Dashboards User Guide

On this page:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 1

About this Guide

This document serves as a resource for Integrators to leverage as they roll out their custom AutoQL solution in their own application and begin introducing Dashboards to their internal team(s) and to their end users. Integrators are welcome to reference this Guide for learning and training purposes and are encouraged to pull content and edit it to supplement their existing User Documentation or other resources as they see fit.

Check out our 3-Minute Demo of Dashboards below, or keep reading to learn more.

To help with understanding, it’s first important to establish commonly understood terminology. In this section, we'll introduce (or reintroduce) a number of key terms that are referenced throughout this document:

What/who is an Integrator?

  • An Integrator is a software development company or software solution provider that implements AutoQL in their application.

At its core, AutoQL is a robust AI system that operates behind-the-scenes to make it possible for users to access, search, and analyze their data within the software they are working in, using natural language. This conversational data interaction takes place via a powerful and easy-to-use conversational reporting interface (such as Dashboards) that is embedded within the Integrator's software solution.

What is AutoQL?

  • AutoQL is an embeddable conversational AI solution for database access. It is a powerful system comprised of several machine learning models that work together to enable the dynamic translation of natural language to database query language. The dynamic translation from natural language to database query language makes it possible for users to access data from their databases quickly and easily, simply by asking questions in their own words.

To bring the power of AutoQL to users and enable a high degree of of accessibility, our team has built a number of front end widgets that Integrators can customize and embed in their own applications, however they like. All widget components are MIT licensed and open source. Alternatively, Integrators can opt to build their own reporting UI or interact with the AutoQL API directly. In this document, we'll cover what Integrators need to know to introduce and roll out one of our front end widgets -- Dashboards -- as a conversational reporting interface in their software.

What are Dashboards?

  • Dashboards provide users at-a-glance overviews of key performance indicators that are relevant to their unique objectives and business operations.  Dashboards offer user-friendly reporting functionality that showcases data in real time, enables drill downs on-the-fly (with no additional setup for Integrators), and are completely customizable for users of all types through natural language queries and dynamic visualizations.  

Each Dashboard is composed of a series of Dashboard Tiles. The size and position of each Tile can be easily modified through simple drag and drop commands. Most importantly, the data that is displayed in each Dashboard is highly customizable and extremely easy to edit through natural language. Regardless of whether you are an Integrator who opts to build and offer a range of default Dashboards to your customers and users, or you opt to give them the ability to completely customize and edit their own Dashboards, the set up process is the same:

  • To build a customized Dashboard, simply enter a natural language query in the appropriate space within each Tile, and the relevant data will be returned in real time.
  • From there, you can easily manipulate the visualization type to showcase that data response in a chart, graph or table that is most impactful for your data storytelling and data consumption purposes.

Detailed instructions about how to set up Dashboards, including how to add and edit tiles, are included later in this Guide.

Regardless of software solution type or the range of offerings made available by a provider, Integrators develop and sell their software application or web-based solution to other businesses. We refer to these businesses as Integrator Customers (Customers).

What/who is a Customer?

  • A Customer refers to a business or group that pays to use the software application that has been developed by the Integrator.

When Customers purchase a software app or license from an Integrator, they make it available for use within their own companies. Software solutions are sometimes used by everyone within a company, but other times, only certain departments or individuals are given access. Regardless of how a software application is adopted by a Customer company, we refer to the individuals who use the software as End Users (Users).

What/who is an End User?

  • An End User (User) is any member of a Customer organization who engages with/has access to the software application (hence, any user of the software solution).

In summary:

  • Integrator - Builds or offers a software solution and implements AutoQL within their solution.

  • Customer - Integrator's Customer that purchases/uses the software AutoQL is implemented in.

  • End User - Any individual who uses the software developed/offered by the Integrator.

Instructions for Integrators

This User Guide is written for Integrators to help them introduce Dashboards to their Customers and Users.

Check out this video for tips on how to introduce Dashboards to your Customers and Users:

Detailed information about how to implement Dashboards (including how to customize the UI to meet your brand requirements and preferences) can be found in the Building a Conversational UI section of our Developer Docs.


This Guide is an adaptable resource for Integrators

It is not a step-by-step guide for implementing the widget itself. Therefore, this Guide is written under the assumption that the Dashboards widget has already been implemented in your software solution.

Important Notes for Integrators

Integrators have the option to build and customize a range of default Dashboards and make these Dashboards available to their Customers and Users, or they can extend those editing and customization capabilities directly to their Customers and Users. How Integrators choose to implement this functionality within their own software is completely at their discretion.

