It’s important to plan out how the data you collect will be used to provide information and guide decision making. Dashboards are an effective tool for people to explore, visualize and interpret data. Time series data (sequential data points) is a good example of how dashboards can assist with exploration, visualization and interpretation. Time series data can be displayed in a dashboard using the Time series chart, Table or Periodization diagram widgets. When data points are shown on a chart, it may be easier to interpret the time between events and the duration of events as you can see it on a chart.
The Periodization diagram widget was created so that calendared events could be visualized in dashboards. This may be useful to any organization that plans events over time–for example, to view leave requests within an organization or to view a teams' planned training phases so that you can program training sessions based on the phase.
We’ll use a competition schedule as the example for this tutorial. In this example, we will use Smartabase to log information about upcoming competitions for athletes in a sporting organization. We will show you how to build an event form that can be used by staff or athletes to enter details about upcoming competitions, including an option for coaches to log the same record for multiple athletes at the same time. We will then create a dashboard to view the competition schedule for the next few months. We will allow for multiple athletes to be shown on the dashboard, even if they have conflicting events, which will be helpful for people who look after athletes from multiple teams or athletes with unique competition schedules.
This workflow utilizes a Multiple athletes field to create records for multiple athletes at the same time. As this field is not supported in the Smartabase Athlete app or Kiosk app, you will only be able to use Smartabase Online or the legacy mobile application to tag multiple athletes. The forms can be enabled for use on the Athlete and Kiosk apps but the Multiple athletes field will not be visible and people will only be able to create a record for one person at a time. For the purpose of this tutorial, the workflow has been designed to be used on Smartabase Online only.
This tutorial will take you through the process of creating a database and event form to track upcoming competitions using Smartabase Online. You will then build a dashboard and use a Periodization diagram widget to display those competitions on a timeline.
- Create an event form to store information about competitions.
- Create a competition database by importing a template.
- Update the competition event form to include custom fields.
- Populate the competition database.
- Use the Periodization diagram widget to create a timeline of competitions.
- Set up save buttons in the event form to redirect to the competition dashboard.
Outcome 1: Create an event form to store information about competitions
- Create a new event form with the builder tools and name it Competition Schedule.
- Add a Single selection field named Competition type and set the options as Regional, National and International.
- Add a Single line text field named City.
- Add a Single line text field named Country.
- Add a Date field named Competition start. In the advanced field properties, set the default date to None and the appropriate Date Format. Ensure that Restrict Future Dates is set to False and Remove Future Dates is set to No.
- Add a Date field named Competition end. In the advanced field properties, set the default date to None and the appropriate Date Format. Ensure that Restrict Future Dates is set to False and Remove Future Dates is set to No.
- Save the form.
There will be an error message at the bottom of the event form suggesting that we shorten the name of the Competition start field as it may be too long to display in tables. This error does not prevent the form from working, and since we will primarily be using the dashboard to view this data, we have chosen to ignore the suggestion.
Outcome 2: Create a competition database by importing a template
- From the Event Forms tool, select the Download event form option next to the Competition Schedule form. This will download a copy of the form to your computer.
- Navigate to the Database Forms tool.
- Hover over the Options button and select New databases form.
- Select Import form from another application at the bottom of the page and choose the file you downloaded earlier in step 1.
- Select Upload.
- In the form properties, rename the database form as Competitions.
- Select the Country field and change the question type to a Search field. Use the list attached at the end of this tutorial to populate the list of countries.
- Save the form.
As with the previous outcome, the same error message is displayed at the bottom of the form regarding the length of the Competition start field name. We will disregard the suggestion to shorten the field name.
Outcome 3: Update the Competition Schedule event form to include custom fields
- Return to the Event Forms tool and open the Competition Schedule form.
- Add a Database field named Competition. In the advanced field properties, reference the Competitions database created in Outcome 2 in the Database setting.
When you select a competition using the Database field, the fields below will automatically populate with the information stored in the database record.
- Add a Multiple athletes field to tag related athletes who will be attending the competition. Name the field Tag relevant athletes. In the advanced field properties, set Default show in tables? to False.
- Use the advanced form properties to set Athlete Fields to Create event for athlete.
- Save the form.
Outcome 4: Populate the competition database
There are two options to populate the competition database: you can either enter competitions individually through the Database Forms tool using the builder interface, or you can import competitions from a CSV using Smartabase Online.
