User's Guide Overview

Welcome to the AppInsights documentation portal! What is AppInsights? What are its capabilities? How will it help your business succeed? These are just a few of the questions we’ll answer in the sections that follow.

Whether you’re justing getting started with AppInsights, or you’re a long-time customer looking for some new tips and tricks, a thorough read-through of our documentation will ensure that you have all the tools required to get the most out of your dashboards.

Let’s get started!

What is AppInsights?

AppInsights is a data visualization and data monitoring tool that empowers users to keep track of the critical KPIs that impact their businesses, campaigns, and projects. We offer a powerful set of tools that allow users to easily gather, consume, and share their data in a visually compelling dashboard environment, with data streams updating in real-time.

Why AppInsights?

For both small businesses and enterprise companies, the average number of relevant data sources that provide insight into company success is growing rapidly. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly complicated (and expensive) to export data from these sources in a way that is efficient, intelligible, and actionable. With AppInsights, users can finally make sense of the ocean of data that is being generated by their businesses and focus on the key metrics that actually make a difference.

Our aim is to provide our users with an efficient, low cost tool that eliminates the laborious and complex task of preparing monthly or quarterly data reviews. Instead, AppInsights will dynamically centralize all of the KPIs that matter most to you and keep them current for review by your stakeholders whenever it is most important and relevant.

Our audience

AppInsights is an intuitive, user-driven application that attracts business users from organizations of every shape, size, and type. Whether you’re an SMB owner that is eager to create a set of company overview dashboards, or you’re a Fortune 500 SVP looking to monitor trends within a specific company org or division, AppInsights can serve your needs.

Accounting, Customer Service, Marketing, Project Management, Social Media, Sales -- these are just a few of the common areas of user focus, and new use-cases are constantly emerging. Regardless of the tools you may use to run your business or the KPIs that act as your success levers, our primary goal is to make it easy for you to centralize your data sources and surface them in a meaningful, collaborative way.

Why use this guide?

Anybody who is considering the AppInsights platform, or is already a user, can benefit from the use of this guide. By reading through the documentation sections that follow, you will walk away with a comprehensive understanding of every piece of AppInsights functionality -- data sources, basic and advanced features, shareability -- and can be certain that you and your team are getting maximum value out of our app.

What you’ll learn

Deciding which data sources and KPIs are most important to you is just the beginning of your AppInsights journey. Once we’ve explored each of your data connectivity options -- integrations, spreadsheets, databases, etc -- we will dive into the broad feature-set that will further enrich interactions with your data. More specifically, we’ll cover how you can...

  1. Use alerts and goal thresholds to motivate decision making based on the activity of your KPIs
  2. Leverage dashboard sharing options to improve the visibility of key data within an organization or team 
  3. Export data from AppInsights using spreadsheets or our custom API for further examination and reporting purposes 

If there is any area of the app that is not covered in the below sections, please let us know!

AppDirect & AppInsights

AppDirect is the global leader in cloud service commerce, with a focus on making it exceedingly easy for companies to find, buy, and use software. As a AppInsights user, you also have access to AppDirect and it’s variety of end-user products, including: single-sign on, user provisioning, and app management. To learn more about AppDirect, or to explore other apps that would be useful to your business, you can login directly to your AppDirect account here and/or send questions to our support team.

Glossary

  • Access key -- unique identifier for each customer account, required for use of our Push Data functionality
  • Alerts -- email messages triggered by metric activity, can be sent to individual users or larger groups
  • App tile or service tile -- the UI elements within the AppInsights services pane that allow you to select your data sources and widget types
  • Authentication -- another term for a connection to an out-of-the-box integration -- i.e. Google Analytics, Zendesk, Harvest, etc. -- managed in the “Authentications” pane
  • Custom content -- refers to a selection of widgets that can surface media or other content rather than data alone (i.e. Label widget, Image widget, HTML widget, Time widget)
  • Custom data -- term for any data within AppInsights that is surfaced without the use of our out-of-the-box integrations
  • Custom data tools -- used to surface custom data; refers to our database connectors, Google Sheet integration, CSV upload tool, or Push & Fetch data tools
  • Dashboard -- the focal point of the AppInsights UI; a 24x12 grid that contains your various widgets
  • Dashboard collection -- a set of dashboards that is grouped and ordered according to user preference for easy sharing using our share-link feature
  • Data retriever -- interchangeable with “metric”; refers to the available data points or data sets through a given service integration (number will vary by service)
  • Data settings tab -- found within the “Edit Widget Settings” menu; allows users to modify their data connection and the structure of the data that is being pushed to the visualization
  • Display mode -- optimizes dashboard for viewing by removing menus and expanding size of widgets, triggered by clicking the eye icon at top left of your dashboard
  • Edit Widget Settings menu -- interchangeable with “Widget editor”, toggled by hitting the gear icon at top right of any widget; provides access to the Data Settings and Widget Settings tab
  • Footer -- bottom portion of the dashboard that includes the date, time, and logo field; toggled on / off in the Basic Styling menu
  • Grid resolution -- the density of the dashboard grid, 24x12 squares
  • Header -- top portion of the dashboard that includes the dashboard name; toggled on / off in the Basic Styling menu
  • Metrics -- refers to the available data points or data sets through a given service integration (number will vary by service)
  • Service integration, out-of-the-box integration, or integration -- various names for the AppInsights connections to popular web-based applications (i.e. Google Analytics, Zendesk, Harvest, etc.)
  • Services panel -- toggled by clicking the blue “+” button on the left side of the dashboard; offers users a selection of data sources that can be connected to their dashboards
  • Share-link -- a custom URL that provides view only access to a live dashboard or collection of dashboards
  • Report -- email a report with an image of the dashboard in png or pdf format. This can be triggered manually by the user or scheduled for automated sending on specific days / times
  • Stream-points -- term used to describe the data points associated with a widget
  • Stream name -- unique identifier for the data source associated with a specific widget, required for use of our custom Push or Fetch Data tools
  • Template -- a pre-packaged set of metrics that fill an entire dashboard, making it easy for new users to get started with common web services
  • User -- anybody who has been given owner, view & edit, or view only access to a AppInsights dashboard account
  • Visualizations -- refers to the data representation options available to AppInsights users
  • Widget -- interchangeable with “visualizations”, but may also refer to custom content widgets that surface images or other media (RSS, gallery, HTML widgets) rather than data
  • Widget editor -- interchangeable with the “Edit Widget Settings” menu, toggled by hitting the gear icon at top right of any widget; provides access to the Data Settings and Widget Settings tab
  • Widget settings tab -- found within the “Edit Widget Settings” menu; allows users to modify the visual output of their data