How Dashboards work for Integrators

With Dashboards powered by AutoQL, it’s incredibly simple to create dynamic, at-a-glance overviews that display the metrics that matter most to your users.

Dashboards can be easily implemented in your software application wherever, and however, you’d like. Use our completely customizable front end components to quickly build and deploy a range of default Dashboards to display the information your users regularly request, or give your users the ability to set up their own customized Dashboards using natural language.

How Dashboards work for your Customers and Users

How Dashboards work for your Customers and Users varies depending on how you've opted to deploy Dashboards in your software:

  • If you've opted to set up default Dashboards for your customers and users, your users will be empowered to stay up-to-date and on the pulse with unprecedented access to real time data and clear visualizations that help them tell data stories effectively and understand what is really going on in their business.
  • If you've opted to enable Dashboard editing privileges for your users, users can build and edit their own Dashboards within your software, simply by typing their data-related queries into the Dashboard interface you’ve embedded in your application. Upon entering natural language queries into a Dashboard, users will immediately receive the data they need in easy-to-understand visualizations that make sense to them.

As you develop your own User Documentation and resources, we recommend that you:

  • Replace any examples we have provided with examples that are relevant to your application and to your users.
  • Replace any images or recommended copy/assets we have provided with images, giphys or videos of Dashboards working within your own interface.
  • If you have opted out of, or turned off, any of the features outlined in this Guide, be sure to remove them for your own User Documentation.


Important Reminder

The remainder of this doc is written from the perspective of the Integrator, as directed to their own Customers and Users.

Let's get started!

Part 2

Dashboards Overview

We've implemented Dashboards as a new feature (or tool) to allow you to easily and intuitively access and monitor your data in real time, without interrupting your workflows, asking for custom reports, or dealing with extraneous spreadsheets or BI tools that are external to our software. These Dashboards are designed with you, our user, in mind, with the goal of making data access and analysis simpler, so that you can make data-driven decisions with confidence.

Check out this 4-minute video to learn about all the key features of Dashboards:

All Dashboards are set up using natural language database querying, which means each Dashboard Tile is underlaid by a natural language query: a data-related question that is asked in your typical everyday language.

Natural Language Database Querying

  • Natural language database querying is the act of requesting information from a database through natural language queries (or more simply, through human language). Natural language queries consist only of normal or everyday terms (terms easily understood or used conversationally in the user's natural language), allowing a user to enter a query and receive information from their database, without needing to write database query language.


References made to Dashboards and the "widget"

Throughout this document, Dashboards is referred to as “Dashboards” and the “widget” interchangeably. For the purposes of this Guide, these terms are considered to be synonymous.

How to Use Dashboards: Intro to the Interface

To get started with building or customizing your Dashboard(s), it is important to note that there are two main access modes: View Mode and Edit Mode.

View Mode

This mode is the default mode (or view) that is available to any user who has access to Dashboards. This mode allows you – the data consumer – to access and view your real time data in a Dashboard that you (or someone else) has already set up for you.

In this mode, explore your data with ease through clear visualizations and click on any data point to trigger the Drill Down feature, which allows you to quickly and easily access underlying data details.

Edit Mode

If you have permissions to edit existing Dashboards or create your own customized Dashboards, you can do so in Edit Mode.

In this mode, easily add new Dashboard Tiles, modify the size and position of Tiles, adjust the underlying natural language queries in each Tile in your Dashboard(s), change the Title/Description of individual Tiles, or toggle between different visualization options to display the data responses to your liking.


Recommendation to Integrators

Customize the text and/or add images here to showcase how the Dashboard widget works and what the Dashboard widget looks like/appears as to users in your application, as well as how it works based on the viewing and/or editing permissions you’ve enabled.

Be sure to include clear instructions about what the user should expect and what level of access they should expect have, including whether you’ve opted to enable Dashboards to run automatically or have them execute upon user command.

Navigating Between “View” and “Edit” Mode

When you access Dashboard(s), you will start out in “View Mode.” To build a new Dashboard or edit your existing Dashboard(s), simply click “Edit” to enter "Edit Mode" and begin customizing it to your liking.

Part 3

Getting Started: Building & Customizing Your Dashboard


Dashboards contain a series of Tiles, each housing a query and a corresponding visualization. The size and position/location of each Tile can be easily modified through simple drag and drop commands.

Most importantly, the data that is displayed in each Dashboard is highly customizable and extremely easy to edit through natural language.

