Introduction to Analyze Dashboards

This article provides information on a portion of the Absorb system that has been updated with the Absorb Admin Refresh Experience AND upgraded to the add-on service: Absorb Analyze.  


Analyze is a Reporting upgrade feature in Absorb that provides a way for you to customize reporting. These reports are designed in a Dashboard format, which includes choosing your own fields, graphs, charts, various widgets with different data within one report. In this article, you will review how to access, create, and manage your Dashboards. 

Important Notes

  • Security is different in Analyze then it is in Absorb. There are 2 levels: Designer and Viewer.
    • Designer is considered the ‘System Admin’ of the Analyze Reporting feature.
    • Viewer has the ability to see and run reports as the Designer created them.
  • The data within Data Sources are updated every 4 or 24 hours, depending your agreement. For example, if you run a report at noon, the data that displays may reflect data from the previous day. 
  • As you select fields for your Dashboard, data will be filtered to match your selection. For instance, if Chapter Name is selected as one of the Data fields, only Online Courses will display in your report. If Session Name is selected, only Instructor Led Courses will display.
  • The Report data will be grouped by the first data set selected. You will always want to start with your bigger Data Sources, like Courses or Users.
    • For instance, if you wanted to see a list of Users with the Courses they are enrolled in and their Status, you would want to place the Username and/or User First and Last Name in the first Column(s). All additional information would then be selected after that value(s).
    • If you wanted to see what Course Type was more popular for Users to take, then you would add Course Type in the first column, then the following relevant data sets.
  • Formulas can be created to customize your report even further. 

Accessing your Dashboards

The Analyze Home Page is where Analyze Designers and Viewers can access Dashboards and where Designers can create new Dashboards. You will access Analyze from the Admin Dashboard within your LMS Admin Interface. There will be 2 tabs at the top of your Admin Dashboard. 

Dashboard: this is your standard Admin Dashboard automatically provided with the LMS.

Analyze: this the upgraded reporting feature, where you can create customized Dashboards. 

You will find your Dashboards and Shared Dashboards from the left-hand side menu or from the bottom of the page. When you hover over the Dashboard name, you can see the Owner, Created Date, Last Modified Date and Data Source used. 

You can quickly and easily locate dashboards without having to navigate through your entire list of dashboards. When you enter any characters (Dashboard Name, Data Source, Owners, etc...) in the Search field, the list of Dashboards is filtered according to the characters found within your Dashboard titles.

Creating a Dashboards

Creating a Dashboards

Designers can create new Dashboards and share them with other Designers and Viewers. Dashboards are a way to report on data within your LMS. Dashboards can have a standard report view or be made to visually display data. 

Creating Dashboards

To Create a Dashboard:

Step 1: On the Analyze Home Page click the + icon on the left side menu, above the Dashboards list or scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the tile, To Create Your Dashboard.


You may also duplicate or copy Dashboards by clicking on the Dashboard menu icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.pngand selecting Duplicate. Duplicating a Dashboard (even one that was shared with you) creates a new copy of the Dashboard with a different name. This new Dashboard is totally separate from the original and you are its Owner, meaning that you have full editing rights. When you copy a Dashboard, the new Dashboard is added below the copied Dashboard in your Navigation Pane with the same name plus a number in the order it was created.

Step 2: A New Dashboard / Please select a Data Source to connect to modal will display and require you to select a Data Source and title your Dashboard. You may add more Data Sources, once you are on the Dashboard edit page. 

Note: The Analyze report engine has been built to utilize a series of database views (data sources) built specifically to simplify reporting. A database view is a method to tie one or more database tables together to render data in an easy fashion to understand. Please see the Analyze Data Dictionaries article to review all Data Sources and the fields available in these Data Sources. You can access this article from the Analyze Home Page or within the Absorb Support & Training knowledge base directly. 

Step 3: You will be taken to the Dashboard View, where you can begin creating your new Dashboard. 

Step 4: Click Select Data to select the values you would like to include in your first Widget on your Dashboard. You will be presented with a list of all fields associated to the Data Source you selected. You may begin typing the Field Name or scroll to find what you want to select. Continue adding as many fields as you would like in this Widget. 


