GoldMine Premium 9.x saw the introduction of a reporting medium known as Dashboards. Dashboards offer benefits for both management and users.
Dashboards function real-time with interactive access to data in GoldMine, as well as external MS SQL data on the server which may be stored in another system such as an accounting application.
Dashboards provide the ability to view your data graphically (in a chart) along with the means to drill down (click) into elements of the chart in order to view that actual data in a grid/table view. One can dig further with “links” in the table that will launch the actual window and data the grid is based on. For example, you could go from a graph of your sales pipeline to a list of the deals and then to the actual forecasted sale pending in a specific GoldMine record.
GoldMine supplies approximately 10 pre-designed dashboards consisting of numerous sub-reports. Because a dashboard consists of many “parts,” an individual dashboard can present many alternative ways to view information. Data “binding” creates a dynamic result where the information in a report updates as you drive from one selection (click) to another within the report. Dashboards can contain a drop down filter within them so one can control parameters the reader wishes to select, such as a date range or territory.
There is also the capability of copying and modifying the stock reports or creating new reports. A “design” view that is open to Master Users features many tools for creating custom reports tailored to your business processes and how you use GoldMine, your users’ needs, and your security concerns. Security functions within the dashboard allow administrators to control the user’s ability to view, print, or output the information.
Within the parts of a report a user can modify the view in order to select a different graph style or to change the colors, hide the legend, etc. The local menu for these functions is available from the “right click” in the report section or from an available “toolbar.”
Management has obvious interests in reporting. Dashboards can enhance decision making. By the same token, dashboards can also provide highly useful work-flow advantages. So your organization would do well to create dashboards which help users at every level of your organization to be more productive and effective!
As simple as they are to use, the one major drawback of Dashboards is the complexity involved with creating them! They are very difficult to learn and even an experienced programmer will find that creating & modifying dashboards is hard to figure out and do. On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the hardest I would give GoldMine dashboards a 9 and Crystal Report, which also ships with GoldMine, a 7.5. But once a dashboard is created, it ought to be very simple for the users to run! An alternative add-on tool that makes it simple to create robust reports with graphical abilities is MasterMine.
First Direct Corp. offers professional assistance on this subject and can even create dashboards for you. We also conduct a GoldMine Dashboard training class to introduce your organization to the features and benefits of GoldMine dashboards. Request a free, no-obligation demonstration of either GoldMine dashboards or MasterMine if you’re interested.