Like discussed in our previous blogs, the release of Lightning gave Salesforce a new interface with lots of options. The main difference is that the new interface is more dynamic. In the Classic environment every page was a static html page that only got updated when the user refreshed its screen. However, pages really seem to come to life in Lightning.

For example, when you change an amount the total changes immediately as well. The new interface also allows you to do more dynamic things like designing with drag-and-drop functionality.

A major upgrade of the Salesforce Dashboard Engine

The dashboard has also had a major upgrade. It looks great and it’s truly a pleassure to work with it. Here are the most important improvements.

  1. The dashboard grid

For many it was a pain the Classic dashboard, being limited to only three columns. This now changed with the dashboard grid. You now have the freedom within the grid to scale and position up to nine columns.

How to design your new dashboard? Press “+ Add” [1] to add a component to the dashboard. Select a report and diagram for each component. After you have added a component, select it to make changes[2]. Position the components by using the drag-and-drop function[3]. The dynamic grid supports components in various sizes. [4].

An example of a dashboard design in Lightning

  1. Components: Old vs New

The components have had an upgrade as well. They have fresh look and feel to them. Since the components are scalable, your line diagrams are much easier to read now. Below you see some components that have been changed.

The new components in Salesforce Lightning Dashboards

You may have noticed that now all components are present in the comparison above. The components that did not make the cut in Lightning are:

  • Table – this is a loss for people that love top 5 lists, but dashboards have to speak visually and not textually.
  • Funnel diagrams – I use this one a lot so I have mixed feelings about this decision.
  • Scatter diagram – allows you to make a connection between two data sets.
  • Circle diagram – why were we able to choose between a donut and a circle diagram? I have no idea but the donut turns out to be the clear winner
  • Visualforce – that makes sense now that we have Lightning
  1. Other stuff worth to appoint

You can now just create a dashboard by clicking the dashboard button. You now longer have to go through reports to get there.

  • It’s no longer possible to make dynamic dashboards.
  • Unfortunately you cannot add filters at this time. I use this a lot to drill a dashboard filtering for branches or users.
  • Following a dashboard and posting messages on a dashboard is no longer possible in Lightning. Especially that last option has no added value for me, since you have to scroll down a lot of messages in Chatter to see the dashboard.
  • The component does miss the field type: Currency (€), Percentage (%), Number (#) Days, and Dates.
  • It can be useful to organise a dashboard component from high to low or the other way around. However, this option is not available yet.
  • A nice bonus is the option to view lists in dashboards. The combination with the advanced search functionality makes this useful for when you have many dashboards.