Feb 24th 04:00 AM EST: Many Google users are having to re-authenticate their accounts and they've put out a notice for it here. If this is affecting your Google Analytics, Google AdWords, or other Google-related widgets, please reconnect your Google accounts to Geckoboard using the steps explained here. Feel free to get in touch if you still face any issues!

Getting Started

Welcome to Geckoboard - your real time dashboard for gathering, displaying and sharing the data that matters to your business. In this guide we'll walk you through how to get a useful dashboard up and running. We'll also give you some key tips on how to get the most out of your dashboard in your organization.

This guide will take you through the setup of your first dashboard step-by-step. If you’re new to Geckoboard, please allow 30-45 minutes to complete the whole guide whilst you follow along in the app. You can also jump straight to the section you need using the navigation.

Feel free to join us on an upcoming webinar . We'd love to see you there!

Let's get started!

 

To help you get started, this guide will walk through:

 

Key concepts


Before you start building your dashboard, let’s look at a couple of key concepts to make sure you completely understand what Geckoboard is and how you’re supposed to use it.

What's a dashboard?


A dashboard gives you immediate access to your most important information. It gives you a clear overview of what’s going on in your business in one place. An effective dashboard helps you communicate that information in a simple format that doesn’t need explaining.

Dashboards do
Dashboards don't
Display your most important information and data Display all your data
Use simple, easy-to-understand visualizations Give you 100s of ways to visualize a piece of data
Display what can be acted upon right now Enable deep analysis of historical data
Adapt to your business cycles and encourage experimentation Lock you in to specific ways of working

What's Geckoboard?


Geckoboard was specifically designed to cater to how we visually absorb and interpret numbers. At a glance you’ll understand what’s going on in your business.

Geckoboard communicates the data that helps you, your team and your stakeholders make better informed decisions - whether that’s real time sales figures, alerts, web analytics or your own proprietary data. We’re not an analytics tool - you’re not meant to drill deep into the numbers and perform a comprehensive analysis. You use Geckoboard to communicate what’s going on in your business by looking at relevant and actionable information that’s presented in an understandable way.

Choosing what to display on your dashboard can feel intimidating at first. Your key metrics will change as your business changes and evolves. To begin with, let’s keep things simple and take a look at how you get your data up on your dashboard.

 

Your data: integrations and widgets


Making sense out of complex issues and ever-changing information through clean and concise design is an ongoing challenge that in the past often has needed the support of a developer. Geckoboard has been built in a way that makes information understandable and manageable by anyone - no technical skills needed.

Our technical documentation allows those with programming skills to customize almost every aspect of Geckoboard. For everyone else we’ve made things as easy as possible by connecting directly to a growing list of over 60 services. We call these pre-built integrations, and they make it possible to pull in the information you choose and display it directly on your dashboard. You can do all this in just a few clicks without any technical know-how.

Browse our up-to-date list of integrations here.

For each integration there are one or more key types of data that can be pulled in and displayed on your Geckoboard. To do this we use something we call widgets. Widgets are the building blocks of your dashboard. They illustrate the data you pull in from our integrations. Our widgets come in the form of simple text, figures, graphs, maps and everything in between.

A typical dashboard may include several widgets that pull in data from several integrations. You should bear in mind that less is more when it comes to choosing what to display on your dashboard. Start with a few integrations and widgets that make sense for your business. Build on it as you become more comfortable with how everything works.

 

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Building a dashboard


To begin building your dashboard, you need to have an account. When you create an account we give you 30 days for free which includes full access to all of Geckoboard’s features. We don’t require you to add any billing information during your trial, however you can log in and upgrade to one of our subscriptions at any time during your trial to keep using Geckoboard beyond your trial period.

Create your account by accessing our sign up form.

 

Adding a widget from scratch


Most widgets follow the same setup process, however each widget has its own configuration options depending on the data Geckoboard is able to pull in. As an example we’ll add a Google Analytics widget that displays the amount of current traffic on our website.

After you’ve signed up, choose Okay, let's add my first widget! to start setting up a widget from scratch. Click +Add widget located in the top right of your dashboard. You’ll see a scroll-able list of our integrations. Scroll down to the integration you wish to connect to, or search for it using the search field on the left. When you find the integration you want, click on it to see the available widgets.

