Building a scorecard


1. Overview

This walkthrough shows you how to use scorecards to create a customized table with complete control over layout and support for any visualization in its rows. This example displays a row for each product with a different visualization used for each measure.

A scorecard is another type of view and is similar to a report, but while reports are laid out into pages including page headers and footers and are ideal for PDFs or printing, scorecards are focused on the design of a custom table displayed on screen. You can also add it to a dashboard just like you would display a table visualization.

Table visualization columns can display data bars, bullet graphs and state indicators, and can be used instead of a scorecard view if it supports the type of scorecard you want to create.

Related video: Scorecards and Reports

2. Designing the scorecard

This example uses a data connector pointing to the Adventure Works sample database for Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), but you can follow similar steps with any data source.

2.1. Create a new scorecard

In the main menu, click Views, choose Scorecard along the top, then click Create.

This opens a new scorecard in edit mode.

Scorecard editor
Scorecard editor

To change the width of the scorecard, click and drag the diagonal arrow icon to the bottom-right of the editor.

You can also set a precise width by opening the Properties window, and finding the Width property in the Layout tab. (If some element on the canvas is selected, click a blank area to de-select it first to access the overall scorecard properties.)

Setting the scorecard Width property
Setting the scorecard Width property

2.2. Add a row grouping

From the Explore window, drag data that contains a value for each row you want the scorecard to display.

In our example, we expanded the Adventure Works cube, dragged the Product dimension and dropped it onto the row grouping area (drop data to display as rows). This will cause the body region we are designing (labeled B along the left) to be repeated for each product.

Add a hierarchy for grouping
Add a hierarchy for grouping

For convenience, a pair of items are automatically added to the scorecard: a data label in the body region, which will display the product name, and a header in the header region.

When the data label and header elements are added, their position is linked, which means moving the header will also move the corresponding data label.

You can click View in the toolbar to see the scorecard with product names displayed in each row, then switch back to Edit.

2.3. Display sales by date

To display more data, we drag the Internet Sales Amount measure from the Explore window onto the body region. The corresponding data label and header are created automatically next to the product names.

The Data Analysis Panel for this data label opened automatically, showing that it currently displays the data from the scorecard group itself, e.g., data grouped only by each product. Click Select data separately if you want to create a separate metric set for this visualization that can display data grouped by additional hierarchies, such as a sparkline displaying multiple points at different dates in every scorecard row.

Create a separate metric set for the data label
Create a separate metric set for the data label

We have done so, and then dragged the Date.Calendar hierarchy from the Explore window to Rows in the Data Analysis Panel.

The data label may now automatically re-visualize to a sparkline, or you can choose Re-Visualize in the toolbar and then Sparkline.

A sparkline showing sales by date
A sparkline showing sales by date

A sparkline is a variation of a line chart meant to indicate just the historical trend while using a small amount of space. The visualization toolbars for scorecards include other visualizations configured for a small space, including Horizontal Plot, Data Bar, and Bullet Graph.

2.4. Display the order count

From the Explore window, drag the Order Count measure to the body region.

The corresponding data label and header label are created automatically.

2.5. Display the sales by territory

In the toolbar, click Data Visualization and select Data Bar as an example of how to start with a blank visualization instead of dragging data directly to the canvas.

We dragged the Internet Sales Amount measure onto the empty visualization. Notice in the Data Analysis Panel that the Product grouping hierarchy was added automatically, but that the metric set is already separate from the group in this case.

Drag the Sales Territory Group hierarchy from the Adventure Works cube to Columns.

Internet Sales Amount by Sales Territory Group data bar
Internet Sales Amount by Sales Territory Group data bar

You can connect a legend to this data bar just like adding a legend to a chart on a dashboard: with your visualization selected, click Data Visualization in the toolbar, and then Legend.

To display the legend just once at the top, we can drag to move it to the header region above.

Adding a legend in the header
Adding a legend in the header

2.6. Add an axis

An axis can be added to the header or footer of a scorecard to use as a reference for visualizations such as data bars in the rows, like how an axis in used in a regular bar chart.

  1. In the toolbar, click Data Visualization and select Axis.
  2. Drag the axis visualization to the header area, above the data bar, and resize it to match the visualization.
  3. With the axis selected, click Connect Axis in the toolbar, and then select dataBar 1: Bottom Axis 1 from the dropdown that appears in the Properties window.

Add a header axis
Add a header axis

2.7. Adjust the group header area

The group header area appears only once for the list of products. As examples of how you can set its appearance:

  • Set the background color of this area by clicking an empty spot inside it, opening the Properties window, and switching to the Look tab to change the Background property.
  • In the Properties window's Main tab, select the Sticky option to keep the header 'frozen' at the top as you scroll the scorecard down.
  • Add a line at the bottom of the header by following the same steps as shown for a report: clicking Components in the toolbar and choosing Line, then positioning it along the bottom.

2.8. View the final scorecard

Click View in the toolbar to see the completed scorecard. (We added an additional state indicator to our example comparing recent sales figures against the previous period.)

You can hover a header such as Internet Order Count and click the icon that appears to open the sort and filter popup, and sort by Descending order, for example.

The completed scorecard
The completed scorecard

3. Using the scorecard in a dashboard

While editing a dashboard, drag the scorecard from the Explore window to your canvas. You can reposition and resize the scorecard as you would with any other visualization.

Embedding a scorecard view on an existing dashboard
Embedding a scorecard view on an existing dashboard

You can also expand the scorecard in the Explore window to drag separate elements from it, such as metric sets or visualizations.

4. See also

Dundas Data Visualization, Inc.
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