Vanguard Dashboard FAQ’s

What is the dashboard?

A Power BI dashboard is a single page, often called a canvas, that tells a story through visualizations. Because it’s limited to one page, it contains only the highlights of that story. You can drill down on related reports for details. Dashboards are a feature of the Power BI.  The main use of a dashboard is to show a comprehensive overview of data from different sources. It is useful for monitoring, measuring, and analyzing relevant data in key areas.

Provides at-a-glance visibility

This software makes even the most complex data easy to read and interpret and provides on-demand visibility and insight. Rather than waiting for data analysts to deliver monthly reports, a dashboard displays up-to-date information so you can instantly track the progress and changing conditions of a department or business operation.

Saves time and resources

Without BI software, businesses spend countless hours logging into systems to run and format individual reports, or they rely on IT personnel to run and format these reports for them. Dashboard reporting saves valuable time and resources by displaying updated results for each report.

Improves decision making

Immediate access to at-a-glance information means businesses can swiftly make decisions and take action. There’s no need to request data from developers, wait for the data, receive the report and then attempt to take action. Instead, dashboard reports are instantaneous and can be easily shared between users, enabling the free flow of information between key players.

Easy performance checks and balances

You don’t have to wait months to detect performance issues among your team or staff. When employees are aware that a data dashboard can monitor their performance in an up-to-date fashion, they’ll inherently improve their performance-even if it’s just to “stay off the radar.” BI software enables you and your team to track progress, meet specific goals or improve individual performance rates.

Up-to-date progress evaluation

With this dashboard, you can see the effects in near real-time, measuring goals-against progress as you work to improve your territory.  The results you see are accurate up to yesterday’s orders, and shipments.


How do I logon?

The first time you access this, you will be provided a logon. You must login from your Vanguard account and know your Vanguard password.  Once on the site, the easiest thing to do is to create a bookmark from your browser. There is also an app for your phone or tablet.

Where can I find this FAQ on the dashboard?

It is in the far lower left-hand corner under the easy button.

What devices can I use to access the dashboard?

Any device that can access the Internet.  Phones, tablets, iPads, and obviously computers. I personally find it difficult to read on my phone, even when I blow up the sections. But it can be very useful when you are somewhere in your car, need some quick information, and can access it using cellular.

What does the top of the dashboard tell me?

The dashboard above is a snapshot for the entire company for orders only. This will change if you change your selection to shipments, or you select an individual account. The orders box shows total orders for the current year as of yesterday. The prior orders show orders for the exact same number of days last year. The dollar and year over year numbers are simply arithmetic, showing the dollar difference and the percent difference, respectively.

How is my reps score calculated?

The rep score is a formula for a measure that we created.  We add together, ¼ of the year over year percent to goal from the prior year, and ¾ of the year over year percent to goal versus forecast.  So, your percent to forecast is worth three times as much.Where did the numbers come from? And why are they different on different reports?

The numbers come from the AS/400 and our updated nightly, so they are accurate to yesterday. They are slightly different on different reports because:

  • These numbers are dynamic. If an order changes it is updated.
  • These are gross numbers, and not net, sales or net orders.
  • When appropriate, these numbers include guaranteed freight.
  • Your commission reports come from a completely different set of numbers.
  • There are other nuances in how different reports are calculated. It is our goal to work towards a single set of numbers.

Where does my forecast come from? Where do my last year numbers come from?

As you recall, last September, we forecasted every account for both casegoods and upholstery. These numbers are then rolled up into pricing tiers and channels.  It is important to note that they are not evenly divided by week over the year. When we built of monthly shipping forecast in December, we were uncertain about the economy.  Several factors go into the shipping forecast, including projected backlog, the number of weeks in fiscal month, and the estimated robustness business of the period.  The shipping forecast for your territory breaks out like this.



Last year’s numbers are matter of fact. This is what you shipped in the same number of calendar days.

What are the different Symbols on the header mean?