After clicking on an integration, a gallery of widgets that are available for that integration will appear, demonstrated using dummy data.

Select a widget by clicking it.

 

If you're adding a widget that pulls data from a cloud service for the first time, you may be prompted to log in to that service to create a connection between that service and Geckoboard. Each integration has its own authentication process. Normally this is something you only need to do once per integration*. Once connected, administrators of your Geckoboard account will be able to add or edit widgets using data from the connected service.

NB: Facebook needs to be reconnected to Geckoboard every 30 days.


After naming the account you’ll be prompted to authenticate the service you’re connecting to. Next, you’ll be ready to configure your chosen widget.

Start by giving your widget a Title. This will display at the top of the widget to help viewers understand the information that the widget is referring to.

Define the size of the widget by selecting from the Size drop-down. Sizes range from 1x1 (smallest) up to 4x4 (largest). Note - not all dimensions will be available for every widget type, as some visualizations require specific dimensions to look their best.

Next you’ll need to configure options specific to the widget you’re setting up in order to define what data should be pulled through and how it should be displayed. In this example we need to select the Google Analytics account and website profile we want to see traffic for.

Once you’ve entered the necessary information select Add widget to save your widget and see it on your dashboard.

Congratulations - you’ve added your first widget!

 

Configuring your dashboard


Once you’ve added a widget or two, it’s time to turn your dashboard into something useful.

Planning


Your dashboard has no limit to the number of widgets or widget types that can live on it, but when thinking about what to display, the following tips are worth bearing in mind:

  • Think about your wider business objectives. What are you measuring your success against in the immediate future? Your dashboard should ideally communicate information aligned to these objectives.
  • Focus on communicating information that’s actionable. Will you take action based on what a widget is showing? If not you should consider leaving it out.
  • Dashboards should evolve with your business. As you and your team align yourselves around new objectives, tweak or rebuild dashboards accordingly.
  • With each new dashboard you create, plan the rough layout in PowerPoint, keynote or on paper beforehand to get a feel for what information is useful or what can be left out.

 

Adding a new dashboard


  • Click on Dashboards on the top left hand-side
  • Click +Add dashboard
  • Chose one of our Quick start dashboards or give your blank dashboard a name
  • Click Add dashboard


You can change your settings, styling, privacy and sharing rules for each dashboard. To switch between dashboards in Admin mode click Dashboards on the top left hand-side and select a dashboard from the drop-down list.

Find out how to cycle through some or all your dashboards with dashboard loops.

 

Dashboard settings


To change your dashboard’s general settings, open the Settings menu and select Dashboard settings.

From here you can edit:

  • Dashboard name: Name your dashboard
  • Timezone: Set this to ensure your data syncs to your local time
  • Dashboard width: Your dashboard width can range from 3 columns (710px) to 8 columns (1910px)
  • Custom Themes: Upload a CSS style sheet to change how your dashboard looks. Read more about this here.

 

Copying a widget


If you'd like to create a new widget that is similar or identical to one you’ve already configured, click the copy icon to the right of any widget's footer. You are then presented with the option of where to copy the widget to. By default the widget will be copied to the current dashboard you are editing. To copy it to a different dashboard, select it from the drop-down and click Copy widget.

 

Deleting a widget


To delete a widget, click the trash can icon to the right of the widget footer and confirm. This removes the widget from your dashboard and the settings associated with it. The connection between your Geckoboard account and the service will remain intact. To remove a service entirely, see Connections.

 

Deleting dashboards


There are two ways to delete a dashboard. Deleting a dashboard will also remove any widgets you have configured on that dashboard. Any services you’ve authorized will remain connected to Geckoboard unless you remove them through the Connections menu.

  1. If you are viewing a dashboard, click Settings, then Delete dashboard and confirm.
  2. In My account select Dashboards, access the dashboard’s settings through the edit icon, and select Delete Dashboard.

 

 

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Advanced features


Now that you have data flowing through to your dashboard, it’s time to think about how you can extract the most value from it. The following sections will introduce you to some of Geckoboard’s more advanced features and get you thinking about how to make use of Geckoboard in your business processes.

 

Dashboard design 101 - Choosing what to display


We’ve tried to make building a dashboard as easy as possible, but building an effective dashboard is tough. The key to successful dashboard design is to focus on the needs of those who will be monitoring it, and above all, keep it simple.

