How to put your dashboards on display
Posted On 05/09/2017
Today, more and more companies understand the importance of being data driven. In our previous article, we covered how displaying your dashboards on a TV monitor will help you make the most out of your data. A perfect way to stay on top of things, and to have actionable insights available at your fingertips, at every moment of the day.
Can’t wait to start showing your dashboards on a TV screen? There are a number of ways to do so. In this article, we’ll explain how we approach this at Cumul.io. We’ll also discuss a couple of alternative technologies, to make sure you find the perfect match for your business needs!
Cumul.io’s approach: Yodeck on Raspberry Pi
At Cumul.io, we installed Yodeck on a Raspberry Pi, which we use to display our internal KPI dashboards on a TV monitor. We run them on a loop, all day long in the office, which helps us stay on top of what’s happening. With Yodeck, you can easily schedule and manage all your monitors, right from your PC or even your smartphone. Your TV screens will run independently from your PC, through the Raspberry Pi.
Yodeck has many configuration options: you can manage which dashboards you want to display on which screens, the duration of each screen, the refresh rate, … You can even add widgets, like a clock, for example. You have much more control over what you actually want to cast.
Yodeck is free for 1 monitor, but definitely worth the price if you need multiple screens. When you’re managing multiple screens, it becomes even more interesting to use Yodeck. Imagine you have offices on different locations. You’ll be able to easily manage all your screens from any location.
How to set up Cumul.io dashboards on Yodeck
To get your monitors up and running with Yodeck, you’ll need to make some time for set-up and configuration. The flexibility you get after you’ve done the set-up is definitely worth the effort. You can easily adapt your settings. In addition, the Yodeck team offers great support: check out their article on how to integrate Cumul.io dashboards in Yodeck, or watch the tutorial.
You can install Yodeck on a standard Raspberry Pi, or you can buy a pre-installed Yodeck Playbox. Extra tip: when configuring your dashboards in Yodeck, use the private URLs of your Cumul.io dashboards, and make sure to enable the Chromium option.
Positive aspects of Yodeck:
- Customize: configure what you want to show on each screen
- Control: adapt & schedule your monitors from anywhere
- Display on multiple monitors
- Great support from the Yodeck team
- Free for 1 monitor
- Runs independently from your computer
Negative aspects of Yodeck
- Firmware: your Raspberry Pi will be dedicated to Yodeck
- Slightly more technical set-up required
- Slightly lower resolution than some other technologies (e.g. Chromebit) on some screens
Raspberry Pi or Playbox with free monitor: €40 – €80
Annual cost per extra monitor: €80 – €85
A perfect match if you’re working with your data every day. Easily adjust one or more displays on a regular basis. Configure exactly what, when and how you want to cast to your TV displays. Manage multiple TV screens from 1 cloud platform.
Alternative devices for putting your dashboards on display
There are a number of other devices on the market to put your dashboards on display. Maybe you just need it for very basic use? Or you’re looking for an easier set-up that will be up & running in minutes? If Yodeck doesn’t seem fit for you, the following devices may be a better match. It will depend on what you’re trying to achieve.
Google’s Chromecast is a small dongle you can use to cast content, right from your Google Chrome browser to the device on which the Chromecast is plugged in.
Positive aspects of Chromecast:
- Cheapest alternative on the market
- Easy set-up
- Interactive: you can adjust dashboards while casting on a TV monitor, which is perfect for meetings
Negative aspects of Chromecast:
- Your computer needs to be turned on at all times to use Chromecast
- You can only cast 1 browser tab, there’s no option to rotate between tabs
A perfect solution for meetings. Filter, search and adapt your dashboard live “on the big screen”. Alternatively, you can use the Chromecast as a cost-effective solution for displaying only 1 dashboard. More complex set-ups are not supported.
You can plug in the Chromebit on the HDMI port of your TV screen. It runs Chrome OS, which means you’ll have a dedicated instance of your Chrome browser running on the Chromebit. So, your dashboards will always display, even if you don’t have a PC running.
Positive aspects of Chromebit:
- Easy set-up, you’ll be up & running in no time
- Run independently from your computer
- Rotate multiple browser tabs: use a plug-in
- A full-screen experience: enable Kiosk Mode
- Interactive: control the TV screen with your mouse & keyboard
- High resolution dashboards (full HD)
Negative aspects of Chromebit:
- It’s the most expensive option on the market
- You’ll need a bluetooth keyboard & mouse for interactive use
If you want to be up and running fast, and cast multiple dashboards of great quality in a loop, Chromebit is definitely a great match. Your set-up will be ready in minutes, without any technical knowledge required. You will pay more, but you’ll definitely get value for your money.
3. Raspberry Pi without Yodeck
Apart from Yodeck, there’s another way to leverage the Raspberry Pi. By installing the Chromium OS on your Raspberry Pi, its use will be similar to the Chromebit. It will be a lot cheaper, though.
Positive aspects of Raspberry Pi:
- A cheaper solution with more or less the same features as Chromebit
Negative aspects of Raspberry Pi:
- Requires more technical set-up
If you have technical skills, Raspberry Pi with Chromium can help you cut costs. You’ll still experience great features that are similar to the Chromebit, but it requires more effort to set up.
Now, it’s time to weigh the options and make your decision. Just a short recap to help you make the choice:
- Yodeck on Raspberry Pi is your match if you’re working with your data every day & if you easily want to adjust 1 or multiple displays on a regular basis.
- Chromecast is perfect when you only use a TV monitor during meetings, or if you need to display only 1 dashboard.
- Chromebit is a great choice when you want to be up & running in seconds with a basic carousel set-up, with full HD resolution.
- Raspberry Pi with Chromium is a good alternative if you want to use features similar to Chromebit at a lower price.