Sisense BloX 2.0: Activate Your Dashboard

What if I told you that every time you reach your sales goal “fly me to the moon” by Frank…

What if I told you that every time you reach your sales goal “fly me to the moon” by Frank Sintra triggered from your Spotify app. Or, maybe that you can now launch a marketing campaign straight from your smartwatch based on your business insights? Your initial reaction might be to say “now, how cool is that?” but the right approach should say “now, how effective is that?”

Today Sisense Labs announced the release of version 2 of Sisense BloX, which started as a UX experiment aiming to create an end-to-end BI application and by that, reduce the time to action. Like all experiments, Sisense BloX was made to test a hypothesis that explores the human side of BI through interactions.

Sisense BloX

In this version, we double down on actions by bringing a new set of predefined actions and taking common use cases for actions and making them accessible with the ease of BloX creation. However, that’s not all. With version 2 of Sisense BloX we are introducing new actions framework where developers can create their own custom actions and drive their unique business flow.

Why is that? Today the amount of data is overwhelming almost impossible to digest. We focus a lot of attention on how to process this data through AI and ML but it’s also important to focus on humans. We got used to reading charts, tables, text, and more…but are they intuitive or even consumable?

We don’t think our users want to see more charts. However, they do want to make smart decisions and act upon selected insights so they can be in full control of their business. That’s where interactions and BloX come in.

Sisense BloX

Credit: Guy Duer, Sisense

Oh Hello, Developers!

It’s time to unify data and operations in one place. We believe that one day your BI platform will become your operating system and that products will be built on it. When that day comes, developers and data engineers need a flexible framework that is customizable and actionable. Great news – this exactly what BloX is all about.

Since we released the first version of Sisense BloX, we’ve received a lot of meaningful feedback. This feedback included use cases we were blown away by, which hooked us and sent us back to the drawing board.

Now with our new release, we have powerful rendering on React, an action editor, filter buttons, and more exporting capabilities. Version 2 is the next step in our goal to create the framework developers can use to build analytic experiences.

One Framework to Rule Them All

The first version of Sisense BloX was a classic start: a well-packaged framework in a low code environment. In other words,  we just hoped it wouldn’t break anything! Version 2 is a whole new story. Built on top of React, using advanced code editor with all the goodies builders like, and pre-built functions such as carousel, animation, input functions, sliders, mobile view, and more. This version is surely a playground for developers and for those who want to feel like one.

See, Act, Repeat

Sisense BloX is all about integrating actions. In addition to the out-of-the-box actions like OpenURL, Submit, and Showcard, the Actions SDK allows you to build actions using JavaScript. You can create an action that triggers filters, an action that creates an alert, even an action that creates a custom email with its HTML. These actions can then be saved and reused like a snippet. Build it once, re-use it whenever.

The Actions SDK gives developers flexibility and creative freedom to build more types of actions. Your only limit is your imagination (and a solid internet connection).

Tell Your Story With BloX

With BloX in hand, you are a storyteller. It’s true that you can set filters and hope your users will use them. But why not create these types of views in advance? Version 2 lets you create action buttons that include multiple filters parameters, we call them “Sisense Filtered Views”.

Let’s say you know your users will want to see data filtered by specific parameters (like gender, location, or sales), you set the parameters and give them an attractive call to action like “Trending now in the US”.  All your users have to do is click the button and the dashboard changes to the set parameters. Now that’s real power for the builders!

“Happiness is Only Real When it’s Shared”

Now, that our builders have the ability to create BI apps with different UX flow and different purposes, we must not silo them only to one view and medium. This is why we made it a point to add some advanced exporting options such as generating an iFrame embed code, a direct URL, and my personal favorite, export to a QR code.

The ability to export your widget to a QR code means you can tie physical objects into your analytics. For example, if you manage an inventory of t-shirts you can put the QR code next to the item in the warehouse. Every time you take t-shirts out of inventory, you scan the QR code with your phone, your inventory management widget pops up, and you can manage and update inventory right there. Here’s an example:

Sisense BloX

Credit: Guy Duer, Sisense

What’s Next?

Shifting paradigms is never easy and thinking about analytics as the new operating system brings challenges to the table. How do you change a mindset that is used to seeing BI as static to seeing it as active and actionable? How do you tackle the new dashboard designer role for developers now that they have the tools to do their work? How do you stop thinking BI has limitations and realize the only limitation is your creativity?  

These are all questions we’re asking ourselves and working hard to solve. However, one thing is clear: With BloX, the value from analytics is much higher. Depending on how you build your analytic app, you’ll save money by not having to use other third-party applications, you’ll save operational time by not having to leave your dashboard, and you’ll increase user engagement by keeping your users in one platform.

To all the builders and creators out there, I challenge you to go wild with BloX.

Here are some goodies to get you started:

Icons And Symbols

https://fontawesome.com/
https://thenounproject.com/

Free Image And Vector Stock

https://unsplash.com/
https://www.freepik.com/

Color palettes

https://colorhunt.co

Gradient Generator

https://uigradients.com

Free Image Hosting

https://imgbb.com/

Developer Goodies

https://caniuse.com/
https://css-tricks.com/
https://www.w3schools.com/
https://codepen.io/
https://daneden.github.io/animate.css/
https://jsonlint.com/

Sisense BloX
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