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Creating user-defined dashboards

As of Looker 7.18, you cannot create legacy dashboards from scratch. Dashboards must be created using Looker’s new dashboard experience, which is described on this page.

If your Looker admin has enabled the Revert to Legacy Dashboards legacy feature, you can create a dashboard and then permanently revert it to a legacy dashboard.

Creating a dashboard from a folder

To create a dashboard from a folder:

  1. Navigate to a folder where you’d like the dashboard to be located.
  2. Click the New button at the top right of the folder.
  3. Click Dashboard.

From there, a Create Dashboard window appears:

  1. Enter a name for your new dashboard.
  2. Click Create Dashboard.

Next, your new blank dashboard appears. From there, you can add tiles or text by entering edit mode. Enter edit mode by selecting Edit dashboard from the dashboard menu or by clicking the Edit Dashboard button in the center of the dashboard pane.

Creating a dashboard from a Look or an Explore

To create a dashboard from a Look or an Explore:

  1. Navigate to a Look or an Explore.
  2. Select Save to Dashboard from the gear menu.

This opens an Add to a Dashboard window:

  1. Select the folder in which you’d like the dashboard to be located.
  2. Click the New Dashboard button.

This opens a pop-up window where you can name your new dashboard:

  1. Enter a name for your new dashboard.
  2. Click OK.

Next, you will see the new dashboard in your Add to a Dashboard window:

From there, you can select the new dashboard and add the query as a query tile or, if you are working from a Look, as a Look-linked tile.

If you exit the Add to Dashboard window without saving the Look or query to the dashboard, you will have still created the dashboard; it will simply be blank.

Adding tiles and text to a dashboard

Once you create a dashboard, the next step is to add tiles and text to the dashboard.

As you add tiles to a dashboard, Looker automatically sizes them and places them at the bottom of the dashboard, but you can move and resize tiles however you like. You can also edit tiles after you’ve created them to adjust the names of the tiles, the visualizations, or the underlying queries or Looks.

Think about the number and complexity of tiles and other elements that you add to a dashboard. More elements require more browser resources, which increases dashboard rendering time. If rendering becomes an issue, consider creating multiple dashboards with fewer elements.

Types of dashboard tiles

There are three kinds of tiles you can add to a dashboard:

Query tiles

Query tiles can be built directly within a dashboard or added to a dashboard from a Look or Explore.

A query tile is based on an independent query, one that is not linked to a Look. The query underlying a query tile belongs to the dashboard. Even if you use an existing Look to create a query tile, the Look is only used during the creation of the query tile. The tile is unaffected by any later changes to that Look, and still exists on the dashboard even if the Look is deleted.

When possible, use query tiles to avoid cluttering your folders with unnecessary Looks.

Look-linked tiles

Look-linked tiles are added to a dashboard from a Look.

A Look-linked tile links the tile’s underlying query to a Look. That Look is used when creating the tile and every time the dashboard is refreshed. The Look and the dashboard must be in the same folder. If you want to add Looks from a different folder, first copy the Look into the same folder as the dashboard.

A Look-linked tile is a good choice if you want to create, change, and test a query in one place but use it in multiple dashboards. If the Look changes, any tiles linked to that Look change. If the Look is deleted, dashboards show an error for the tile.

Text tiles

Text tiles are built directly within a dashboard.

You can use text tiles to define visual sections on a dashboard and to add descriptions. Text tiles in dashboards are designed to have flexible formatting and to default to look more like headings and descriptions than tiles.

You can use some HTML and a subset of the Markdown markup language in text tiles.

Building query tiles within a dashboard

If you’re in a dashboard, you can build a query tile from inside the dashboard.

Once in the dashboard’s edit mode, you can either:

Next, Looker displays a menu of Explores. Choose an Explore to build your query:

Looker opens the Explore window to let you build your query:

  1. Give your query a name. This will be the name of the tile on the dashboard.
  2. Select the fields and filters for your query.
  3. Configure your visualization options.
  4. Once you have set up your query, click Run.
  5. Click Save to save the query as a tile on your dashboard.

When adding a dashboard tile that contains a funnel chart or a timeline chart, you may notice that the charts look different on the dashboard tile than they do in the Explore window. Additionally, map charts’ tooltips function differently when viewed on dashboard tiles. For more information, visit the funnel chart, timeline chart, and map chart documentation pages.

Adding query tiles from an Explore

You can save a query tile to a dashboard directly from an Explore. Once you are in an Explore and have a query that you want to add to the dashboard:

  1. Select Save to Dashboard from the gear menu.

This opens an Add to Dashboard window:

  1. Give your tile a title.
  2. Select the folder the dashboard is located in.
  3. Select the dashboard.
  4. Click Save to Dashboard.

When adding a dashboard tile that contains a funnel chart or a timeline chart, you may notice that the charts look different on the dashboard tile than they do in the Explore window. Additionally, map charts’ tooltips function differently when viewed on dashboard tiles. For more information, visit the funnel chart, timeline chart, and map chart documentation pages.