The double caret.Both left and right facing. This either shows or hides the navigation pane.
File.This allows you to either print, embedding another document, or create a QR code that will take someone else to this exact page.
Sharethis creates a link, which allows you to share it.
Exportthis allows you to export the file as a PDF or a PowerPoint. It gives you the option to export it as an Excel file, but I counsel against this, unless you have advanced pivot table skills.
Ellipsiscurrently, this allows you to chat in teams. It has the potential for much more functionality in the future.
Left Pointing LassoThese resets filters, slicers, and other data view changes you’ve made.
Bookmarkthis creates a bookmark to which you give a unique name. You can make as many of these as you like. When you use the drop-down arrow, you can select the bookmark.
Rounded rectanglethis changes the view. It allows you to see something in page with or full screen.
Right pointing lassoRefresh visuals—when the data model has been updated, refreshing will update all visuals with the latest data.
Quote Bubblethis allows you to create a comment that sticks with this page. And you can send this comment to anyone inside the organization by using the @symbol followed by their name.
Starthis allows you to favorite or unfavorite a particular view.

We know this is a little bit wonky. But keep working with it and learn by trial and error.

What do the different icons mean?

The Single Up ArrowThis allows you to drill up.  Because the data is collected daily, you can drill up to week, fiscal period, quarter and year.
The Single Down ArrowThis allows you to drill down.  Because the data is collected daily, you can drill down to day, week, fiscal period, quarter and year.
The Double Down ArrowThis allows you to quickly drill down to the lowest common denominator.
The inverted pitchfork
The Pin
The vertical RectangleThis allows you to copy the screen to your clipboard, which you can paste somewhere else.
FilterThis shows you what filters have been selected
Expand ButtonThis expands a section of the dashboard to a full page of its own
EllipsisWhenever you see this, it means there are more options


What is the easy button and how do I use it?


The easy button is a to click shortcut that prepares a standardized report for an individual account.  Select the easy button from the lower left-hand side of the menu.  Next, select an account name from the drop-down box. Finally, select the ending period.  My recommendation is that you select the most recent full ending. For example, if we are halfway through June, you would select Period Five.

This creates a report, which does the following:

  • A cover page with four simple, easy to read charts.
    • Historical shipments for case and upholstery by year. From there, you can navigate to the other report pages using the arrows at the top.  If you would like to export to Excel, click on the Export button and Excel is the first option in the dropdown.
    • A pie chart breaking out case, goods, upholstery, and other by segment
    • This year’s case goods shipments by collection
    • This year’s upholstery shipment py collection
  • Account shipment history by collection
  • FYTD and TTM versus the comparable periods in the prior year
  • All orders for the current year
  • All shipments for the current year
  • Backlog for the current year

As time goes on, and you become more familiar with this dashboard, this will be less important.  This was our stab on the most important information in one place without having any dashboard knowledge.


How do I view an individual account on the dashboard?

Simply click on the text of the accounts name in the box in the upper left-hand corner.  This will show the relevant information for that account.


How do I export a page to a different format?

Select export from the top menu.

How do I see what’s been ordered or shipped by a particular account?

The easiest way to do this is to click customer details in the far left menu.  Then navigate to the far right menu and select the customer name from the drop-down box. This will populate all the tables.

What are the different ways I can filter a report?

There are nearly infinite ways to filter a report by checking the appropriate boxes. You can filter your accounts by pricing tear, channel, product type, and year… Or any combination of those.

How do I create a bookmark of a frequently viewed page?

Whenever you get two of you, that you really like, you can create a bookmark by simply selecting the bookmark icon from the top of the menu. Name it, and it will automatically update it with new data when you return to it on a later date.

What does it mean if I have an NA in the pricing tier or the channel?

It means the account has not been coded in the AS/400.  Send Ed an email and he will get it corrected.

Who do I call when I am frustrated?

Stick your face in a pillow and scream as loud as you can. Smack the pillow around a few times to show it who’s boss.  Spew the most derisive invectives you can think of blaming God, your spouse and the rectal orifices who created this. Extra points for epithets.  After you have your little temper tantrum, call Ed. If he doesn’t know the answer, he will find out.