Lights, Camera, ACTION! 🎬
How do you take your dashboard from drab to center-stage? Actions! There are endless possibilities to what you can create with actions. Custom navigation, filtering ,hide/show objects, and even automated event triggers; to name just a few. I will share 3 ways that you can use actions to get your next dashboard ready for the camera 🎥
One of the easiest, and most common uses of actions is custom navigation. Custom navigation allows you to guide a user through a series of sheets to prevent wandering and getting lost in the data forest of your workbook. Menus that allow a user to navigate to any sheet can be overwhelming when a user isn't familiar with the entire workbook. Use buttons to guide the user through the data story by giving them one or two options for navigation. I usually provide a "home" or "back" icon button on every sheet and then one logical next step for the user to travel through the dashboard.
To do this in Astrato, you will add the button control block from the catalog and append the Sheet Navigation outcome block to the end. Simply select the desired button and navigation step and you have a hand-held guide for your users!
Filter actions is a useful tool for data storytelling in a dashboard, particularly when there are many filters that a user can interact with. For this example, let's assume that we have built a financial dashboard that will be used throughout a global organization. There are filters to drill down into Country, Region, Territory, Division, Department, etc. In this example, rather than display 5 or more filters for users to drill down to the data of interest to them, you could design your dashboard with a button for each organization that applies multiple filters at once.
In Astrato, you can add multiple filter outcome blocks to a button trigger block. You can also use filter actions to clear or apply filters whenever a sheet is entered or on a set schedule. This is particularly helpful when displaying dashboards on monitor screens.
Hide & Show
How do you make the most of precious sheet real-estate? Hide and show actions! These actions require a few extra steps, but the outcome is a highly customized sheet design that utilizes space efficiently. The example below uses both hover and click buttons to show hidden objects on screen.
To create this effect in Astrato, you will first need to create a boolean variable and connect it to the object that you would like to control. To connect the variable to the object you will need to go to layers and click on the "view mode" for the object. This will display a drop down menu of the variables you have created, allowing you to link the variable and object.
You will then design the action using and if/else logic block. First, begin with a hover or click button trigger event. Then add the if/else logic block and insert in a set variable outcome block to change the state of the variable depending on the state of the button.
If you have read this far, I hope you've been inspired to give actions a try! Take a look at the documentation for a detailed explanation of each block in the Actions Catalog. Have you used actions in other ways? Share your favorite use case in the comments!