What's the Difference Between Homepages and Dashboards? How to Best Use Each...

March 23, 2020 | 3 minute read
Matthew Haavisto
Product Management Director
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Structural and Conceptual Differences

The difference between Dashboards and Home Pages in Fluid has been confusing to some customers since these features were introduced.  The structural difference is minor:  Homepages have a menu drop down in the header that enables users to move to other Homepages. In addition, Homepages can be swiped to move to other Homepages on touch devices like tablets and smart phones.  Dashboards lack these features.

Homepage with drop-down menu

Dashboard header doesn't contain a drop-down menu

The more important differences are in design and intent.  With Dashboards, the intent is that they are a destination for viewing analytics, while the Homepage’s primary purpose is as a navigation gateway--a launchpad--to get to destinations like application pages/components and yes, Dashboards.  

A well-designed Homepage should aggregate tiles (content references) that are relevant to a specific role or purpose.  The Homepage may contain tiles that lead to dashboards (but the inverse should not be true).  Homepages generally should not contain many analytics; just those that are used regularly for that role/purpose.  As mentioned above, the Homepage may contain a tile that leads to a dashboard containing related analytics.  In that scenario, the Dashboard is created to support the role for which the home page was designed, and it serves to assist users with decisions while performing the activities performed on the Homepage.

Tile for navigating from a Homepage to a Dashboard

Think of the purpose of the Fluid dashboard as being the same as the classic dashboard: providing easy access to Key Performance Indicators and analytics for decision support.  Dashboards may also be a primary destination for some roles.  For example, an executive may regularly view a Dashboard containing several important analytics to get a complete picture of how the enterprise is performing.  

Kibana Now Part of the Analytic Landscape

As of PeopleTools 8.58, Kibana is now integrated with the PeopleSoft UI and can ingest application data and visualize it.  Fluid Dashboards can contain Kibana tiles as well as pivot grid and simplified analytics tiles, but the essential purpose of the Dashboard is consistent regardless of the type of analytics.

Homepage tiles can take users to Kibana analytics or Pivot Grids--including Dashboards

Kibana dashboards are conceptually the same as PeopleSoft Fluid dashboards; that is, they aggregate related analytics (in the Kibana term “Visualizations”).  Note that now you can create a Kibana tile on a PeopleSoft dashboard that leads to a Kibana dashboard (sort of a nesting).  For more information on Kibana with PeopleSoft, see this video and this post.

Kibana Dashboard within PeopleSoft

Confusion can arise because Homepages can contain analytic tiles, and Dashboards can contain navigational tiles.  (We don't restrict the type of tiles you can include on either.)  In addition, Homepages and Dashboards are visually almost identical.  The distinction is really in the design of each.  If you follow the guidelines above when designing Homepages and Dashboards, there should be little or no confusion for your users.

Matthew Haavisto

Product Management Director

I've worked in the PeopleSoft product for over 20 years.  I'm primarily concerned with User Experience, Portal, Accessibility, and Reporting and Analytics.

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