  • If you do not find the the fields you need for your report, you can change your Data Source from the top drop down. You will see the lighting bolt 8-6liveiconnew.png icon next to the Data Source name. Once you click on it, you will be presented with the option to change the Data Source.
  • Different Widgets within your Dashboard can have different Data Sources selected. The widgets from both data sources continue to function independently of each other in the same dashboard.
  • After creating your first dashboard, Analyze begins to display field suggestions the next time you create a widget. Analyze looks at commonly used fields, fields used in other widgets and fields you have already selected to determine what fields to suggest. 

Step 5: You may add Filters to your Dashboard. Select Filter Your Dashboard from the right-hand side of the Dashboard view. You will be presented with a list of all fields associated to the Data Source you selected. You may begin typing the Field Name or scroll to find what you want to select. Please see the below section,  Filtering your Dashboard, for more options. 

Step 6: Select Add Title to enter in the name of your Widget (the section where the data is displayed). This name will appear at the top of the Widget.

Note: The Dashboard Name will remain at the top of the page and will be the only name visible from the Dashboards list. You can edit it at any time. 

Step 7: Click Create to save your new Dashboard.

Step 8: You can continue adding as many Widgets as needed. Widgets can contain the same data sets or can have a new Data Source with different data sets. There are also different options in formatting the Widgets. Please review the Absorb Analyze Widgets article for more information. 

Filtering your Dashboard

If you are a Dashboard Designer, you can define both dashboard filters and widget filters. 

  • Dashboard Filters: This type of filter affects all the widgets in the dashboard (except the widgets that you configured as independent). Designers can create dashboard filters and Viewers can view and interact with them.
  • Widget Filters: This type of filter affects only the specific widget it was applied to. A Designer can define which subset of data values is displayed in a widget. Viewers do not see these filters and cannot change them.
    Note: Dashboard editing rights are assigned by Dashboard Designers and Designers.
Filtering your Dashboard

Creating Filters:


Step 1: Click Filter Your Dashboard in the dashboard’s right panel, if it’s your first filter, or select the + icon, if you are adding another filter. The Add Filter modal that will display all fields associated to the Data Source selected.

Step 2: Begin typing the Field Name or scroll to find the field you want to filter by.

Step 3: Select the type of filter from the left side of the modal, such as List, Criteria, Calendar or Ranking. The filter type provides different options on how you will select the values you want to filter by.

For instance:

  • Calendar - This option is for Date values only. It displays a calendar view, so that you can select a specific date or a date range.
  • List - This option is for Text, Date and Numeric values. It identifies all possible values to include or exclude from your report and you can select the values you want include and unselect the values you do not want to include. 
  • Ranking - This option is for Text, Date and Numeric values. It provides a comparison of fields in a ranking order. For instance, you may want to see the top 10 courses that were enrolled into this year or the lowest scores on a specific Assessment.
  • Text - This option is for Text values only. It provides different conditioning statements, so that you can exclude a grouping of data. For example, you could filter by all Usernames that Contain or all Courses that Start With Safety. More than 1 conditional statement can be included in the filter. 
    • You can use wildcards such as ‘_’ or ‘%’, which will be interpreted as literal characters or an empty string. The following are the supported Wildcards.
      • Single Characters - Enter an underscore ‘_ ‘ as a placeholder for a single unknown character.
      • Multiple Characters - Enter a percent % symbol to search for an undefined length of string.
      • Escape Characters - If you are searching for a string with an underscore or percent symbol, add a backslash (\) in front of the special character. Backslashes are treated as an escape character by Analyze. For example, to locate results for the string _te, use a backslash before the string, \_te
  • Time Frame - This option is for Date values only. It provides a list to different periods of time in Days, Weeks, Quarters and Months
  • Starred - This option is for Text, Date and Numeric values. When selected, it will display all filters that have had the Star icon, Analyze_Star.png,selected. This is useful when you have more than one value you need to compare on the same report and you want to easily be able to toggle between the filters. For instance, you may have a series of courses you selected in 2 different filters that were Starred. You can then change the report to show each series of courses. 
    • Note: These Starred filters are visible to shared Designers.
  • Values - This option is for numeric values only. It provides different conditioning statements, where you can filter by Greater than, Less than or Equal values. 

Step 4: Select the value(s) you would like included and/or excluded from your report. 

Step 5: Click OK to filter the data in the Dashboard and add this filter to the Filters panel on the right of the Dashboard.

