How to build a live big-screen dashboard with Google Spreadsheets and Panic’s Status Board iPad app
Triggered through Panic’s release of version 2 of their iPad app Status Board (Affiliate-Link) I looked at the app again.
Basically the app gives you the ability to build a custom Status Board with a couple of widgets that you can drag around and adjust in size. You can look at your custom built dashboard right on your iPad or connect it to a big screen to give it more space.
There are some free “panels” as they call those widgets for e.g. Clock, Weather, Calendar but with the pro version it gets really interesting. You’ll be able to display data from any URL (that provides CSV or JSON) as tables or or graphs and even build complete custom panels through HTML.
But … not everyone will be able to code a connection to their data that outputs CSV or even JSON. As I’m no coder, I was looking for another way and found it with Google Spreadsheets. A quick google search presented me with the option to output a CSV-File right from a public spreadsheet.
- Locate the key and gid-value of your spreadsheet.
- Set the spreadsheet to “public” (Click “Share” and activate “Link sharing”)
- According to the following URL-Pattern fill your spreadsheet key and gid-value.
- Use the resulting URL as data source for a Status Board widget (Graph & Table will work)
That’s it! You’re good to go! Be sure to check out Panic’s article on how to make your own graph with the Status Board app. It’ll show you how to set up the table correctly and also how to specify colors of your graphs bars. This article of how to format a table is also handy. Want to dive right in? Check out my example …
Example: Social Follower Counts Graph
I’ve built a sheet to pull the follower counts of a few of the important social media platforms. I’m using importXML to parse the data from the markup of the profile pages. So this might not work forever as those sites tend to change once in a while.
Head over to my example spreadsheet and grab yourself a copy of it.
The document has two tabs (sheets), one called “Output” and the other called “Settings”. Head over to Settings and put in your desired account data.
Follow the instructions above to use the data in Status Board (Be sure to use the gid-value of the Output-Sheet). One more thing: Check the spreadsheet settings and make sure that Recalculation is set to “On change and every hour”.
- Use the Google Analytics Spreadsheets Add-on to create web analytics reports (e.g. most visited pages of your website yesterday). The plugin allows for scheduled refresh, so your status board will automatically refresh.
These are my settings for a report that shows yesterdays pages sorted by page views:
- Use Supermetrics for even more connections (Adwords, Google Webmaster Tools, Facbook …). Scheduled refresh is a paid feature though.
Do you have other ideas? Share them in the comments section!
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