  • To build a customized dashboard, simply enter a natural language query in the appropriate space within a given Tile (the query input bar) and the relevant data will be returned in real time.
  • From there, easily manipulate the visualization type to showcase the data response you've received in a chart, graph, or table that is most impactful for your data storytelling and data consumption purposes.
  • At the bottom of each tile, there is the text string: "Visualizing X / XX rows". If not all rows are showing, you can click on the first number and a menu with two options, the original number (X) and All will appear.
    By clicking on "All", all rows will be displayed.
    Note that the maximum number of rows that can be visualized is 5000.

Building & Editing Dashboards

To customize your Dashboard, you must be in “Edit Mode.”

In Edit Mode, you are able to easily add Tiles, drag and drop Tiles, resize them, delete them, and edit the content inside of them.

Learn about how to customize and edit Dashboard Tiles in this quick 1-minute video:

Adding Tiles

To add new or additional Tiles to a Dashboard, select the “Add Tile” button.

When you add a new Tile, you will see that all the fields in the Tile will be totally empty.

To add data to your Tile, simply type a natural language query in the query input bar and click Enter or the "Play" button to run your query.


Recommendation to Integrators

Include image(s) here to showcase the action/process of adding a new Tile and entering a natural language to receive a data response.

Adjust Tile Size

Customize the size of your Dashboard Tiles so that all the relevant information in your data response is displayed clearly and effectively.

  • To adjust the size of a Tile, simply hover over the bottom-right corner. You will notice that your mouse changes to a diagonal directional arrow.
  • Now, simply click and hold on the corner of the Tile to drag it to the desired size.

Change Tile Location

As you customize your Dashboard, you may wish to move the location of a Tile in order to more effectively tell your data story.

  • To move a Tile to a different position on your Dashboard, simply hover over the outer edges of the Tile. You will notice that your mouse changes to a multidirectional arrow.
  • Now, simply click and hold the tile to grab it with your mouse and drag it to your desired location.


Recommendation to Integrators

Include image(s)/videos to showcase the action of adjusting tile size and location in a Dashboard in your own application.

Removing Tiles

As you continue creating your Dashboard or series of Dashboards, you may occasionally wish to remove a no longer relevant Tile entirely.

  • To remove or delete a Tile from your Dashboard, hover over the top right corner of the Tile you wish to remove. An “X” will appear.
  • Simply click on that X to remove that Tile from your Dashboard.

Querying 101

All Dashboard Tiles are Underlaid by Natural Language Queries

Each Dashboard Tile is underlaid by a natural language query, or more simply put, a data-related question that you ask in your own words. This means you don’t need to have any prior database querying skills to set up a Dashboard, you can just ask questions and get results.

Query Input

To display a data response in a Dashboard, simply type your data-related question into the query input bar in a Dashboard tile and hit Enter or the "Play" button. The data you have requested will be returned in just seconds. You can ask a wide range of simple-to-complex queries in Dashboards.

When you enter a query in your own words in a Dashboard tile and hit Enter (or the Play button), your query is received by the system which is trained to understand what you are asking for, automatically retrieve the data (the answer to your query) and display that result back to you, all within seconds. Once you've received your response, you can easily change the visualization, click to drill down into a particular data point, or split your field of view to observe your data in two different visual formats at the same time.

Descriptive Title

Add a descriptive title to your Dashboard Tile to highlight the data that is being displayed in a clear, concise way. Adding a descriptive title allows you to tell your data story effectively and consume information at-a-glance.

Note: Adding a descriptive title is optional. If you choose to leave this field blank, the Tile will default to showcase the natural language query input as a title when you navigate out of Edit Mode.


Recommendation to Integrators

Include an image or video to showcase how to enter a natural language query and add a descriptive title in a Dashboard Tile within your application.

Share a range of query examples (from simple queries to complex queries) and be sure to exemplify a range of topics in the examples you provide.

Core Features: Visualizations

Dynamically visualize data using a variety of graphing and charting options.

Data Visualization Types

  • Data visualization types are the graphical representations of data (returned as responses to NL queries) that communicate relationships among the represented data points to viewers or consumers of that data.

Learn more about the variety of Data Visualization options available to you in Dashboards:

Different queries will return different responses. In instances where a query yields a response that can be visualized, icons will appear on the bottom-left corner of the tile, allowing you to select your preferred visualization.


Some queries will not yield a graphical response

There will be instances where a query returns a non-graphical response, such as a single value. In these cases, you will not have the option to graph the data returned, only to view it as a simple answer/query response.

