3 Cool things you can do with Embedded Dashboards

Tom van den Berg

When building dashboards, the first question a data scientist asks is “What information do I want to show?”. And that is actually a good question. After all, users open the dashboard to answer a specific data related question. They might apply some filters, or do a drilldown to get to the data points they want to see. 

However, the question on what data to show in a dashboard is only the beginning of building an embedded dashboard. The cool thing is, with embedded dashboards, we can ask why the user wants to see the information you provide in the dashboard. The data-related question is usually because the user wants to check if everything is OK with the process or business domain that they manage. If something is off, they want to fix it. And that is possible, because the dashboard is embedded right there in your application.

In this article, we’re going to show 3 things you can do to take your information oriented dashboard to the next level. 

1 - Do an Action in the Host App

For example, your user opens the dashboard you build to check in on how the ticket sales to their event are doing (in this example, you’re a SaaS for event ticket sales). The user checks the day-to-day sales for the past week. They are fine. However, it looks like no one orders additional consumptions with the tickets… strange. This is an opportunity for your SaaS to do something. What if you allow the user to view all these ticket sales; and select the ones where you want to send an additional offer over email? Or actually, the sales page does not contain the package. In that case you can send your user right to the correct sales page that is not doing well. 

These examples make the following point clear – your user used the dashboard you built to find the data that is interesting to them. A next level dashboard has buttons, actions and workflows right there, in the dashboard, so your user can finish the analysis with an action.

2 - Drill Down to an Detailed View

Some users are more analysis oriented. As dashboard builders, we tend to focus on this aspect, because we ourselves like to do data analysis. However, not all the users that take a look at a dashboard are like this. That is where the detailed view is useful. Let’s do an example. 

Your dashboard shows a summary view of the processes the user has to manage. For example, the ticket sales dashboard we worked out earlier. If something is wrong with the process, you can show an alert icon. This draws attention and makes the dashboard action oriented. However, some users want to know why it is wrong. Here you can add a button for showing details. When clicked, the dashboard tells your application to show the details for a particular case. You can then have your application show a details screen with all the properties and meta-data for that case. You can even show an additional dashboard explaining why the case has a certain status!

By doing this, you allow the users that want to see the details and the arguments to go there. 

3 - Parameterize the Dashboard

When embedding a dashboard in your application, you can control it in more ways than just showing the dashboard. For example, you can programmatically change the content of the dashboard depending on what user opens it. Or maybe you predefine some filters depending on the role of the user. 

For example, in the ticket sales dashboard described earlier, you can have an operations user open the dashboard on the sales for last week. But a manager user can have the dashboard show the month-over-month sales. It’s the same dashboard with the same time series chart, but both see a different view. Or you can change the filters that are shown. One user wants to filter for all events they have access to, and another user wants to filter only for the type of ticket being sold. 


The quality of a dashboard is defined by how well the user can find the information that they want to see. Embedding dashboards that do this really well opens the door for new user interactions. We’ve seen that adding action buttons, adding detail views and parameterizing the dashboard are three advantages that you can do when embedding that bring the dashboard to the next level.

With icCube, we specialize in embedding dashboards. We love to see the kind of quality dashboards people build with our product. When embedded, these dashboards really start to shine in driving user engagement. And that is eventually what we build dashboards for, to make users be on top of their data. If that is something you want to explore for your use case, then contact us. We’re happy to see how embedding dashboards can do this for your SaaS application.