To enter competitions individually:
- From the builder interface, go to the Database Forms tool.
- Select Add/Edit Records next to the Competitions database.
- Hover over the Options button, then select New Competitions.
- Enter the relevant details for the competition.
- Save and close the record.
To import competitions:
- Ensure that you have access to write to the event form and database form in your role.
- Use Smartabase Online to begin the process of entering data for an athlete.
- Select an athlete from the group you have loaded, then select the Competition Schedule event form.
- Select the Competition database field. In the pop-up window, select View all.
- Hover over the Options button, then select Import Competitions.
- Select the Competitions database from the dropdown list, then upload your .csv file. You can generate a template here to ensure that you have the correct format.
At this point, we recommend adding some test records into the Competition Schedule event form. This will allow you to check that the event and database forms are working as expected before building the dashboard. Ensure that your role has the necessary permissions to edit the Competition Schedule event form. Enter some test records for the Competition Schedule event form, including records for different people by tagging them within the record, and creating events with overlapping dates.
Outcome 5: Use the Periodization diagram widget to create a timeline of competitions
- Using the Dashboard builder tool on the builder interface, create a new dashboard.
- Name the dashboard Competition Schedule.
- Assign a custom dashboard category, or select Built Dashboard from the dropdown list.
- Use the Competition Schedule event form as the data source.
- Select Create dashboard.
- Navigate to the Data tab and edit the Competition Schedule data source to include all historical and future records.
- Optionally apply any custom styling options to the canvas and section.
- Add a Select box widget.
- Use the General properties to set the widget title as Athlete(s). Optionally hide the subtitle and make any styling adjustments.
- Use the Options properties to set the Field to About.
- Use the Selection Settings properties to enable the Allow empty selection toggle.
- Navigate to Rulesets in the navigation bar and create a new ruleset.
- Name the ruleset Competition type.
- Set the data type as String.
- Create a new rule by selecting the plus (+) icon.
- Set three rules as follows:
- If string is equal to Regional then #5bc0de
- If string is equal to National then #5cb85c
- If string is equal to International then #428bca
You can choose different colors if preferred.
- Add a Periodization diagram widget.
- Use the General properties to set the widget title as Competition Schedule. Optionally hide the subtitle and make any styling adjustments.
- Use the Timeline properties to enable the month and week tracks, set your preferred Date display format and set the Default zoom level to Months.
- Use the Tracks properties to add a new track. Select the track in the sidebar.
- In the General settings for the track, set the Track type as an Event.
- Add a Data filter such that About is equal to the Athlete(s) select box widget. Tick the box to ignore the rule if the filtering widget has no value selected.
- Set the Start date field to Competition start.
- Set the End date field to Competition end.
- Set the Viewing mode to Breakdown and group by About.
- In the Fields settings for the track, add a new field.
- Select Competition from the Field dropdown list.
- Set the data type as String.
- Enable the Aggregate blocks toggle and set the aggregation as Get from earliest record for the About field.
- Disable the toggle to Show blocks with no value.
- In the Style settings, set the Block coloring method to Conditionally color by values of Competition type. Select the Competition type ruleset created earlier.
- In the Interaction settings, select the Edit Fields button to customize the tooltip and card fields. Drag the Competition, Competition type, Location, City, Competition start and Competition end fields to the column on the right, then select Done.
- Optionally adjust any other settings in the Style and Advanced properties.
- Publish the dashboard.
- Go to Smartabase Online to test the dashboard with the data you entered after completing Outcome 4. Check that the Periodization diagram widget in your dashboard shows the data you entered by default and changes when you select an athlete in the Select box widget to only show the data for that athlete.
Outcome 6: Set up save buttons in the event form to redirect to the competition dashboard
- Refresh the builder interface. Go to the Event Forms tool and select the Competition Schedule event form.
- In the Save properties, enable the Save and redirect button by ticking the corresponding box.
- Configure the settings to redirect to a Dashboard and for it to apply to All Users.
- Select the Competition Schedule dashboard from the dropdown list.
- Save the event form.
- If the fields in the event form do not automatically populate, check that the fields are named exactly the same as those in the database. Also confirm that all of the fields in the database record have been filled out.
- If you are unable to tag other athletes in the event form, check that your role contains the Edit Athlete Fields system permission and that the current group you have loaded contains more than one athlete.