Webinar Recap | Viva Dashboard

Thank you for your interest in “Viva Dashboard | What it is. How to use it. How to make it your own.If you were able to join us for the webinar, we sincerely thank you for being there. We hope you had as much fun getting to learn about Viva Dashboard and how you can customize it to the fullest extent as our speaker did sharing his knowledge with you. 

Didn’t get a chance to catch our session live? We’ve got you covered.

This Session:

The Viva Dashboard is one of Viva Connections’ most powerful yet misunderstood components. Understanding the Dashboard allows your employees to pull the tools they need both quickly and efficiently wherever they may be. Dynamic interactive Dashboard Cards allow employees to complete simple tasks in a time-efficient manner right in the flow of their work. If you’re wondering what even is a Viva? Or saying, I’ve never even heard of a dashboard. How do I use it and make it my own? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this webinar recording, PixelMill President and Co-founder Eric Overfield breaks down the Viva Dashboard, all of its features, why your team should be using it today, and how you can tailor it to your team’s specific needs. If you’re seeking live demos, valuable information and practical tips we’ve got you covered.  


Episode Takeaways:  

  • Viva Dashboard 101  
  • Viva Dynamic cards 101  
  • Learn how to create cards without any code  
  • Discover what’s possible when creating custom Adaptive Card Extensions 
  • See community card samples that you can leverage for your team  
  • Get a live demo of some custom cards created by our team  

    Show Links:

Key Takeaways 

11:22 – Microsoft Viva  

Microsoft Viva consists of four major modules: Connections, Topics, Insights and Learning, and they all differ from one another in terms of their purpose and use.  

“Viva Connections is all about staying engaged and informed within Teams. That’s the one we’re going to look at a little more. Viva Topics is around knowledge management. It’s very different, it’s more about curating content and understanding how content is stored within your organization and how it can be used and surfaced. Viva insights is all about productivity, a lot of personal productivity, as well as organizational productivity so that managers can see how the organization is doing in a very obfuscated way. Personal insights is about how your work-life balance is and how you’re doing and using your time. From the management perspective, it’s how’s my team doing? Not how that person is doing, but how my team is doing and how much focus time they have, how much time they’re spending working after hours, and things like that to help managers prevent employee burnout. Viva Learning is all about upskilling, so upskilling personal insights, knowledge management and staying informed. So these are actually four very separate things, but all-important within an employee’s digital work-life within an organization.” 

12:37 – Viva Goals 

In addition to the four major modules, Microsoft also released Viva Goals, which enables organizations to align, track and organize their goals.  

“I talked about OKRs, that’s about management and the team understanding what our objectives and key results are within an organization. I want to quickly talk about this a little more, as this was coming out as Microsoft announced it more. I saw a lot of chatter about how OKRs are about performance management. I hate to use this word, but it’s easy, we all know it, It’s like scorecards. You’ve got commitments that you make to your organization for this year, this quarter or this week. Viva Goals is not about that and it’s not going to be, Viva Goals is about public objectives and public key results and how we as an organization are doing.”  

17:49 – Viva Connections Dashboard 

Both Viva Connections and the Dashboard are free, they’re already included in your M365 license enterprise. The dashboard is already available on the mobile device by default.  

“There’s also a dashboard that’s the one we’re talking about, Viva Connections Dashboard. This is available on the mobile device only, by default. So, on the mobile device in Teams when you go to Viva Connections, you have an opportunity to see the Dashboard as its own thing. You can add it to a web page in SharePoint as it’s added as a web part, so that you may see the Dashboard on a web page as well.“ 

20:32 – Cards on your Dashboard 

The Viva Dashboard has two types of cards already available to you, some of these cards are standard with minimal customization and others allow you a wide range of customization. 

“Currently, there are two types of cards, there’s a medium view – that’s your square card, and there is a large view – that’s the double-wide card, that’s it. No matter what level of customization you may try, these are the two-sized cards that you will have available to you. So, the Viva Connections Dashboard is made up of cards. It’s to help your organization have ready access to a lot of data, in a card or a grid format and to be able to make decisions, on what to do next, or how to be able to get the things they may need, what activities they need to deal with, what tasks are in front of them and what approvals do they have in front of them? And then it goes big-time custom after that. This is where some fun stuff happens where you can start to build and bring together the external services that your organization’s using within the dashboard.”  

22:26 – 3 Types of Viva Dashboard Cards  

There are 3 different types of Viva Dashboard cards. We have the ones that Microsoft has already created for us, the card designers and the full custom card.  

