There are four key users in the Dashboards add-on application. This article is designed to help familiarize you with them, as well as how to assign proper permissions.
Generically, Dashboards have two sections to make them work. Data Source and Visualization. Each section has both an Administrator and a User, therefore, we have four Key User Types, as we will discuss below.
Portal Administrators have both primary Administrator permissions automatically, as well the ability to assign the Manage Dashboard Data Sources and Manage Dashboard Visualizations permissions to any person or Role they choose via Portal Tools -> Manage Portal Framework -> Module Administration Security.
If a Portal Admin gives a User or Role permission to either of these tools, then that User or Role can Administer ALL Dashboards! This means they can create new, delete, change admins and more. This is a very powerful permission and should only be used if the Portal Admin wants to be "hands off" and delegate judiciously. It is generally suggested that you only give Administrator access on a "per dashboard" basis, rather than to the ENTIRE tool!
Create a New Data Source
This can only be done by Portal Administrator or someone with the "Manage Data Sources" Module Permission.
If you choose Excel, or SQL, you will need to be prepared to select that Data. A named Excel sheet must be uploaded or mapped to your document repository to finish this part. (Pssst... You can always change the data later!)
At the end of the creation, you will choose who can use the Data Source and who can be an admin of the Data Source. The Portal Admin (or whoever created the Data Source) is added to both spots, initially.
Data Source Administrators
Data source administrators are users that have the ability to manage permissions for and edit details of that specific data source(s) they have been given permission to. This includes the ability to edit the actual data in the case of Manual input data sources; queries in the case of SQL sources, and excel sheets in the case of MS Excel files. These individuals can also make other users (including themselves) data source administrators and data source users.
Data Source Users
Data Source Users have the ability to select data sources to tie to a visualization that they are a data source user of. This does not allow them to edit the data but instead to simply use the data for creating visualizations. You are just letting them use the data. It is important to note that Data Source Users have the ability to see the data that is in the table they have access to.
Create a New Visualization
This can only be done by Portal Administrator or someone with the "Manage Visualizations" Module Permission.
You must also be a USER of at least one Data Source in order to be able to USE the Data to make a Visualization!
(So if you don't have anything in that drop down? Go back to your Data Source admins and remind them to let you use the data!)
Visualization Administrators can change the details, layout, and appearance of the specific visualizations they are an editor of. This does not allow them to modify the data within a data source but instead allows the editor the ability to modify how the visualization looks and how the data is displayed.
The third tab is where the Visualization Admin can add/remove Visualization Admins and create Visualization Users. The Portal Admin (or whoever created the new Visualization) is added to both spots, initially.
Visualization Users have the ability to add visualizations to workgroup pages. They do not have the ability to edit the visualization details, layout, appearance, or the Data Source. (This is a LOT like being a "Reader" for a Document, if you're familiar with that permission.)
If you want to place a Dashboard in an Island on a Page, that Page needs to be able to USE the Visualization! (Meaning, the Workgroup that the Page lives in needs to be a Visualization User!)
Here's an example to think about...
Shane is the Portal Administrator at First Federal Bank of Steele-Lindner Credit Union. (FFBSLCU) . He is generally helpful, but does NOT have time to create, manage, configure, and assign permissions for every Dashboard for the entire organization.
Shane doesn't need any permissions. As Portal Admin, he can do it all anyway.
Stephanie is the V.P. in charge of the FFBSLCU Success Team and the sponsor of the Portal. She has tasked her crew (Jenni, Rachelle, and Kimmy) with making sure their new "Dashboards and Visualizations" application is used well, and worth it!
As she is both a VP and Sponsor, Shane may wish to grant Stephanie one or both of the primary Dashboard Administrator permissions via Portal Tools.
Jenni is a big huge data nerd. She LOVES her spreadsheets and can make them get up, walk, talk, and dance. She updates her information daily, and is VERY excited to get as much of this information out to the staff as possible. She has very little to do with the Portal itself, the design, or the look.
Jenni should tell Shane (or Stephanie) which of her spreadsheet(s) contain(s) the right data for the visualization(s) the team wishes to create. Once Shane (or Stephanie) creates those new Data Sources, Jenni should be made into a Data Source Admin of each Data Source, individually.
Rachelle is super excited to use Jenni's data to make great visualizations for the whole FFBSLCU team to see their progress in real time. She has been working closely with her CSM on how to get Dashboards to do exactly what she needs them to do. She's not in charge of the data itself, nor is she really in charge of the portal branding. She's more like a "mechanic."
Shane, Stephanie, or Jenni need to make Rachelle a Data Source User if they want her to be able to USE THE DATA to wrangle those Visualizations.
Now that Data Sources exist, and we know who is allowed to Administer and Use them, Shane (or Stephanie) need to create new Visualizations.
Shane or Stephanie need to make Rachelle a Visualization Admin and Visualization User on any Data Source they'd like her to build a Dashboard with.
Kimmy is the lead design guru for FFBSLCU. She makes the Portal Pages look very "on brand" and ensures that all staff feel right at home. She has nothing to do with data and is far too busy focused on making incredible page designs and images to learn a whole new application.
Kimmy (and any Workgroup that Kimmy wants to put the Dashboards on, PLUS any normal Portal Users who might be trying to access those Dashboards via a Public Page and not the native Workgroup) needs to be added each Dashboard as a Visualization User.