You’ve finally gotten your analytic looking great (lights), you have it on a dashboard in front your target user (camera), and… then what? An analytic has a certain amount of value if it provides your manager with some new information, but “Hm, that’s interesting” only gets you so far. What really gets your analytic in the win column is whether it drives your user to take some useful action (or prevents ineffective action).

Analytics can be actionable in the real world in that they lead to steps taken outside of Vista, such as changes in hiring, termination, and training. These are your ultimate goals—providing information to help your managers make and implement organizational decisions. But, before you can get there, your users typically must perform additional in-system actions, such as analyzing the data in different ways, digging into the details to understand the aggregates better, and possibly even updating existing data.

In short, to be the most useful, analytics should support the ability to drill down—to more detailed data, to ancillary data, or to editable screens.

Vista Analytics provides powerful drilldown capabilities:

    • An analytic can drill down to another analytic, passing contextual data from where the user clicked on the first analytic. (And this chain can continue to subsequent analytics.)

    • Alternatively, an analytic can drill down to a Vista screen, passing the same contextual information. This can be an employee or setup table, a specific setup or employee record to edit, or a larger, mixed page. (And note that security is enforced in this process.)

    • A Vista Analytic can even drill down to different child analytics or pages, depending on the settings and user choices.

With Vista Analytics, you can let your users continue to slice and dice their data as desired and then ultimately get to any screen in Vista and do whatever they need to do as a follow-up step. Or you can just create some analytics that are just shortcuts to help the users get to whatever pages they need to access.

This means that your job is to consider your users’ possible thought processes and provide the drill-down functionality that they might need, whether that is to another analytic or to a specific Vista page. It’s rare that an analytic would not benefit from a drill-down of any kind.

This article is part of the Vista Analytics Best Practices series. If you missed it, please read our last post. Pay Attention to Aesthetics.

Marco Padovani
Senior Development Manager | PDS