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Making dashboards more interesting

Introducing embedded iframes to enhance your favorite dashboard

Embedded iframes to enhance your favorite dashboard

We've all seen them, and many of us have created them. The classic business intelligence dashboard - charts, filters, tables, KPIs, oh my! Dashboards are valuable instruments for monitoring and investigating your business, but let's be honest, they're boring. As builders and consumers of dashboards ourselves, we set out on a journey to finally make dashboards more interesting.

Today, some of the best apps have data in them but they don’t feel like data. We eagerly track each delivery as it makes its way towards us, compare flights while planning the perfect vacation, and browse listings looking for our dream home. Telling stories with dashboards should feel this engaging too.

First, we started down the path of creating more dynamic visualizations with markdowns to mash up text, data, links, images, and more. But, we wanted to keep going (after all, there’s so much good information that can be used to tell stories with data!). And today, I’m excited to share that your favorite web pages can now be embedded via iframes directly onto Omni dashboards!

Markdown iframe example

Building a more interesting dashboard (and story)

Now let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use embedded iframes to enhance your favorite dashboard…

Comparing performance across locations

To get started, let’s say you’re looking at store performance for your different locations across the country. On this dashboard, you’ll want to track key metrics such as sales, returns, inventory, etc., but there’s likely some other information that will help you better understand each location and (more importantly) the factors impacting performance.

For example, using iframes you can now embed a map to help you understand the area and the customer experience surrounding your store - perhaps you find locations near coffee shops have higher weekday foot traffic and this helps you better plan staffing. Or, you can use weather data to understand how seasonal changes across locations could be used to better plan inventory, promotions, and staffing. These iframes can also be parameterized according to the dashboard filters; so when you filter to look at performance for your Chicago store, your map and weather tiles will reflect what’s happening around the Windy City!

Markdown iframe example

Understanding customers

I believe two of the most important things any business can do are to understand and support its customers. To do this, you may have a customer lookup dashboard tracking product usage, contacts, and other key metrics across each customer. With iframes, you can go further to understand your customers by embedding recent support tickets and survey responses, as well as their corporate social media feeds, and even their logo.

Bringing all of this internal and external information into one place can help create alignment across your customer account team so everyone knows what matters to your business as well as to your customers so you can offer proactive and personalized support.

... And if you really want to provide proactive and personalized support (of course you do!), you can schedule to have these dashboards emailed to customer account teams so they can start the week with relevant customer info in their inbox!

Markdown iframe example

Ensuring business alignment

Most customers we work with have some version of a ‘business pulse,’ a company-wide dashboard they use to keep everyone rowing in the same direction. This often tracks key metrics across finance (ACV), sales (ARR, new deals), marketing (MQLs, web traffic), customer success (churn rate, NPS), and more. However, keeping everyone aligned across various parts of the business can be challenging - especially as you continue to hire.

In this case, you can embed helpful information such as a Google Doc, Slide, or even an embedded video to explain how these metrics come together to monitor the business at large. This can be a relatively easy way to build data literacy initiatives right into a key dashboard you want everyone in the business to understand.

Markdown iframe example

These are only a few examples based on my experience using and helping customers leverage iframes to embed additional information into their favorite dashboards, but the possibilities can go on.

Check out our docs to learn more about embedding iframes and the different types of visualizations you can build with markdown. We’re continuing to add richer options for telling stories with data and adding more to the core product each week (don’t forget to check out some of the product highlights from last month), so stay tuned!