Acumatica continues to deliver incredible new Business Intelligence tools directly within their ERP solution. Recently I was asked about all the new functionality that has been added to Dashboards, which did I think was the coolest. Which I took to mean the Widget that is better than all the others, i.e. the Best.
Recent editions have brought us the use of parameters that make dashboards so much more useful. The Customer View dashboard is a fantastic example of this. Just recently they added a copy and paste for widgets which saves tons of time when slight variations exist. The timed auto-refresh feature lets me use a dashboard on a screen in common areas or the shop floor to provide real-time metrics and visibility. These features are each cool but the feature I really, really like is that every user can set their own loading screen in Acumatica. Personally, I have my Case Dashboard as mine. This allows me to focus on today’s work today and quickly see changes throughout the day. If I navigate away from it to do something, I can always click the logo in the top left corner and I go right back to my landing page. Secondary to that is that each user can personalize their dashboards allowing me to move the widgets I care about front and center. Lastly, each edition seems to come out with a new widget.
As of the 2020R2 release, there were 10 widgets. This is a bit misleading as several of these widgets have sub-types. Take charts, for example, there are currently seven types of charts to display trending data or proportional data or trending proportional data. Even the old data table got an upgrade recently with the columns of the data table able to differ from the underlying Generic Inquiry. Headers Wiki Pages and Embedded Pages haven’t changed much over the years, but they are still very useful as ways to show processes, announcements, or data from outside sources. We now have a new version of them known as Link. The Link widget lets you create a header with a bit of descriptive text. When clicked this widget displays an Acumatica Screen and filters that screen-based on parameters set at widget creation. Very handy for creating Process Flow dashboards for new employees or seldom done tasks. Another oldy but goody is the Trend Card KPI, it got a bit of an update with the addition of Timeline and Period fields making these much easier to set up. Compare data between the current period and this period to get an early warning indicator. Pivot Tables have been around for a few editions of Acumatica but anyone who has ever used them knows how great they are to slice and dice data and show the aggregate (Sum, Count, Avg, Max, Min) of that recordset. Then there are the Power BI Tiles which allow for Power BI tiles to be displayed in Acumatica. The Power BI data could come from Acumatica, or another source connected to Power BI or be a hybrid of both data sets, now that is cool.
As the saying goes save the best for last. The Score Card KPI or in the newest versions simply KPI is the workhorse of Acumatica’s Dashboard. Each tile aggregates a set or subset of data from a Generic Inquiry and turns it into a visual indicator by displaying one of three colors for Normal Level, Warning Level, and Alarm Level along with a number and a short descriptive text. The sheer simplicity to create one and understand one makes it the coolest widget in my opinion.