Building an Audit Status Dashboard

943 words; 5 minute(s)

Table of Contents

Alteryx and Power BI are powerful tools that can help turn your old-school audit trackers into interactive tools that provide useful insights and potential action plans.

With these tools, we are going to build the following dashboard:

Audit Dashboard, pg. 1 Audit Dashboard, pg. 2

Requirements

This project assumes the following:

Alteryx: Data Preparation & Analysis

Import Data

With Alteryx, importing data is easy with the use of the Input Data tool. Simply drag this tool onto the canvas from the In/Out tab in the Ribbon to create it as a node.

You can choose the File Format manually or simply connect to your file/database and let Alteryx determine the format for you. For this example, we will be importing an Excel file and changing the Start Data Import on Line variable to 2.

Alteryx Excel Import

Transform Data

Next, let's replace null data and remove whitespace to clean up our data. We can do this with the Data Cleansing tool in the Preparation tab in the Ribbon.

Ensure that the following options are enabled:

Data Cleansing

For our next step, we will transform the date fields from strings to datetime format. Add a Datetime tool for each field you want to transform - in the example below, I am using the tool twice for the "Started On" and "Submitted On" fields.

Data Transformation

Now that the dates are in the correct format, let's perform a calculation based on those fields. Start by adding a Filter tool, naming a new Output Column, and pasting the formula below into it (the two fields used in this formula must match the output of the Datetime tools above):

DateTimeDiff([SubmittedOn_Out],[StartedOn_Out], "days")

Data Analysis

Export Data

Finalize the process by exporting the transformed data set to a new file, for use in the following visualization step.

Data Export

Power BI: Data Visualization

Import Data

To start, open the Power BI Desktop application. Upon first use, Power BI will ask if you want to open an existing dashboard or import new data.

As we are creating our first dashboard, let's import our data. In my example below, I'm importing data from the "Tracker" sheet of the Excel file I'm using for this project.

During this process, I also imported the export from the Alteryx workflow above. Therefore, we have two different files available for use in our dashboard.

Excel Tracker

Power BI Excel Import

Add Visuals

To create the dashboard below, you will need to follow the list instructions below and format as needed:

Audit Dashboard, pg. 1 Audit Dashboard, pg. 2

Instructions to create the visuals above:

Format the Dashboard

You can choose a theme in the View tab of the Ribbon. You can even browse for custom JSON files that define themes, such as ones found online or custom ones created by your organization.

For each visual, you can click the Format button in the Visualizations side pane and explore the options. You can custom options such as:

You can always look online for inspiration when trying to decide how best to organize and style your dashboard.

Sharing the Results

Generally, you have a few different options for sharing your dashboards with others:

  1. Export the dashboard as a PDF in the file menu of Power BI. This will export all tabs and visuals as they are set when the export button is pressed. You will lose all interactivity with this option.
  2. Send the full Power BI file to those you wish to share the dashboard. This will retain all settings and interactivity. However, you will also need to send the source files if they need to refresh the dashboard and you will need to re-send the files if you make updates.
  3. Store the dashboard in a synced location, such as a shared drive or Microsoft Teams. Depending on how a user configures their local Windows paths, the data source paths may not be compatible for all users with such a setup.