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Viewing Dashboards

This page describes new Looker dashboards, which are the default Looker dashboards. For information on viewing legacy dashboards, visit the Viewing Legacy Dashboards documentation page.

New Looker dashboards have a fresh, modern look and feel; customizable, user-friendly filters; a new dashboard creation experience and editing flow; and improved performance.

For a complete list of dashboards documentation, see the Dashboards documentation page.

Switching Between Legacy Dashboards and Dashboards

Depending on your permissions and the settings your Looker admin has applied to your Looker instance, you can switch between legacy dashboards and new dashboards through the dashboard menu or the dashboard URL.

Upgrading Legacy Dashboards

You can upgrade a legacy dashboard permanently through the dashboard gear menu or from a folder, or temporarily by changing the dashboard URL.

Upgrading via the Dashboard Menu

If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level to edit a legacy dashboard, you can upgrade it through the gear menu in the top right corner of the dashboard. Select Upgrade Dashboard. This menu option changes the default display of the dashboard.

Upgrading from a Folder

If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level for a folder, you can upgrade one or more legacy dashboards that are stored in that folder at a time.

To upgrade legacy dashboards from a folder that you are viewing:

  1. In the Dashboards section of the folder, check the boxes for the legacy dashboards you want to upgrade.

  2. Select Upgrade.

  3. Looker displays the Upgrade pop-up. To upgrade the selected dashboards, select Upgrade.

For more information on organizing and managing content in folders, see the Organizing and managing access to content documentation page.

Upgrading via the URL

If you don’t have the Manage Access, Edit access level for a legacy dashboard, you can temporarily upgrade it by adding ‑next after dashboards in the dashboard URL. A URL with ‑next after dashboards shows the upgraded dashboard version:

Reverting Dashboards to Legacy Dashboards

You can revert a dashboard to a legacy dashboard permanently through the three-dot dashboard menu or temporarily by changing the dashboard URL.

Reverting via the Dashboard Menu

If you have the Manage Access, Edit access level to edit a dashboard and your Looker admin has enabled the Revert to Legacy Dashboards legacy feature, you can revert it to the legacy dashboard style through the three-dot dashboard menu in the top right corner of the dashboard. Select Revert to legacy dashboard. This menu option changes the default display of the dashboard.

If you don’t see this menu option, check with your Looker admin about your content permissions or about whether the legacy feature is enabled.

Reverting via the URL

If you don’t have the Manage Access, Edit access level for a dashboard, or if your Looker admin has not enabled the Revert to Legacy Dashboards legacy feature, you can temporarily revert a dashboard to the legacy style by removing ‑next after dashboards in the dashboard URL. If you remove the ‑next, you see the legacy dashboard version:

Upgrading and Reverting LookML Dashboards

When you select Upgrade Dashboard or Revert to legacy dashboard from the dashboard menu of a LookML dashboard, Looker displays a window with instructions on how to upgrade or revert the LookML for the dashboard. The window also allows you to copy the LookML you need to make the switch.

To upgrade or revert, you must have develop permission and edit the LookML file the dashboard is based on. The preferred_viewer parameter in the LookML file configures how the dashboard is rendered. To upgrade, add preferred_viewer to the dashboard file header and give it a value of dashboards-next. To downgrade, give preferred_viewer a value of dashboards.

Anatomy of a Dashboard

Each dashboard contains several elements.

Navigation Breadcrumb

A navigation breadcrumb appears at the top left of the dashboard, indicating the enclosing folder for the dashboard. Click the breadcrumb to be taken to the enclosing folder.

Dashboard Title and Favorite Indicator

The dashboard title and the heart-shaped favorite indicator appear at the top left of the dashboard.

The dashboard favorite indicator shows whether you have marked the dashboard as a favorite. If the dashboard is marked as a favorite, the heart icon is colored solid purple. You can also favorite or unfavorite directly in the dashboard by clicking on the heart.

Dashboard Filters

Dashboard filters appear below the dashboard title. There are a variety of filter controls that you might see. They can be displayed as inline, popover, or overflow filters. For popover and overflow filters, clicking on the filter value or the More button will reveal the full filter control.

