dashboards” folder is selected.
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Let’s suppose you want to represent the distribution of leads by their source. Enter the name of the dashboard as “Distribution of Lead Sources”.

how to create a dashboard in salesforce lightning

4. Click “+ Widget” to add a component within the dashboard.

5. Select the type of component you want to add. The following are the options:

  • Chart or Table
  • Text
  • Image

According to the scenario, select the “Chart or Table” option.’

how to build a dashboard in salesforce

6. Choose the “Report” you want to visualize in the dashboard. In the example, I choose the “Leads by Source” report from the list of reports and click the “Select” button.

creating dashboards in salesforce

7. From the “Display As” option, select the chart or table to display the data from the report and customize the component settings, such as title, footer, value, theme, etc.

After that, click on the “Add” button. For example, select the “Donut Chart”.

salesforce dashboard components

8. Click on the “Save” button to save your dashboard.

9. Click on the “Done” button.

dashboards salesforce

With this, you have learned to create a dashboard in Salesforce Lightning with an example.

Creating a dashboard in Salesforce Classic

Note: Before you can make a Salesforce dashboard, you need to have a report with the data you want to show, so create the Salesforce Report first.

1. From the navigation bar, click on the “Dashboards” option. If you don’t get the option to create a new dashboard, click on the “Go to Dashboard List”.

salesforce dashboard example

2. Click on the “New Dashboard” button to build a dashboard.

dashboard salesforce classic

3. Click on the “Dashboard Properties” button given at the top. Fill up the following details:

Select the “General” section:

  • Title: Enter the name of your dashboard.
  • Dashboard Unique Name: The dashboard unique name gets automatically populated based on the title you entered.
  • Folder: Choose a folder where you want to save your dashboard. To avoid exposing sensitive data to the wrong people, choose a folder visible only to the right users. By default, save in “My Personal Dashboards”.

Select the “Components Settings” section:

  • Title Color: Choose the color of the title text displayed at the top of your dashboard.
  • Title Size: You can set the font size of the title text.
  • Text Color: Choose the color of the text for all the content displayed on your dashboard, such as labels, descriptions, and data values.
  • Background Fade Direction: It controls the direction in which the background color fades or transitions.
  • Starting Color: Setup the initial color used for the chart of your dashboard.
  • Ending Color: Setup the end color used for the chart of your dashboard.

Click the “OK” button to save the details.

Let’s suppose you want to create a dashboard for the report that shows the total expenditure associated with each opportunity. According to the scenario, enter the title of the dashboard as “Opportunity Expenditure”.

Creating a dashboard in Salesforce Classic

4. To select and add the report for which you want to create the dashboard, click on the “Data Sources” tab on the left side. Select the folder in which your report is present, and drag a report to the column windows.

how to create dashboard in salesforce

5. Click on the “Components” tab on the left side, choose the component in which you want to display the data from the report, and drag the component type to the report located on the column windows.

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For example, choose and drag the “Horizontal Bar Chart” component.

salesforce classic dashboard

6. Optionally, if you want to customize the component data and format the data labels, legend position, axis range, etc, of the selected component type, click on the “Edit Attribute” option on your dashboard component.

example of salesforce dashboard

7. To save your dashboard, click on the “Save” button given at the top right side. Again, click on the “Save” or “Save and Run Dashboard” button.

build dashboard in salesforce

With this, you have learned to create a dashboard in the Salesforce Classic user experience.

Salesforce Dashboard Examples

There are multiple scenarios for which you need to create a dashboard in Salesforce. You can easily create the dashboard for any of the scenarios defined in both Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic by following the steps defined above.

Let’s discuss some of the common examples in Salesforce for which you can create a dashboard:

Example:1 Analyze the Different Origins of Cases

Let’s suppose the customer support team wants to analyze the different origins of cases raised by the customers. For example, you want to visulize how many cases that generayed from “Phone”, “Email” or “Web”.

To do so, you decided to create a dashboard with the “Pie Chart” component.

This pie chart represents the distribution of service requests by different origins. Each slice represents a specific source of origin of cases, and the size of the slices shows the total requests received from each origin.

Note: You can create this scenario only on Salesforce Classic, as the Pie Chart Component is only available in the Classic interface.

Let’s have a look at how the dashboard looks with the pie chart component.

types of dashboards in salesforce

Example:2 Excepted Revenue Associated With Each Account Group

Let’s suppose you want to summarize the opportunities grouped by account, showing an overview of the excepted revenue associated with each account group for the previous two FY time frame range.

You can use up the “Line Chart” component to show the variation in excepted revenue. Let’s have a look at how the dashboard looks with the line chart component.

building dashboards in salesforce

With this, you have seen different examples of Salesforce Dashboard with the different types of components used to represent the data points.

Salesforce Lightning Dashboard Examples

You can build up the dashboard in Salesforce Lightning in various cases. Let’s discuss some of the common salesforce lightning dashboard examples.

Example:1 Record Count of Closed Opportunities

Suppose you want to visualize the record count of closed opportunities in Salesforce Lightning. To do so, you decided to create the dashboard with the “Funnel Chart” component of the dashboard.

The funnel chart will have multiple segments, each representing a different opportunity. Moreover, the width of each segment shows the number of closed opportunities; more width means more closed cases in an opportunity.

Each segment is also color-coded, representing different opportunity names. Let’s have a look on the dashboard:

salesforce dashboards

Example:2 Analyze the Performance of Top Accounts

Let’s imagine a scenario where a sales manager wants to track and analyze the performance of top accounts based on the revenue that helps to make business decisions.

You can easily compare these accounts using the “Table Chart” component of the Salesforce dashboard. Let’s have a look at how the dashboard looks in Salesforce Lightning.

create dashboard salesforce

With this, you have seen a few possibilities for using Salesforce Lightning dashboards to visualize the data in Salesforce Lightning reports.

Conclusion

In conclusion, throughout this Salesforce dashboard tutorial, I have covered the creation and setting up of the dashboard in Salesforce.

You have learned the understanding of the salesforce dashboards, different types of dashboards in Salesforce with different dashboardcomponents available in the Salesforce user interface.

Furthermore, step-by-step instructions on how to create a dashoard in both Salesforce Lightning and Salesforce Classic interfaces with example of salesforce dashoard is explained.

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