Welcome to Geckoboard! In this article, you'll learn how to start using Geckoboard to create your dashboard, and we'll provide some key tips on how to get the most out of your dashboard in your organization.
Please allow at least 30 minutes to read and complete all the steps.
In a hurry? Fast forward to building your dashboard.
Before you start
Before you get started with Geckoboard, here are a few helpful things to know.
What is Geckoboard?
Geckoboard is your live dashboard for gathering, displaying, and sharing the metrics that matter to your business – whether that's up-to-the-minute sales figures, web analytics, or your own proprietary data. Specifically designed to cater to how we visually absorb and interpret numbers, our dashboards will give your team an easy way to understand where to focus their work to maximize performance.
What makes an effective dashboard?
An effective dashboard is one that helps you communicate that information in a simple visual format with no need for explanation.
|Dashboards do...||Dashboards don't...|
|Display your most important business 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|
How do I get my data onto a dashboard?
Geckoboard has been built in a way that enables anyone to build a data dashboard, with little or no technical skills required.
Our pre-built integrations make it possible to pull in the information you choose and display it directly on your dashboard. Geckoboard connects directly with with many popular services including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Mixpanel, Shopify, Zendesk, Facebook, Twitter, and many more. You can do all this in just a few clicks without any technical know-how.
For each integration there are one or more key types of data that can be pulled in and displayed on your dashboard. To do this we use widgets, or the building blocks of your dashboard. Widgets visualize 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.
How many widgets can I display on my dashboard?
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.
- Consider the audience.
Each dashboard should be relevant and actionable to whoever in your team will be following it. Think about where your TV dashboard will be located and consider building targeted dashboards for specific teams, clusters of desks or to serve mixed groups of people in a particular part of your office to make sure they can see the metrics they need.
- 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. Less is often more when it comes to choosing what to display. 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.
- Plan your dashboard's layout.
Some people find it helpful to plan the rough layout of their dashboard in PowerPoint, Keynote or on paper beforehand. This can help you to get a feel for what information is useful, or what can be left out.
- Review your dashboards often.
Dashboards should evolve with your business. As you and your team align yourselves around new objectives, tweak or rebuild dashboards accordingly.
Set up your account
To begin building your dashboard, you'll need a Geckoboard account. When you create an account, you'll enter your name, company email address, and a password. You'll get 30 days of unrestricted access to Geckoboard's features and be set as the Account Owner.
We don’t require you to add any billing information during your trial, however you can log in and upgrade to one of our flexible current plans at any time during your trial to keep using Geckoboard beyond your trial period.
Note: Only an Account Owner can upgrade your plan.
Add a widget from scratch
Most widgets follow a similar setup process, however each widget has its own configuration options depending on the data Geckoboard is able to pull in.
To add a new widget, follow these steps.
- Click Add widget, located in the top right of your dashboard.
- You'll see a scrollable list of Integrations. Scroll down to the integration you wish to connect to, or search using the Search sources field.
- Click on your chosen integration to see the available Widgets.
- You'll see a scrollable gallery of widgets that are available for that integration, demonstrated using sample data.
- Click on your chosen widget.
- Pulling data from a cloud service for the first time? You might be asked to log in to create a connection to Geckoboard. Each integration has its own authentication process.
Note: Usually this is something you only need to do once per integration, but a service like Facebook, for example, needs to be reconnected to Geckoboard every 30 days.Once connected, Account Owners and Admins of your Geckoboard account will be able to add or edit widgets using data from the connected service.
You’ll now be prompted to authenticate the service you’re connecting to.
- Give your widget a Title, e.g 'Revenue this month'. 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.
- Configure the 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. Read our introductory guide to getting your data onto Geckoboard.
- Once you’ve entered the necessary information, select Add widget to save your widget and see it on your dashboard. You'll also see the following message on the bottom left of the dashboard:
Congratulations – you’ve added your first widget!
Copy a widget
To create a new widget that is similar or identical to one you’ve already configured, follow these steps.
- Hover your mouse pointer over the widget you want to copy.
- Click the more options icon in the bottom right corner.
- On the pop-up menu, Click Copy.
- From the pop-up options, choose the dashboard where you would like to copy the widget to. To copy it to a different dashboard, select it from the drop-down menu, and click Copy widget. And you're done!
Remove a widget
To remove a widget from your dashboard, follow these steps.
- Hover your mouse pointer over the widget you want to remove.
- Click the more options icon in the bottom right corner.
- On the pop-up menu, click Remove.
- From the pop-up notification, click Remove widget. This removes the widget from your dashboard and the settings associated with it.
Note: The connection between your Geckoboard account and the service will remain intact. To remove a service entirely, see Connections.
To customize your dashboard, open the Settings menu and select Customize appearance.
From here you can edit:
- Theme: Choose from a selection of predesigned themes, or create your own
- Logo: Upload and display your branding in the dashboard footer
- Clock: Display a digital clock on your dashboard footer
Note: Custom themes and logos are available on our Growth and Company plans.
To learn more about how to fully personalize your dashboard, check out our guide.
To change your dashboard’s general settings, open the Settings menu and select Dashboard settings.
From here you can edit:
- Location & 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)
Now you're familiar with the basics of using Geckoboard, take a look at some of our advanced features to help you extract the most value from your dashboard.
Best practices for data dashboards
Building an effective dashboard needn't be difficult. 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. Read our best practice guide 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. Read our guide to mounting your dashboard on a wall.
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 Account Owner, have control over who can and can’t view your dashboards.
Sharing links allows you to link directly to a single dashboard. When you generate a secure sharing link, anybody with the link can view (but not edit) the dashboard. Generating a new sharing link for that specific dashboard will result in people you sent the original link to not being able to access it.
Ideal for: Displaying your dashboard on a wall.
Users within the account
You can share your dashboards with other users by adding them to your account or to particular dashboards. This will enable them to log in and view a dashboard, regardless of whether or not you have activated a sharing link. If you refresh a sharing link they will still be able to view any dashboards that their level of access grants them access to.
If they are an Account Owner or Admin, they will be able to edit the dashboard. If they are an Organization View-only user or Dashboard View-only user, they will only be able to view it. Read our guide to types of users.
Ideal for: Sharing sensitive dashboards with a select few people.
Creating a dashboard loop allows you to view or share a single link that cycles through a series of dashboards on your account one by one. A loop can contain as many of your dashboards as you like, and dashboards can belong to multiple loops.
Ideal for: Displaying and sharing multiple dashboards.
Our mobile app
If you own either an iPhone (version 5 and above), iPad, and iPod touch, mobile app enables you and your team to check your dashboards on the move.
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
Note: We will 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.