Dashboard Last Updated Indicator

This indicator appears at the top right of the dashboard and shows how recently the data on the dashboard has been queried from — in other words, “refreshed” from — the database. It appears when the data for all dashboard tiles has been refreshed at approximately the same time.

When dashboard tiles have been updated at different times, the last updated indicator no longer appears in this position; instead, each tile contains its own indicator in the tile three-dot menu. For more information, see the Updating Data on Dashboards section.

Reload Data Icon

Clicking the circular reload data icon updates the data on the dashboard.

This is often useful after filters have been changed, added, or removed. In those circumstances, the icon becomes an Update button.

If Run on load is disabled for the dashboard, when a dashboard is opened the icon becomes a Load button, which you must click to load the dashboard’s data.

Filters Icon

Clicking the filters icon allows you to collapse or expand the filter pane and hide or reveal all filters. When the filter pane is collapsed, an indicator appears next to the filters icon that shows the number of filters on the dashboard.

To expand a collapsed filter pane and reveal the filters, click the filters icon again.

The filter pane defaults to expanded. Dashboards do not save the collapsed state of the filter pane.

Three-Dot Dashboard Menu

The three-dot dashboard menu provides options (depending on your permissions) to clear cache and refresh, edit the dashboard, get LookML, revert to the legacy dashboard, download the dashboard, schedule dashboard delivery, add the dashboard to a board, or delete the dashboard. You must have the Manage Access, Edit access level for the dashboard, or be a Looker admin, to see the options to edit the dashboard, revert to the legacy dashboard, or move the dashboard to the trash.

Dashboard Tiles

Each dashboard tile represents a query or Look that can be explored further.

Alerts

If given permission by your Looker admin, you can use the bell icon at the upper right of a tile to create or follow an alert on the tile. A numeric indicator will show how many alerts you are permitted to view on that tile.

Tile Three-Dot Menu

Depending on the permissions given to you by your Looker admin, each tile’s three-dot menu provides the options to:

The three-dot menu may also show when the tile’s data was last refreshed from the database, if the tiles on the dashboard have been refreshed at different times.

Drilling into Data Points

You can hover over some regions or points in a tile’s visualization to view more details about the data.

To go deeper, you can click on a region or data point and, depending on the underlying data, an Explore overlay may open automatically, allowing you to drill down into that data point. In table visualizations, data points that you can drill into show a dotted underscore when you hover over them. For example, consider the following tile:

If you click on 838 on the above tile, an Explore overlay appears that gives you information about all 838 orders that are shipped. The overlay also displays any filters applied, either from the original tile query (in this case, orders created date is in the last seven days) or as a result of your click (in this case, order item status is shipped):

You can click Explore in the top right to navigate to an Explore page containing this data, where you can explore the data more.

You can click Download in the top right to download the data in the Explore window.

Depending on the underlying data and the permissions given to you by your Looker admin, you may also be able to drill down further directly in the Explore overlay. Drillable data points show dotted underscores when you hover over them. Click on the data point to open a menu with your drilling options.

Drill Menu

Depending on the underlying data and the permissions given to you by your Looker admin, clicking on a data point in a tile may open the drill menu, which gives you options to drill into the data in various ways.

For example, say you want to know more about sweater orders in July. Click on the sweaters bar in the July stack to open the drill menu for sweater orders in July:

If you click Show All 418 under Explore in the drill menu, an Explore overlay appears that gives you information about all the sweater orders in July.

If you click one of the entries under one of the Drill into… headings, you can slice and dice the data in various ways.

You can drill into different timeframes for the month of July, using the options under Drill into 2020-07. A drill overlay will appear with all clothing orders organized by the timeframe you chose. Here’s what the drill overlay for by Created Week looks like:

You can also drill into sweater orders by clicking by Item Name under Drill into Sweaters. A drill overlay will appear with orders for each individual sweater style broken out by month:

In some instances, you must use right-click to open the drill menu:

Links

Your Looker developers may have added clickable links to your data, which appear in the drill menu under a Links heading. In table visualizations, the presence of a link is indicated by an ellipsis following the data in a field.

