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Directus Spotlight: No-code Dashboards

By Rijk van Zanten on January 23, 2023

Dashboards make our lives easier. From our online banking accounts to sports stats to website metrics, dashboards sum it all up, giving us at-a-glance insights into whatever it is we’re tracking.

For developers creating digital projects, dashboards can be particularly useful, providing a snapshot of key analytics that help project owners improve and fine tune their work, better meet the needs of users, and understand a project’s adoption and impact. And with data volumes in the average enterprise growing about 63% per month, clean, customizable, easy-to-read dashboards are essential for understanding data and sharing results with key stakeholders.

Directus Dashboards provide quick and easy insight into key metrics about your project, enabling you to track and share the results that matter for any of your digital projects – from websites, to SaaS applications, to internal apps. They provide a simpler but equally insightful alternative or supplement to Google Analytics, and require absolutely no coding to configure.

What Are Directus Dashboards?

Delivered in the cloud or deployed locally, Directus Dashboards are highly configurable and provide actionable insights about data inside your database at-a-glance. Once you move your external raw data into your database from other sources – business intelligence apps, IoT devices, SaaS reporting and more – you can use the Dashboards to consolidate, normalize and structure the data, and explore and understand it with ease.

Directus Dashboards enable you to create charts and widgets in seconds with zero or minimal coding, and leverage drag-and-drop functionality to move them around and optimize your dashboard design. Using Directus Dashboards, users in a variety of roles can visualize any type of data – content, customer records, inventory, financials, geospatial and temporal data, digital assets and more – without having to consult technical experts.

Drag-and-Drop Panels Make Visualizing Data Easy

Each Dashboard you create in Directus is a blank canvas to which you can add any number or “panels.” These panels are like building blocks to organize your data and create a story from the metrics.

There are five panel types to choose from:

  1. Label: The Label panel simply displays a header describing other groups of panels. It doesn’t have any analysis capabilities.
  2. List: The List panel lists items in a collection.
  3. Metric: The metric panel displays single-number metrics such as sum, average, or minimum/maximum.
  4. Time series: A time series graph displays how metrics change over time.
  5. Global variables: For these panels, you can set a variable that’s globally accessible across all the other panels.

The list, metric and time series panels offer sort and filter capabilities, and the metric and time series panels offer aggregate functions, which take a list of values and return a single value – such as the count, the average, the sum, minimum or maximum, first or last, etc.

There are a few other great features that enhance Directus Dashboards:

  • Infinite scalability: You can add as many panels as you need – the dashboard will automatically expand to fit them. You can configure panel headers, as well, with different colors, names, notes and icons, and there are a variety of style and format options for all the panels.

  • Granular permissions: In the interest of democratizing data while ensuring complete control and security, we’ve made it easy to set permissions for viewing and editing dashboards, without having to write any code. These permissions are fully configurable per user role.

  • Extensibility: As you know, Directus is architected to be completely configurable and extensible, so you’ll never hit a feature ceiling. To that end, you can create any type of panel extension and customize it to meet your needs. Simply load it to your Directus instance, and you can use the new panel on any Dashboard.

Directus Dashboards help to democratize data access, enabling both technical and non-technical users alike to quickly get the information they need, without relying on highly skilled data scientists. To learn more about each of the types of panels and how to configure them to create the perfect Dashboard for your project, consult our documentation.

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