Charts are a great way to visualize information. They let you arrange data in
meaningful ways, allow you to tell a story, and can really catch the reader's
eye. But when dealing with large datasets, visualizing all the data at once can
be somewhere between a tough to impossible mission. You usually need to filter
the data and concentrate on a specific part that is of interest, and then when
you want to see a different part of the data you'll need to filter it again and
refresh the view. That's why we're happy to announce the introduction of
dashboards in Apps Script, which allow you to compose multiple charts and
filters into a single experience!
What is a dashboard?
A dashboard is a visual structure that lets you organize and manage multiple
charts that share the same underlying data. The three building blocks of a
dashboard are the data source, charts, and controls. Controls are user interface
widgets (category pickers, range sliders, or autocompleting text boxes) that
someone can interact with in order to drive the data managed by a dashboard to
the charts that are part of it.
Dashboards in Apps Script
Because of its interactive nature, a dashboard is built in a Google Apps Script
UI application. A UI application can be embedded in a Spreadsheet or a Site or
served as HTML using the "Deploy as web app"
option. They are perfect for creating interactive reports, where users can gain
extra insight through exploring the data.
Creating a simple dashboard UI Application
Have a look at the following example
where a category picker and a range slider are used to drive the data visualized
by a pie chart and a table chart.
Note that a dashboard is an interactive entity. Playing with its controls will
change the charts in real time. You can see exactly how this dashboard was
created, and learn more about how to build dashboards in general, by reading
through our new Building a Charts
Dashboards can of course be much more complex than the above example. Here is a
video demonstrating a more complex dashboard embedded in a Spreadsheet:
To conclude, dashboards are powerful gadgets that allow you to handle and get
valuable insights on complex datasets. Now made easy to build in Apps Script,
try it on your data.