What is a Dashboard?

A dashboard is a personalised solution for information workers that consolidates personal, team, corporate, and external information, and provides single click access to analytical and collaborative tools. It brings an integrated view of a company’s data resources to an individual’s desktop, providing immediate access to key business information.

This functionality could be used to show the ICT Services Desk’s serviceability times, number of open calls, average time to solve or fix problems, and to overall show how well they are performing as a team etc.

A dashboard is the key delivery vehicle for the Business¬†Intelligence (BI)¬†functionality of Office SharePoint Server 2007. It is an easy to use Web Part page that enables information workers to make use of one another’s knowledge and to more easily access and share information, worksheets, documents, and data.

A dashboard can draw information from multiple data sources and formats, combining complex information into one simple interface. A critical component of delivering the right information in the right format is the consolidation of personal, team, corporate, and external information into a single click viewing portal.

A dashboard also provides the ability for information workers to share and access important information that they need to make intelligent business decisions, regardless of where the workers are located.

What is a SharePoint Workflow?

A workflow is often described as a series of tasks that produce an outcome. A workflow in Microsoft SharePoint Online is the automated movement of documents through a sequence of actions related to a business process. SharePoint offers a three state workflow.

The three state workflow is used to manage business processes that require organisations to track the status of an issue or item through three different states and two transitions between the states. With each transition between states, the workflow assigns a task to a person and sends that person an e-mail alert about the task. When this task is completed, the workflow updates the status of the item and progresses to the next state.

The three state workflow is designed to work with the Issue Tracking list template, but it can be used with any list that is set up to contain a Choice column with three or more values. The values in this Choice column serve as the states that the workflow tracks.

Workflows can streamline the cost and time required to coordinate common business processes, such as project approval or document review, by managing and tracking the human tasks involved with these processes. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd285475.aspx