BI Tools

Tips and tricks for building information maps, OLAP cubes, reports, and dashboards

BI Admin

Learn your way around a SAS BI installation.

Visual Analytics

Learn your way around the SAS Visual Analytics tool

Coding & Data

Extract, transform, and load your data into the SAS BI toolset

Stored Processes

Create and design stored processes like a rock star

Home » BI Tools

SAS BI Dashboard: Tips for Adding Images to Your Dashboard

Submitted by on 2013-09-09 – 7:25 AM 2 Comments

When creating a dashboard using SAS BI dashboard tool, you may need to have some images directly on the dashboard.  It could be a logo that links to the company website or an icon that links to another dashboard or report. When used properly the artwork can add a new dimension to your dashboard design.

Ideas for SAS BI Dashboard Artwork

You might want to have your logo on the dashboard like in this image. I added the BI Notes logo basically because I had the space. Generally, you don’t want items on your dashboard that do not serve a purpose other than decoration.  If you do use a logo – do not place it on the left top side – as your most important information goes there.  If this is an internal dashboard be more careful – seriously I think your co-workers know who their employer is.  🙂

sas bi dashboard examples

Here is another example of how you might use artwork on your dashboard.  I placed three social media icons in the top right corner. The user could then post something to a social media about the metrics if it is allowed to be public.  [Icons: Double-J Design]

sas bi dashboard artwork examples

You can also use icons for navigation on your dashboard.  The user can easily move between dashboards or even go to a help document about the site.  [Icons: Taytel]

sas bi dashboard navigation examples

 

Wow .. those orange icons really steal the show – it’s the first thing you notice.  [I’m a little guilty because I made these icons a little larger so they were easily noticed for this blog artwork.] These may not be what you want for your dashboard, the blue ones above are a little less stunning so they don’t steal the show. What you don’t want is for your images to outshine your information so use a critical eye when selecting icons. 

Locating the Images

When adding the artwork, the image must “live on the Web” meaning that it has to be stored somewhere that you can link to it.  Typically, your company will have a place where the images can be hosted. As an example, you can link to the image on your company’s homepage.

Here’s an easy way to get a web link from an image:

Right-click the image you want, select Copy image URL.  The link is placed on your clipboard.  In the following example, I’m getting the link to the SAS logo.  This is just an example! Use this method to get an image from your organization’s website.

get image URL

 

You want to use images that are within your domain or “sphere of influence”. Keep in mind – the image has to be fetched when the dashboard is loaded so it can influence the speed at which your dashboard loads. Also, if you “borrow” an image and the page owner removes or renames the logo, then your image disappears.  So speed and control are the reasons you want to know where the image is hosted. 

Tip: If your image is placed on a remote server where it could easily be moved or delete – consider name the image file something like “Logo_Used_Main_Dashboard_do_not_delete.jpg” or “logo_contact_analyst_dept_before_moving.png”. I have been able to use GIFS, JPGs and PNGs file types.  I could not find in the documentation specifically what image file types were supported – let me know if you do.

Adding the Images

To add an image to your dashboard, do the following.  [Click on any image to make it larger.]

Create or open a dashboard. From the Static Content pane, drag the Image icon to your dashboard.

sas bi dashboard instructions static content

 

Near the bottom of the Properties pane, you need to add your link to the Image Web address field. This is where you would paste your link.  I usually paste the link to make sure I have the correct path.  

Tip: Uncheck the Show toolbar and Border to make the image look nicer. 

sas bi dashboard instructions for linking images

 

Click the User Proxy check box if the image is not in the same domain as the dashboard. Check the SAS documentation for more information about static content

Empowering the Images

You can use an image as a way to link to other dashboards, reports, stored processes, SAS portal or even external links.  I like to call it empowering instead of linking … it just sounds more serious.  Power to the dashboard icons!

Linking within the SAS BI System

To link to another dashboard, select Link Type and select Dashboard.  Use the Browse button to find the dashboard name.  This is how you would set up the navigation – just decide which dashboards you want the user to go to next. [Icons: Wallpaper FX.] 

sas bi dashboard instructions for linking

Linking to the External Web

If you want to link to an external website, select External Link and use the link to the external site.  In this example, I’m linking the Twitter icon to my Twitter homepage. You may need to check with your management to make sure your external link is not being blocked by the corporate IT Net Nanny or that you receive permission for the external link. 

sas bi dashboard instructions for linking external sites

 

 If you want to change the overall dashboard theme, then check the  SAS BI Dashboard: Flex Theme Designer Makes It Personal post.

Learn all about SAS BI

You can learn more about SAS Business Intelligence from the "SAS BI Bible." Take a peek inside the Building Business Intelligience with SAS book.

Never miss a BI Notes post!

Click here for free subscription. Once you subscribe you'll be asked to confirm your subscription through your email account. You email address is kept private and you can unsubscribe anytime.
The following two tabs change content below.

Tricia Aanderud

Director of Data Visualization at Zencos Consulting
Tricia Aanderud is a SAS Business Intelligence and Visual Analytics consultant based in Raleigh, NC who works for Zencos Consulting. She has written several books about SAS, presented papers at many SAS conferences, and has been using SAS since 2001. Contact her for assistance with your next project.

Tags: ,

2 Comments »