“Those cards that are going to be presenting all this different information for you, are made up of three different types of cards. There’s cards that Microsoft has created for us that are available to you right now, today. You can use them and you can configure them a little bit, but they are mostly preconfigured and there are only a few of them. There’s also something called a card designer. Now the card designer is more like a low code customization that doesn’t require any compiled code. We’re going to spend a little time on card designer, so right now consider that there’s a second card that allows you to configure a more rich experience, but it is not tied yet to dynamic data, but it can create some interesting and cool things. It’s also really great for prototyping. Then finally the other kind of card is a full custom card, and this is where I’m seeing a lot of interest, all over the community. People are building these custom cards that will drive the business value that’s necessary to make Viva Connections Dashboards, something that is truly useful.”  

28:12 – Target your cards  

Microsoft allows you to target your cards based on the audience you want them to reach. 

“Each card can be audience targeted. That’s huge. Every single card that you add there can be detailed out as to who it’s going to be available to, and that’s done using M365 groups. Some could be available to everybody. Some could be available only to senior leadership, some can be available only to HR, whatever it may be. And you add people to those groups and only the cards you have access to see, you will in fact see in the same order for everybody and that can’t be changed.”  

38:37 – Extending Viva Connections with a semi-custom card (card designer) 

Viva Connections has various cards with different levels of customization, here’s how to make use of a semi-custom card.  

“You have a template type, so it’s telling you kind of what things are. You have just a headline, which is going to be text. You can add an image in, or something with a description. You can go through different sizes, as I said, so, you know, your larger or your medium. You can give it a title, your Custom icon, that would be the icon on the upper left-hand corner. Then you have actions, you can show quick view, go to a link or go to a Teams app ect…” 

42:23 – Card View and Quick View 

With Viva Dashboard Cards there’s a card view and a quick view. The card view is the view of the actual card and the quick view is a deeper view of the data of the card. 

“There’s something called the card view and the quick view. The card view is the view of the card itself that you’re seeing. It’s also sometimes called the L one, the level one. The quick view is often called the L two. It’s a card that appears to the left or to the right of your screen that is a deeper view of data that you want to display. The card view, no matter how much coding you put into it, you can control the icon, the title, you can have text, an image, a description, and one or two buttons. I know that sounds like a lot, but that’s not a lot, and that’s all you can do. You can’t move it around. You can’t tell me you want three buttons. With the quick view, you can greatly control what goes into this view. There are two things that are needed for the quick view to load besides the action itself, of course, and it tells you here, you need a template JSON, and you need a data JSON. So, when I said no code, this is more like low code, this isn’t necessarily code here, but this is something that you would need a little more comfort in knowing.” 

45:45 – Adaptive Cards  

Adaptive Cards are an open card format for enabling developers to display content in a consistent manner. This can be used when implementing the quick view. 

“Adaptive Cards is a general coding technique, a general coding language, effectively that Microsoft has created, that it’s open-source, but it drives how we’re going to be displaying data in our quick view. In this card, the card designer or in your custom cards. If you go to adaptivecards.io, you click on samples, you are going to get a whole bunch of samples of different things you can do. Take the template JSON, copy this, go back to my connections dashboard. I’m going to go to my template and I’m going to paste that in.” 

49:09 – Custom Cards  

Custom cards give you a lot more room to design and build the card how you would like. It requires more coding, but nothing a bit of practice won’t solve. 

“So, the extension, for any of you who have worked with SharePoint Framework, this should look very familiar to you. You have a Source folder within that Source folder, you’re going to have a TS file, which describes the thing you’re building, a manifest, which is a JSON object which sets up configuration. And then from there, you’re going to have different folders that provide different things. Now the TS file, that’s going to describe your extension. You’re going to register some things. You’re going to set things up. But instead of using React for rendering, you’re going to link to different types of views, your card view and your quick views.”  

53:01 The card size is automatically enabled for us, so is audience targeting, but everything else you see here, I’ve decided this, I decided that I wanted to ask, where I want the data to get stored, what’s the name of the list? Where I’m going to store this data? You can do anything you want to you don’t have to use what I’m doing. You can ask your question and have your available responses.”

56:55 Why Viva Dashboard?  

“The dashboard is designed to help minimize contexts, which are the organization. So, you’re going to be adding cards that will help people help your organization, help your team members help your employees be able to work smarter and better because they’ve got the information they need to help get their job done. The action-oriented information they need in front of them.” 

Stay tuned for our next webinar on August 25th where we will break down the newest module of Microsoft Viva, Viva Goals!  

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