How To Create a Dashboard in SmartSheet
If your team is using Smartsheet, then you’re already familiar with the importance of knowing how to create and design the perfect dashboard. This intuitive communication tool is ideal for presenting various types of content that everyone can view and edit. Thanks to the comprehensive selection of widgets Smartsheet has to offer, your dashboards can really contribute to your team’s growth and your company’s performance.
Every dashboard on Smartsheet is basically a blank canvas where all types of information can be added, including visual content, statistics, timelines, and important reports. This information can be shared using widgets, which can be added, customized, and deleted.
Once you finish your dashboard, you can add your coworkers so that they can view and edit all the information you presented. Here’s how to create a dashboard, organize widgets, add people, and customize it.
To create a dashboard in Smartsheet, follow the steps below:
- Open Smartsheet.
- Click on the “+” icon on the left sidebar.
- Go to the “Create” page.
- Choose “Dashboard” from the list of options.
- Write the title of your dashboard.
- Click “OK.”
That’s all there is to it. You’ve successfully created a dashboard in Smartsheet. However, what you have right now is an empty board. Before you add members of your team, you need to insert all the significant data in the dashboard first. Therefore, you need to prepare all the data that will be presented in the dashboard.
No matter how organized your dashboard might seem, if it doesn’t contain the right information, all your hard work will be for nothing. That’s why it’s important to prepare data before you start designing your dashboard. So, before you start, take the time to think about a couple of factors.
First, consider the overall goal of your dashboard. Do you want a dashboard to present some type of results, perhaps your team’s overall performance? Is your aim to explain something, or write instructions for a certain project? Or do you want your Smartsheet dashboard to be a place where everyone can find the resources they need for their work?
Next, factor in your audience. In other words, consider the people you plan to share the dashboard with. This audience may consist of coworkers, executives, or clients. You need to plan how you will present your data in accordance with your audience.
To prepare the data for your dashboard, use other Smartsheet features. For example, you can use Sheet Summary to organize all your data, as well as highlight the most important information. Reports are another way to capture all the vital parts of each project. Finally, if you want to create a portfolio, Roll-Up Sheets are the way to go. What’s more, these types of sheets are also well-suited for high-level metrics.
Building & Designing
Once you have prepared all your data, and have created a dashboard, it’s finally time to add all the important components – the widgets. There are eight types of widgets that Smartsheet has to offer: The Title, Rich Text, Metric, Chart, Shortcut, Report, Image, and Web Content.
Let’s start with the Title. Here’s what you need to do to get started with your dashboard:
- Open your dashboard in Smartsheet.
- Go to the pencil icon in the upper-right corner of your dashboard.
- Click on the “+” icon on the right sidebar.
- Choose “Title” from the list of widgets.
- Type in your dashboard’s title.
- Click anywhere outside the title to save it.
The Rich Text widget is used to add a description that captures the essence of your dashboard. You add it the same way you inserted the title, and it will be located directly under your title. What’s more, you have the option to edit the text’s size, font, and color.
For more complicated widgets, like Metric and Report, you need to upload a file or data. The Report widget will let you present an entire report in a minimized form. Here’s how it’s done:
- Open your dashboard.
- Click on the pencil icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
- Select the “+” icon on the right sidebar.
- Go to “Report.”
- Select “Add report” on the new tab.
- Choose the project you want to insert and click “OK.”
If you want to add the Metric widget, the steps are the same. The Metric widget lets you highlight key points of a specific sheet. Furthermore, every widget is customizable, which means you can place it anywhere you want on the dashboard. You can also resize it if you want.
If you want to add a link to your dashboard, then the widget you’re looking for is the Shortcut. Not only does this allow you to add an URL to another Smartsheet file, but you can add a link to basically anything you want. In addition, you can upload a file from your computer.
Another useful feature is the Image widget, which you use to add any type of visual content. You can upload an image from your computer, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, and Dropbox.
Since you want all the widgets to fit on your dashboard, it’s a great idea to wait until you have added all of them before you start resizing them. Just drag the corners of the widget to make it bigger or smaller. Make sure your dashboard isn’t overpacked with too much information. Another way to make sure everything looks organized is to stick to similar color schemes.
A quick way to add a widget that is similar to one that you’ve already created is by clicking on the “+” icon. From that point on, go to the “Clone widget” option. You can create as many copies as you need.
When you’re finally done with your dashboard, it’s time to share it with your coworkers. Follow these steps:
- Go to the “Share” button in the top-right corner of your dashboard.
- Under the “Invite Collaborators” box, add whoever you want.
- Under “Permissions,” chose if you want others to be able to edit your dashboard.
- Type in the subject of the dashboard.
- If you want, add a message. This part is optional.
- Decide if you want to notify the people you added.
- Click on “Share Dashboard.”
- Select “Close.” You’ll get an invite link that you can send to your team members.
Another option is to publish it. Choose whether it will be available to everyone, or if they’ll need the invite link to access your dashboard.
Design the Best Dashboards in Smartsheet
Now you know how to create dashboards in Smartsheet. You also know how to add widgets, customize them, and share your dashboard with your team. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll soon learn that you can be really creative with all of Smartsheet’s templates.
Have you ever created a dashboard in Smartsheet before? Did you use any of the widgets mentioned in this guide? Let us know in the comments section below.