After a filter has been added to the Dashboard, it stays displayed on the Dashboard’s Filters panel. Any changes that you make to the filter are immediately reflected in the Dashboard.


You my manage your Filters in the Filters panel. Here you can Edit them with the pencil icon, Analyze_Edit Icon.png, Delete them by selecting the trashcan icon, Analyze_Delete Icon.png or rearrange them by dragging a filter above or below another filter.

Note: Widgets can have their own Filters by selecting the Widget pencil icon, Analyze_Edit Icon.png and then selecting the plus icon next to Widget Filters. You can learn more about Widgets in the Absorb Analyze Widgets article. 

Interacting with Filters as a Viewer

Analyze Dashboards usually have one or more filters that affect the Dashboard Widgets.  Analyze Designers and Viewers can interact with filters on your Dashboards, either through the Filters menu or by simply selecting values on the Widget visualization. Each time you interact with a filter, for example by selecting or entering a value, the filter is immediately applied to your dashboard (if Update on Every Change is toggled to On). You will not affect anyone else by changing the filters and as long as the original filters were Set as My Default Filters, the original filters can be restored at any given point by selecting  Restore Dashboard icon,Analyze_Filter Restore Icon.png, from the top of the filters menu. 

Viewers can select different filter controls displayed in the Filters menu on the right side of the Dashboard, disabling filters by toggling the bottom right corner toggle switch to Off or click on the pencil icon next to the filter name in the Dashboard to display the Filter Definition window.

Additionally, Viewers can switch Filters On or Off and save Default Filter Views.

Dependent Filters

Dependent Filters combine multiple Dashboard filters into a hierarchy of filters where each filter shows only the options relevant to its parent filters. When you filter the parent filter, fewer options will be available in the child filter.

For example, you could have a series of Courses under a certain Category in the LMS. You can select the Category as your 'Parent' Category and then select Course Name as the 'Child' filter.

Note: By default, filters are not dependent. Dependent Filters can be defined only from selection type filters.

Selecting a Dependent Filter:

Analyze_Dependent Filter.png

Step 1: Select the top level or 'Parent' filter by selecting the + icon or To Create Your Dashboard.

Step 2: On the 'Parent' filter, select Add a dependent Filter from the menu icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.png.

Step 3: Find and select the 'Child' filter. The number of available options for selection in the child filter is narrowed down because of the selections in the 'Parent' filter. The child filter appears on the dashboard with a down arrow indicating the parent filter and its dependent filter below.

Step 4: Select Ok to save your filter. 

Background and Lock Filters

Absorb Designers can set Background Filters or Lock Filters, so that Viewers do not have the ability to alter Filters on a shared dashboard. Background Filters provide the Designer the option to freeze certain fields used in the Filter, but allows Viewers to adjust the Filter by selecting additional fields. Lock completely disables the Filter, so that Viewers cannot add any additional fields for that Filter. 

Once you have a Filter selected in your Dashboard, you will be presented with a menu, Analyze_Menu Icon.png. Here is where you can select Background Filter or Lock.

Background Filter:

  • For Filters that have All Included selected, you will be presented with the option to Create Background Filter. When this option is selected, the Filter modal will display and you can then find the fields you would like to default and make mandatory. 
  • For Filters that have values selected, the menu option will read as Set as Background Filter. When this option is selected, the values already created for the Filter will be set. 
  • For Filters that have a Background Filter selected, the menu option will read as Edit Background Filter. When this option is selected, the Filter modal will display and you can then edit the values already selected. 
    • Note: You can identify if Background Filter was selected, by the filter icon displayed to the left of the Filter name, Analyze_Background Filter Icon.png

Lock Filter:

  • For any existing filters, you will be presented with the option to Lock you filter. Once this is selected Viewers who can see the Dashboard, will not be able to edit the Filter. 
  • If a Filter is already Locked, you will only see the option to Unlock your Filter. 
    • Note: You can identify if Lock was selected, by the shaded color on the Filter and the Lock icon, Analyze_Locked Filter Icon.png.

Customizing your Dashboard

By default, Widgets are arranged in a Dashboard one underneath the other. When you add a new Widget, it is added at the bottom of the Dashboard. You can arrange the Widgets and data the way you would like for you and your Viewer's preference. 

