SQL dashboards allow you to easily visualize data using SQL queries, plot charts & graphs, and monitor them in interactive, web-based dashboards that you can share with others. Here’s how to create SQL dashboards and database reports for your business.
What is a SQL Dashboard
SQL dashboard is a visual presentation of data from SQL relational databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQL Server and Oracle using SQL queries. Each KPI metric on an SQL dashboard is a result of an SQL query.
These SQL queries are run in real-time on live databases, or on database replicas. SQL dashboards automatically update their information based on latest query results. So you don’t need to manually update SQL dashboards. In fact, many SQL dashboards also support auto-refresh features.
Most SQL dashboards are created using SQL dashboard software tools that allow you to create dashboard from SQL data. In fact, some of them even have drag & drop query builder for users without SQL knowledge.
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How to Create SQL Dashboards
Creating SQL dashboards and database reports is easy. Here are the steps to create SQL dashboards & reports.
1. Determine KPI metrics
The first step is to determine what KPI metrics you need to display in your SQL dashboard. Conduct 2-3 rounds of meetings with your team to determine the various performance metrics that you need to show on your dashboard.
You may already be tracking many performance metrics, scattered across different systems and tools. Aggregate them.
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2. Create SQL queries
Many times, your team is already running many SQL queries to generate different database reports in CSV, Excel, Workbench, and other tools.
Gather all these SQL queries to come up with a list of SQL queries you need to run in your SQL dashboard software.
If there are any new metrics, create SQL queries for them too.
Typically, SQL reporting tools allow you to write or copy-paste SQL queries, run these queries with the click of a button, and render result using different visualizations such as tables, line charts, pie charts, etc.
You can save these SQL queries on a dashboard, and these queries run every time you run your SQL dashboard.
Here’s an example of SQL report that you can create using Ubiq. In the following example, we have pasted the an SQL query and click ‘Run Query‘.
Ubiq automatically returns the following result table.
You can easily choose the visualization of your choice (line, pie, bar, area, column, etc) to visualize the SQL query result in different ways. Here’s an example the above table rendered as a line chart.
Click Save to save the SQL query+graph onto your dashboard.
In fact, Ubiq also provides a drag & drop interface to help you build SQL queries, without any SQL knowledge.
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3. Choose the Right Visualization
When you create SQL dashboards, it is important to choose the right visualization for each KPI metric to make it easy for users to understand the data. Otherwise, it might confuse or even misguide users.
For example, in which of the following visualizations, is the sales trend obvious?
The sales trend is easy to spot in the column chart on the right, while it is difficult to look at the pie slices and determine if your sales are growing or falling.
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4. Design SQL Dashboard
Finally, you need to organize the KPI metrics on your SQL dashboard in an intuitive manner that allows users to easily draw insights and make better decisions.
Organize your KPI metrics in a top-down manner into 3 layers. The most important & urgent metrics can be placed on top, with trends, comparisons & distributions in the middle, and granular table details at the bottom.
Here’s an example of SQL dashboard created using Ubiq.
Optionally, when you create SQL dashboards, you can place related KPIs and graphs near each other. This will allow users to easily relate, compare and contrast information, and draw insights quickly.
Hopefully, the above article will help you create SQL dashboards for your business.