Here you'll find more information about best practices for data dashboards.

 

Getting your dashboard up on the wall


Geckoboard likes to live on a wall. That’s where you’ll truly see its full potential and make it a part of your business in an engaging and transparent way.

For a guide on how to display your dashboard up on a screen, including a selection of devices to consider, check out this guide.

 

Privacy and sharing


Making sure your data is being communicated to the right people is of paramount importance. Geckoboard can be shared in several ways, and you as an admin have control over who can and can’t view your dashboards.

Generate a secure sharing link for a dashboard: Sharing links allow you to link directly to a single dashboard - anybody with the link can view (but not edit) the dashboard unless you make the dashboard private, generate a new sharing link for that specific dashboard, or apply one of our other privacy options.

Best for: Displaying your dashboard on a wall 


Read only users: Read only users are able to log in and view (not edit) dashboards you have assigned them, regardless of whether or not you have activated a sharing link. If you refresh a sharing link they will still be able to view the dashboard you have assigned them to. Add a read-only account by navigating to Dashboards in your Account settings and enter an email address under Add Users. The recipient will then receive an email invitation to create a Geckoboard account, join your organization and view the dashboard. To view or remove users associated with your organization, navigate to Users in your account settings.

Best for: Sharing sensitive dashboards with a select few people.


Dashboard Loops: It’s possible to share several dashboards using a dashboard Loop. A loop is a single URL that cycles through a list of dashboards you define one by one - perfect if you want to share several data ‘themes’ whilst keeping your dashboards simple and easy-to-understand. To build a dashboard loop, access Account Settings and open up the Dashboard Loops menu. Click +Dashboard Loop and give your loop a name. Once your loop appears under Manage your dashboard loops click the settings icon. Here you can set the main properties of your loop and define which dashboards the loop cycles through:

  • Loop interval: Define how long each dashboard should be shown before cycling through to the next dashboard in the loop.
  • Loop URL: Anybody with this link will be able to view this loop. Clicking Regenerate will generate a new URL and make the previous URL inaccessible.
  • Dashboards in loop: Add/remove dashboards you’ve created by checking/unchecking.

Best for: Displaying/sharing multiple dashboards

 

Mobile app


Our mobile app has been designed from the ground up so you and your team can check your dashboards on the move. Widgets are stacked vertically to make navigation easier and to avoid clutter.

Download the app using the link below:

Note - for now it’s currently not possible to create a Geckoboard account from within the mobile app itself. Anybody in your organization who wishes to use the app will need to already have an active Geckoboard account in order to access their data.

 

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Account settings


To access your account settings, make sure you’re logged in to Geckoboard. In the top right corner, click your initials and from the drop-down, select Account

Account details

  • Edit the email address associated with your account
  • Change your password
  • Change your newsletter subscription preferences
  • Find your Geckoboard API key
  • Change your company name

Dashboards

  • View dashboards you or others in your company have created
  • Add new dashboards
  • Check the privacy settings for your dashboards, reset sharing links, make dashboards public or private, or define exactly who can access them

Users

  • View, add or remove users on your company’s Geckoboard account

Dashboard loops

  • View or delete dashboard loops that have been created within your company
  • Create a new dashboard loop from dashboards within your company
  • Edit the name, cycle speed or sharing link of a loop
  • Add/remove dashboards in an existing dashboard loop

Plans & billing

  • View your current plan and current usage
  • Upgrade or downgrade
  • Update your billing information
  • Close your Geckoboard account

Connections

  • View the integrations you have connected Geckoboard to
  • In cases where you can connect multiple accounts under the same integration (e.g if you manage several Facebook pages), view individual accounts
  • See integrations and accounts that have been connected to Geckoboard but require re-authentication
  • Remove connections from Geckoboard

Invoices

  • View your Geckoboard invoices and their status

 

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Finding help


For support, feedback or inquiries, please get in touch. We aim to get back to you within the next business day.

To get you exactly the answer you need as quickly as possible we may need to ask for the following in order for us to understand, and in many cases, solve your issue right away. 

  • The email address associated with your account
  • Permission to log in to your dashboard remotely


We'll only access your account if you give us permission to. When doing so, a member of our support team will log in to diagnose, and where appropriate, fix the issue you are having.

Have fun!

Follow product updates or ask further questions on Twitter, Facebook or our blog.

 

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