Customizing your Dashboard

Layout Options

Here are a few ways you can customize and organize your Widgets on the Dashboard. 

Option Description and Instruction

Dashboard Views

A Dashboard can be viewed in either Layout mode or in View mode.


Layout Mode

Layout mode is the default mode in which you can add new widgets and rearrange them on the Dashboard, as described throughout this section.

This icon, v7monitor.png, will display in the top-right corner of the screen when the Dashboard is in Layout mode. Click this button to display View mode.

View Mode

View mode enables you to see what the Dashboard looks like when a user is only viewing the Dashboard. In View mode, the Dashboard cannot be rearranged or edited.

This icon, pencilv7.png, will display when the Dashboard is in View mode. Click this button to display Layout mode.

Organizing your Widgets

To move a widget to are in Layout mode (default mode). The Layout mode indicator v7monitor__1_.png is displayed in the top-right corner of the dashboard. If not, click pencilv7__1_.png to go from View Mode to Layout mode.

  • Drag and drop the widget into the desired position by dragging it by the top part of the Widget.
    • The Widgets can be side-by-side or on top of each other.
    • The position of a Widget can be split to contain multiple Widgets within a single column by dragging one widget on top of another.

You may also add columns before moving your widgets.

  1. Select the menu icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.png,from the top right-hand side of the Dashboard.
  2. Select Columns.
  3. Choose how many columns you would like on your page.

Note: To change the position of a BloX Widget on the Dashboard, first make sure the Widget's title is not hidden.

Resizing Widgets

Resizing the column height or width automatically resizes the Widgets in the best possible way.

To resize a widget:

  • Resize the Dashboard column in which the Widget is located by dragging the edge of the column right or left. All the Widgets in this same column are resized accordingly in an optimal manner.
  • Resize the Widget by dragging its edges right, left, up or down.

You can distribute multiple Widgets at one time, equally on a row within a Dashboard. 

  • Click on one of the Widget’s menu icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.png,from the row, and select the option Distribute Equally in This.

Note: If you resize the height of an Indicator Widget, it automatically turns into a Ticker-type widget. An Indicator widget that was a numeric Indicator appears differently to an Indicator Widget that was a gauge.

Ticker Example of an Indicator and Gauge Widget:

Analyze_Ticker View.png


Organizing your Home Page

You can organize your Dashboards into folders and sub-folders within any of your folders to improve how you navigate the Analyze Home Page.

Organizing your Home Page

Create a Folder:

Analyze_Adding folders.png

Step 1: In the left Navigation Pane, click + icon and then select New Folder.

Step 2: Enter in a name for your folder. 

Note: You can rename this folder at any time, by selecting the icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.png, to the right of the folder. 

Step 3: Select the Check icon,Analyze_Check Icon.png, to save your new folder. 

Step 4: Drag and drop your Dashboards from other folders or from the Navigation Pane to your new folder.

To create sub-folders within your folders, hover over the folder, select the icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.png, to the right of the folder and then select New Folder. Repeat Step 2, 3, and 4 above.

Deleting Dashboards
Dashboards that you create can be deleted and removed permanently. You will not have the option to delete Dashboards that have been shared with you.

Delete a Dashboard:

Analyze_Delete a Dashboard.png

Step 1: Hover over the Dashboard you would like to delete. You can select it from the left Navigation Menu or from the bottom of the Home Page.

Step 2: Select the icon, Analyze_Menu Icon.png, to the right of the folder and then select Delete.

Step 3: Select the Check icon,Analyze_Check Icon.png, to confirm your decision to delete the Dashboard. 

Delete Multiple Dashboards:

Analyze_Delete Multiple Dashboards.png

Step 1: From the top of the left Navigation Menu choose the Select Dashboards icon, Analyze_Select Dashboards Icon.png.

Step 2: Select the checkbox next to the Dashboards you would like to delete. 

Step 3: Click on the Delete icon,Analyze_Delete Icon.png, from the bottom of the Navigation Menu. 

Step 4: A pop up window will open, asking if you are sure you would like to delete the Dashboards. Select Ok, once you are ready to delete the Dashboards. 

Note: Deleted dashboards cannot be recovered.

Was this article helpful?
2 out of 3 found this helpful



Article is closed for comments.