Adding saved content tiles

If you see a Saved content option in the Add Tile menu, the Add Looks to dashboards legacy feature is enabled on your instance.

The Saved content option allows you to add a tile that is based on saved content (also known as a Look) to a dashboard through the Add Tile menu, rather than navigating to a Look to add it. Visit the Adding saved content to dashboards documentation page for more information about using this feature.

Adding tiles from a Look

You can add both query tiles and Look-linked tiles to dashboards from a Look.

Adding query tiles from a Look

You can save a query tile to a dashboard directly from a Look. Once you have navigated to a Look and have a query that you want to add to the dashboard:

  1. Select Save to Dashboard from the Look’s gear menu.

This opens an Add to Dashboard window:

  1. When you add a query tile from a Look, the tile is given the same title as the name of the Look (which can be edited later).
  2. Select the folder the dashboard is located in.
  3. Select the dashboard.
  4. Click Save to Dashboard.

Any tiles that you add to a dashboard through this method are not connected to the Look you created them from. You can edit the tiles without affecting the Look. You can edit or delete the Look without affecting the tiles.

Adding Look-linked tiles from a Look

You can save a Look-linked tile to a dashboard directly from a Look. However, the Look and the dashboard must be in the same folder.

To add a Look-linked tile to a dashboard (see the Adding query tiles from a Look section for visuals):

  1. Make sure the dashboard and the Look are in the same folder, or copy the Look into the same folder as the dashboard.
  2. Select Save to Dashboard from the Look’s gear menu.
  3. Make sure the folder that contains the Look and dashboard is selected.
  4. Select the dashboard.
  5. Click Add Look to Dashboard.

Any tiles that you add to a dashboard through this method are connected to the Look that you created them from and have the same title as the Look. If you edit the tile, the Look and any other tiles that are linked to that Look are affected. If you edit or delete the Look, the tiles are affected.

When adding a dashboard tile that contains a funnel chart or a timeline chart, you may notice that the charts look different on the dashboard tile than they do in the Look. Additionally, map charts’ tooltips function differently when viewed on dashboard tiles. For more information, visit the funnel chart, timeline chart, and map chart documentation pages.

Adding text

Once a dashboard is in edit mode, you can add text tiles to it by clicking Add Tile from the top left of the dashboard pane and then clicking Text.

This brings up a window where you can add a title, subtitle, and body. All of these elements are optional.

Titles and subtitles support some HTML, including links and images. You can also use some HTML in the bodies of text tiles. However, text tiles converted from original dashboards may not render as expected, especially if the HTML is referencing class names in element tags. To understand how Looker renders HTML, see the HTML sanitization documentation page.

Body text supports a subset of the Markdown markup language. See the Using Markdown in text tiles documentation page for more information about which Markdown syntax is supported in the body text.

Once you save, you will see your text tile at the bottom of the dashboard. It can then be moved and resized just as you would move and resize other tiles.

Adding data actions to tiles

If you have the develop permission for the model that a tile is based on, you can add data actions to that model. Data actions allow dashboard viewers to perform tasks with other tools directly from the tile, such as sending an email or setting values in other applications.

In the example above, the Phone field has a Twilio action. When you click the phone number and select the Twilio action, a Twilio pop-up prompts you to enter a message. Then Twilio sends that message to the phone number.

See the action parameter documentation page for more information.

Adding dashboard filters to a dashboard

The queries underlying dashboard tiles may include filters, but you can also add filters to a dashboard itself, which can affect all tiles or just select tiles. Dashboard filters allow users to narrow a dashboard’s results to only the data they are interested in.

To add dashboard filters, you must have at least one query tile or Look-linked tile on the dashboard. Then, you can add filters by entering edit mode and selecting Filters from the top toolbar:

To learn more about building standard dashboard filters, visit the Adding and editing user-defined dashboard filters documentation page.

To learn about turning on dashboard cross-filters, visit the Cross-filtering dashboards documentation page.

Configuring dashboard settings

The dashboard settings can be accessed at the upper left of the dashboard in the blue toolbar. The default settings when you create a dashboard are:

See the Editing user-defined dashboards documentation page for more information about editing these settings.

Reverting to a legacy dashboard

If your Looker admin has enabled the Revert to Legacy Dashboards legacy feature, you can permanently revert a newly created dashboard to a legacy dashboard once it’s created.

If your Looker admin has not enabled the Revert to Legacy Dashboards legacy feature, you can temporarily revert a newly created dashboard to a legacy dashboard by removing the -next from the dashboard’s URL.

Improving dashboard performance using aggregate awareness

LookML developers may be able to improve dashboard performance by using aggregate awareness. With aggregate awareness, developers can create aggregate tables under LookML explore parameters, which can optimize queries for one or more tiles in a dashboard. The first step is to get the aggregate table LookML, which appears under the Get LookML option in the dashboard three-dot menu. For more information, see the aggregate_table parameter documentation page.

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