Dashboards currently supports the following data visualizations:

1) Tables

2) Filter Tables

3) Line Charts

4) Pie Charts

5) Bar Charts

6) Column Charts

7) Stacked Bar and Stacked Column Charts

  • Note: Only available for queries containing more than one groupable. For example: “Total sales by custom by month this year”

8) Stacked Area Charts

  • Note: Only available for queries containing more than one groupable. For example: “Total sales by customer by month this year”

9) Heat Maps

  • Note: Only available for queries containing more than one groupable.

10) Bubble Charts

  • Note: Only available for queries containing more than one groupable.

11) Multi-Axis View (Column Line Combo Chart)

  • Note: Only available for non-aggregated queries containing more than one groupable.


Recommendation to Integrators

Include image(s) or video(s) here to showcase how each visualization appears in Dashboards in your application.

HINT: This is a great opportunity to demonstrate interesting queries to your users.

Adjust Axis Display

Once a data response has been returned, in some instances, you may notice a small arrow is present beside the x-axis or y-axis label. If this arrow is present, this means the data being displayed on that axis can be adjusted. Click on the arrow to view the different options that are available for you to display on that axis and select the one you would prefer to show.


Adjust Axis feature is only applicable under specific conditions

Due to how specific query responses can be graphed, this axis-adjusting functionality is only available when:

  • The query contains multiple groupables or filters AND
  • The selected data visualization type is a line chart, bar chart, column chart or column line combo chart

Easily toggle from the originally returned result to any eligible graph/chart types and then back again if desired.

Core Features: Drill Downs

When viewing a query result, there may be times where you wish to uncover the details underlying a given data point. To do so in Dashboards, you can easily “drill down” to access these details.

Drill Down

  • To drill down means to surface or access a deeper level of information — or uncover the underlying details — that make up a given data point.

How to Use Drill Downs

To drill down to access the details underlying a particular data point, enter a natural language query, receive the data response, and then simply click on a particular line item or detail in the graph or chart that is returned.

  1. Determine which data point you are interested in drilling into
  2. Click on that data point to drill into the underlying details

Note: When you click on a data point to drill down, an additional "drill down query" will be automatically generated from your action and a detailed response will be returned to you within seconds.


Recommendation to Integrators

Include image(s) or video(s) here to show your users how easy it is to drill down into a specific data point in a given data visualization in order to quickly access underlying details.

Core Features: Split View

Dashboard Tiles can be split to show two separate display types for the same query response in tandem (e.g. show a horizontal bar graph followed by a table containing the same data). This feature allows the viewer to easily see information at-a-glance and share data stories more effectively.


Recommendation to Integrators

Include image(s) or video(s) here to show your users the Split View feature in action.

Tips for Asking Great Queries


Recommendation to Integrators

In this section, we recommend you provide helpful additional resources and links for your users to learn from.

Some ideas include: blogs or instructional content that teaches your users about the value of querying their data through NL and data storytelling, query examples, best practices or tips for drafting effective queries, etc.)

Be Clear and Be Specific

Complex answers don’t always require complex questions. Even if you have a lot of different dimensions or filters you’d like to apply to the data, make sure that each question you ask is about a single topic, or that the relationship between the topics you’re querying is crystal clear.

Understand the Value of Unique Labels

Unique labels are descriptive labels that are associated with different variable in your database. These can include things like customer names, vendor names, product names, and more. To find out what unique labels are contained in your database, try querying a specific theme or topic such as “all customers” or “all vendors” or something even more specific like “all expense accounts”. Having an understanding of the unique value labels contained in your database can help you come up with specific and intentional queries that get you the answers you need, faster.

Structure Your Queries Intentionally

When it comes to querying your data, there's a number of strategies or techniques that you can employ to access the data you need quickly and easily. Below are a handful of helpful concepts that you can use when querying your data:


Groupables are identifiers connected to a domain that can be aggregated. Use the term “by” to include a groupable, such as:

  • Product names (e.g. “Sales by product”)
  • Customer names (e.g. "Sales by customer")
  • Timeframes (e.g. “Sales by month")


  • To filter by exclusionary criteria, use terms like “greater than” or “less than”.
  • To filter by threshold, use terms like “over” or “under”.
  • To filter by time period, use terms like “in the past year” or “over the last 6 months”.

Calculations vs. Lists

  • To have a query perform a calculation automatically, use terms within your query that reflect the required calculation within the query such as “total” or “average”.
  • To receive a list as a response, use terms within your query like “all” or “list”.