In the example above, clicking the Google Search option takes you to a Google search for the keyword “tops & tees”.

Data Actions

Your Looker developers may have added data actions to the dimensions or measures in your data. With data actions, you can perform tasks with other tools directly from Looker, such as sending an email or setting values in other applications. These data actions appear in the drill menu under an Actions heading:

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.

Temporarily Changing Filter Values on Dashboards

Looker dashboards can have one or more filters that affect one or more of the tiles. Filters appear at the top of the dashboard (if a More button appears at the top of your dashboard, you can click it to see all filters). Dashboard filters can be formatted using a variety of controls that you can interact with in different ways.

You can temporarily change dashboard filter values to see how the data changes by clicking on the different options or selections shown in the filter. You will not affect anyone else’s filter results by changing the filter values temporarily using this method.

For example, many dashboards have a filter that specifies a timeframe to include:

If you would like to see a different timeframe, click on Last 7 Days to display a drop-down menu of preset range options.

You can click More to see additional options:

If you select the Custom tab, you can set any date range you want:

Once you have edited the filter as you like, click the Update button to see how the filter value changes will affect your data:

If you change a filter value and any tiles do not update, the filter may not currently apply to those tiles. To adjust which tiles a filter applies to, you must edit the filter.

When you type a filter value for a text dimension, Looker preserves any leading or trailing spaces. For example, creating a filter that contains the text ” pants” would not match values that did not contain the leading space, such as “pants and leggings”. However, the filter would match any values that contained the space before the word pants, such as “parachute pants”.

If you copy and paste a value into a text filter, however, leading and trailing spaces are trimmed as part of the copy and paste process.

Alternatively, you may want to make changes to filters that affect what other people see, such as:

In that case, you must select Edit dashboard from the three-dot dashboard menu, edit the dashboard filter itself, and then save the dashboard with your edits. Everyone who has access to the dashboard will see the updated version you saved.

Creating Cross-Filters on Dashboards

If the Cross-filtering Labs feature is enabled and cross-filtering is turned on for a dashboard, you can create cross-filters on dashboards by clicking data points within the dashboard, which then filter the rest of the dashboard by those data points. To learn more about cross-filtering, see the Cross-Filtering Dashboards documentation page.

Updating Data on Dashboards

Looker dashboards aren’t static snapshots of data from a specific time. Dashboards pull data from your live database, and you can update the data on a dashboard at any point. Additionally, if you make edits to a dashboard’s filters, you need to update the dashboard to apply those edits.

If the data for all tiles on the dashboard has been refreshed from the database at roughly the same time, the top right of your dashboard shows how recently the data was updated:

If data has been refreshed from the database at different times for different tiles, you can see when each tile was last refreshed in the tile’s three-dot menu.

If you want to manually update the data on a dashboard, you have several options:

  1. Click the circular reload data icon. In most cases, this is the best option for updating all of your dashboard’s data. This will apply any changes made to dashboard filters; and, depending on the cache settings for your data, this updates the dashboard with any updated data in the cache or refreshes the data for each tile from the database.
  2. Select Clear cache and refresh from the three-dot menu in the upper right of the dashboard. This refreshes the data for all tiles on the dashboard from the database and resets the data cached for the dashboard.

Using the dashboard-level Clear cache and refresh option on a dashboard that contains many tiles, or tiles built on very large queries or Looks, can cause a strain on your database.

  1. If you want to refresh the data of only a few tiles on your dashboard, it may be faster and less load on your database to use the Clear cache & refresh option in those tiles’ three-dot menus, which refreshes the data for individual tiles from the database and resets their cached data.

Getting the LookML from a Dashboard

If you have the see_lookml permission, the dashboard menu displays an option to Get LookML:

To get the dashboard LookML or aggregate table LookML for a dashboard, select Get LookML from the dashboard’s three-dot menu and choose the Dashboard tab or the Aggregate Table tab.

Getting Dashboard LookML from a Dashboard

To get the dashboard LookML for a dashboard, select the Dashboard tab in the Get LookML window:

You can then select Copy to Clipboard to copy the dashboard LookML and use it to create a LookML dashboard.

