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Deciding between Autotask Widget Types

When creating widgets in an Autotask dashboard, you need to decide the type of widget to use.

To determine the type of widget, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I looking for a trend?
  • Am I looking for a trigger to activate an action by me?
  • Do I need multiple variations of a KPI/trigger?

Those three questions will tell you pretty much everything you need to know.

In reviewing these questions, I can say that the biggest mistake most people make is to go right to a graph widget. Graphs are ONLY good for trending. You should never use them as triggers. For triggers, use gauges.

Gauges are great for triggers (i.e., X happens, you need to do Y). Better yet, when using gauges, you can create up to 6 gauges per widget, whereas a graph widget is restricted to a single data set. This comes in handy when you have several conflicting data sets that are related, e.g., if customer X does A, if customer X does B, if customer X does C but not D.

You can see two widget examples as screenshots below.

Graphs and Techs Don’t Mix

Consider this: Gauges are great for techs to trigger work, e.g., a gauge that shows new tickets assigned to them. However, while graphs are great for managers, they’re almost always a bad choice for tech dashboards! Your tech dashboards should generally be nothing but gauges. Why? Techs are action-oriented, and gauges trigger actions. Managers are both action-oriented and trend-focused.

Example Screenshots

Gauges don8217t show trends but are great for triggering an action 8212 red do something
Graph Widgets show trends, but are difficult to use to trigger actions

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