Creating The Dashboard

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 @ 01:01

By: Scott Gillis, Lead Consultant – In the post Creating Meaningful Dimensions, we walked through what was needed to aggregate our data for reporting. In this post, I will address getting that data onto the screen for the business to reference.

Setting up new dashboards can only be done via Sitecore Rocks (a user can leverage either the desktop or Visual Studio version.) Due to the need for an additional tool, as well as some other non-standard Sitecore entry steps, a developer or an experienced editor with deep Sitecore knowledge should perform these steps.

  • Login to Sitecore
  • From the launch pad open the desktop
  • Once in the desktop view, you will need to switch to the Core database
  • Launch Content Editor
  • Expand the tree to /sitecore/client/Applications/ExperienceAnalytics/Dashboard
  • Right-click on Dashboard
  • Select Insert -> Insert from Template
    1. You want to pick a /Sitecore/templates/Common/Folder
  • Give the folder a name and assign an icon. The icon will be used in the menu of xAnalytics
    Creating The Dashboard - Image One
  • Open Sitecore Rocks
  • Open the Core database
  • Expand the tree to /sitecore/client/Applications/ExperienceAnalytics/Dashboard
  • Right-click the new folder (created in step 7), Add -> New Item
    1. Search for /sitecore/client/Applications/ExperienceAnalytics/Common/Templates/Branches/Applications/ExperienceAnalyticsReportPage
    2. This OOB branch template provides a child item, PageSettings, and the default style sheet reference via ExperienceAnayltics Stylesheet item
  • Give a name to the page
    1. This will be your opening dashboard page
      Creating The Dashboard - Image Two
  • Change the Browser Title field to match what you want shown in the browser tab area
    Creating The Dashboard - Image Three
  • PageSettings is a folder used to organize all data source elements used by the charts, graphs, and tables on the report page
    1. Right-click on PageSettings, Add -> New Item
    2. In the new item window, search for ExperienceAnalytics, the result set should show a number of items that end in 'parameters'. These items are used to define the data displayed via charts, graphs, and tables
    3. Click on ExperienceAnalyticsBarChart Parameters
  • Give it a name
  • Click OK
    Creating The Dashboard - Image Four
  • Enter value in the Title field, this value will be shown above the bar graph
  • Choose a Metric from the dropdown that represents the value being calculated
    1. For example, we want to pick Page Views to understand how many pages each customer type has visited. (e.g. do those that order coffee end up visiting more pages)
  • (optional) In a complex reporting setup we may want to set the TargetPage field so the user can click through the table to a more detailed viewing of the backing data
    1. This allows us to build out a reporting experience for the user
  • Under Segments, select the segments created in Step 1
  • KeysCount field should be set with number of unique keys that should be shown
    Creating The Dashboard - Image Five

The final steps involve adding the bar chart to our report page and connecting it to the parameter item we've just completed setting. The following steps will continue to be performed in Sitecore Rocks (via the desktop or Visual Studio version.)

  • Launch the presentation details for the item by right-clicking the report page, Tasks -> Design Layouts or selecting it and pressing CTRL+U
  • Click Add Renderings, in the upper left corner of the screen to launch the rendering selector
  • In the search box, enter ExperienceAnalytics. This will filter to the standard report controls
  • Click on ExperienceAnaylticsBarChart
  • Click OK
    Creating The Dashboard - Image Six
  • Double-click on ExperienceAnalyticsBarChart1 to open up the rendering properties
  • Find the row named DataSource, click the three dots to open the selector and pick CustomerTypeBarChart
  • Find the row named PlaceholderKey and confirm the key is Main.Content
    1. If it is not, click the three dots (...) to select the correct placeholder
  • Once everything is defined, click Close
  • Save the layout file
    Creating The Dashboard - Image Seven

Now it's time to see how our customers are performing. Login into Sitecore and, from the launch pad, click Experience Analytics. You'll notice that the left side menu automatically pulls up the folder we created (1) and it displays the assigned icon. Expanding our folder, we should see our custom reporting page (2) and upon selecting it, our bar chart (3).

Creating The Dashboard - Image Eight

Bibliography of Awesome References

As always, feel free to tweet me questions or comments @thecodeattic or on Sitecore Slack Community as @gillissm.



Scott Gillis, Lead Consultant at Paragon and 2017 Sitecore MVP, has been working with Sitecore for several years. He has a deep passion for helping clients leverage their content and data into powerful new capabilities in Sitecore and has produced successful outcomes as the technical lead on numerous, complex implementations. Recently, Scott has been focusing on helping these clients take advantage of the wealth of data collected by Sitecore Experience Analytics.