Getting Aggregate Table LookML from a Dashboard

To get the aggregate table LookML for your dashboard tiles, select the Aggregate Tables tab in the Get LookML window:

Aggregate table LookML is used to define aggregate tables, which make use of Looker’s aggregate awareness logic to optimize the number of queries made on large database tables. This can improve query and dashboard performance.

To learn more about how to use the LookML generated through the Get Aggregate Table LookML option, see the aggregate_table documentation page.

Viewing the LookML for a LookML Dashboard

If you have the see_lookml permission, you can go to the LookML for a LookML dashboard by selecting the Go to LookML option from the dashboard menu:

When you select Go to LookML, Looker navigates to the dashboard file in which the LookML dashboard is defined.

Pinning Dashboards to Boards

You can pin dashboards to boards by:

Downloading Data from a Dashboard

Looker admins can see important information about downloading dashboards on the Managing Business User Features documentation page.

If your Looker admin has given you the download_with_limit or download_without_limit permission, you can download the data from a dashboard or from individual dashboard tiles.

To download the entire dashboard, select Download from the dashboard’s three-dot menu.

This opens a dialog box that allows you to select PDF or CSV as your download format.

Downloading a Dashboard as a PDF

To enable users to download dashboards as PDFs, admins of customer-hosted Looker deployments must install the appropriate version of the Chromium renderer. Admins can read more about Chromium on the Managing Business User Features documentation page.

You can download your entire dashboard as a PDF, which means you will get a PDF image of the dashboard title, any dashboard filters, all the dashboard tiles, and the time zone the dashboard was run in. The PDF will also include a timestamp showing when the dashboard was downloaded.

To download a dashboard as a PDF follow these steps:

  1. Select PDF from the Format drop-down menu.
  2. Select an option from the Paper Size drop-down menu. The Fit Page to Dashboard option is the default; it sizes the PDF to match the layout of the dashboard on the screen. Other paper size options size the PDF to match a standard paper size and fit the dashboard within it. Depending on the layout of the dashboard, large visualizations or groups of overlapping tiles may need to be resized to fit on a given page size.

  3. If you select something other than Fit Page to Dashboard in the Paper Size drop-down, an Orientation option appears. You can choose to orient the dashboard in portrait or landscape position.
  4. Select or leave unselected Expand tables to show all rows. If you select this option, for dashboard tiles that use table visualizations, the PDF will show all the rows available in the table visualization, not just the rows displayed in the dashboard tile thumbnail. If you do not select this option, only the rows that are seen in the thumbnail without scrolling will appear on the PDF. Dashboard and query filters will still apply, as will visualization settings such as row limits, column limits or settings made with the Limit Displayed Rows option.

  5. Select or leave unselected Arrange dashboard tiles in a single column. If you select this option, the PDF displays dashboard tiles in a single vertical column. If you do not select this option, the dashboard tiles appear as they are arranged in the dashboard.

  6. Click Open in Browser to see an image of the PDF in a new tab of your browser. From there, you can opt to download the PDF using your browser’s controls.
  7. Click Cancel if you no longer want to download the dashboard.
  8. Click Download to initiate the download. A new tab in your browser will open showing the status of your download.

Downloading a Dashboard as CSVs

You can download all the query tiles from your dashboard as a zipped collection of CSV files. Text tiles are not included in the ZIP file. To download your dashboard as a collection of CSV files, follow these steps:

  1. Select CSV from the Format drop-down menu.
  2. Click Cancel if you no longer wish to download the dashboard.
  3. Click Download to initiate the download your zipped CSV collection.

Downloading Data from Dashboard Tiles

To download the data from a query tile, click the three-dot icon on the tile and select Download:

This opens a dialog box with several options:

See the Downloading Data documentation page for more information about the options available to customize your data download.

You cannot download the data from dashboard tiles based on merged results queries, but merged results tiles are included if you download a dashboard as a PDF or as a collection of CSV files.

Keyboard Shortcuts When Viewing Dashboards

To see the keyboard shortcuts you can use when viewing dashboards, visit the Keyboard Shortcuts in Looker documentation page.

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