So far in our SuiteAnalytics series, we’ve covered workbooks, reports, and searches. Now, we’re ready to look at the SuiteAnalytics dashboard portlets. Which portlets allow you to display data from the various SuiteAnalytics tools we’ve been learning about? How do you set up and use those portlets in the most effective way? Let’s take a look.

First, we need to review the basics of NetSuite portlets.

Adding Portlets

To add new portlets to a dashboard, select the Personalize link at the top right of the dashboard or select the Personalize Dashboard link in the Settings portlet. Either of these links will pull up the Personalize Dashboard menu.

On this menu, you can select any desired portlets to add them to your dashboard. Some types of portlets can be added multiple times to the same dashboard, but many can be added only once. Grayed out portlet tiles have been maxed out on your dashboard cannot be added again.

Setting Up Portlets

Most portlets require some measure of setup before they can be used effectively on your dashboard. To set up the content of a portlet, hover over the upper righthand corner of the portlet to reveal the portlet controls, and then hover over the three vertical dots and select Set Up. Doing this will open a Set Up page where you can set and define the content of this portlet.

Other Portlet Options

In addition to setting up the content of a portlet, the portlet controls offer some other options as well. A handful of portlets can be expanded to full screen, while some portlets have a refresh button so you can ensure the portlet is displaying the most up-to-date information. Other portlet options include the ability to edit and reset portlet content, as well as the ability to remove the portlet from the dashboard entirely. The available portlet options will differ based on the type of portlet.

Workbook Portlet

The Analytics portlet is connected directly to a specific visualization type of a NetSuite workbook, and you can add up to ten Analytics portlets to a single dashboard. When you add a new Analytics portlet to your dashboard, you will need to choose the specific visualization type of a workbook. For example, in the following picture, the overarching workbook at the top of the list is called Manufacturing Workbook, but you would not add that entire workbook to the Analytics portlet. Rather, you need to select one of the tabbed visualization types represented on that workbook.

The visualization type of the tab that you select will impact how that information appears in the Analytics portlet. Notice in the following picture that the workbook tab we selected was a chart visualization type. Notice also that you can adjust the view of that visualization type directly in the portlet. For example, you could change the column chart to a bar chart.

After you connect a workbook to the Analytics portlet, one of the portlet control options will be to open the connected workbook, where you can access the other workbook tabs.

Reports Portlets

Next, let’s look at some portlets that are connected to NetSuite reports.

Recent Reports

First, there’s the Recent Reports portlet. This portlet is available only on the Reports dashboard. The Recent Reports portlet doesn’t display any report information directly on the dashboard, but it does provide links to the top twenty reports in your account which have been most recently created, viewed, or edited.

Report Snapshots

Another key reports portlet is the Report Snapshots portlet. This portlet is like the Analytics portlet, but for reports rather than workbooks. Like the Analytics portlet, you can have up to ten of these portlets on a dashboard. To set up this portlet once you’ve added it to your dashboard, you simply choose the report you need, the date range for the data in the report, and some basic display options.

After setting up the portlet, you will be able to view a limited amount of the report data you selected directly your dashboard. A link in the portlet controls will allow you to open and view the actual report.

Saved Searches Portlets

Next, here are a couple portlets that pull data from saved searches.

Saved Searches

The Saved Searches portlet displays key information from the top ten saved searches in your account. These saved searches are each displayed in individual tiles that summarize information you specify. Some types of information that can be displayed include stats on the time it takes for each saved search to be executed and how many users run each saved search.

The Custom Search portlet, which can be used up to six times on your dashboard, displays the results of a single saved search. When setting up a Custom Search portlet, you will choose a saved search to display and how many search results will appear in the portlet. You can also provide a name for the portlet and determine whether you will be able to access drill down data directly in the portlet or on a new page. You can even permit inline editing, allowing you to edit certain record information directly in the portlet.

From the portlet, then, you will be able to edit or view any records that the saved search pulls up.

Other SuiteAnalytics Portlets

Four other key portlets bring SuiteAnalytics data right to the dashboard. Each of these portlets presents your business’s KPIs (key performance indicators) in a different way. KPIs provide essential business metrics based on the data in your NetSuite account. NetSuite comes with more than 75 preconfigured KPIs which pull their data from standard NetSuite reports, but you could also use custom saved searches to create custom KPIs.

Key Performance Indicators

The Key Performance Indicators portlet is the most basic of all the KPI portlets. When you set up this portlet, you will select the indicators you want to see data on and the reporting dates for that data. This information is all set on the Key Performance Indicators tab in the setup window.

After choosing specific KPIs, you can also configure the appearance of the popup trend graphs for those KPIs under the Popup Trend Graphs tab. On the Key Performance Indicators portlet itself, there will be links to these popup trend graphs for every metric you selected under the first setup tab. 

In addition to opening up trend graphs on each KPI, the portlet will also have links to the source data for each KPI.

Trend Graphs

The Trend Graphs portlet works in much the same way as the popup trend graphs for the Key Performance Indicators portlet, except that these trend graphs are located directly on your dashboard. When setting up a Trend Graph portlet, you can base the graph off of up to three different KPIs. The setup window for a Trend Graph portlet also allows you to configure the appearance and presentation of the data in your selected KPIs.

KPI Meter

The KPI Meter portlet displays a meter for a single KPI, which you can change simply by using the dropdown menu on the portlet.

When you set up the KPI Meter portlet, you choose the business metric directly on the portlet and then use the setup window to define and configure the dates and appearance of that metric in the portlet.

KPI Scorecard

The final KPI portlet is the KPI Scorecard. The KPI Scorecard provides a brief summary of a particular business metric, which you would choose while setting up the portlet. The summarized data in this portlet will have links to the underlying reports. You can also pull up a trend graph for your designated KPI by hovering over a particular row in the portlet and selecting the green box with the green arrow that appears within that row.

Disclaimer

As you can tell, the various SuiteAnalytics dashboard portlets have many benefits. They keep essential business information visible and accessible, and they give users a high degree of control over the appearance and functionality of the data. But many of these portlets carry a lot of information, so they tend to slow the overall loading time of your dashboard. That’s why, when it comes to building dashboards, it’s important that you accurately analyze your exact needs and streamline your use of portlets.

Conclusion

And that’s a wrap on our SuiteAnalytics series! If these blogs have helped you to better understand and use NetSuite and if you’re ready to keep investing in your NetSuite knowledge, then we invite you to subscribe to our mailing list below. We typically release one blog a week, which will be delivered right to your inbox.