Getting started with Actoboard

Before you jump in to build your dashboards, let’s explain what Actoboard main concepts and what it’s best used for.

This documentation is a work in progress, and will cover all features of Actoboard.

Dashboard: a visual understanding tool

A dashboard is a drawing sheet where you place widgets, visual representations of your data. Dashboards provide you with immediate access to the most important information in one place with real time updates.

Actoboard provides many different widgets to display data in various ways: time series graphs, big counters with trends, gauges, donut charts, and the versatile "template" widget for tech-savvy users.

Display on your dashboards the essential data that helps you understand what’s happening and can be acted upon immediately. Trying to stuff dashboards with each and every information available would make them cluttered and hard to understand.

A dashboard is a visual understanding tool and should not be confused with analytics and reporting tools.

Data and presentation are different things

Data collection and presentation are treated separately in Actoboard, giving you maximum freedom to build your dashboards: a single data source can feed many widgets, and a single widget can display data coming from many sources.

The diagram below gives an overview of the data flow within Actoboard, which is further explained in the next sections:

Actoboard overview

Your data: built-in integrations and custom data sources

Actoboard provides many integrations with well-known services, and constantly adds new ones. It also has strong support for custom-defined data sources to integrate with your systems and your data, which are no less important than the one from other services.

These integrations allow you to create visual overviews by gathering data from several services in a single place, providing the big picture that each service alone cannot provide.

Unlike many other dashboard solutions, Actoboard doesn’t lock data into predefined widgets: you have full control on data visualization.

This allows you to give more meaning to your data by displaying it in different ways and gather several data sources into a single widget for visual correlation.

Defining and transforming data

Because raw KPIs are not always the most easy to understand, Actoboard provides many ways to refine your data before displaying it:

  • historical data can be aggregated by computing averages, variations, displaying min and max values, etc.

  • real time values can be compared to recent history to compute trends.

Dashboard design

Choosing what to display on your dashboard can seem a hard task as you may not know how to start. There are several ways to build great dashboards:

  • Use our ready-made templates. We’ve designed dashboards for frequent uses cases such as social media, so that you can get started in minutes and have great dashboards to tinker with, or just use as is. You just have to connect your services accounts to use templates.

  • Start with a few simple metrics, and grow your dashboards as you get a better understanding of what data is important to drive your business.

  • Experiment! Actoboard is an interactive tool where you can quickly bring new data on display, move things around, tune visualizations and colors.