The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


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Dashboard Overview

NOTE: This feature is available in the Professional and Enterprise versions of both Spectra and myStratus Desktop.

The Dashboard is one of the most powerful features in the Spectra/myStratus Desktop software! Imagine trying to drive an automobile that did NOT have a dashboard. How fast are you driving? How much fuel do you have left? How hot is your engine running? What other alerts are you missing that inform you of the performance of your vehicle?

Are you running your business without a dashboard? How effectively is your business running? Is it overheating? Is there room for improvement? Are you missing key indicators that could warn you of future problems?

Imagine having real-time analysis information at your fingertips that empowers you to make timely business decisions for your business to thrive and prosper. Imagine being able to drill down to see the “meaning behind the numbers” so you know why a number is what it is and also how the number is impacting your business. That’s what the Dashboard is all about – empowering you with the key performance indicators you need to make the timely business decisions necessary to manage your studio.

This topic will give you a brief overview of the Dashboard. To find out how to set up and use the Dashboard, read Performance Panels, Dashboard Reports, Setting up Budgets, and Arranging your Dashboard.

The video below includes an overview of the Dashboard, along with the steps to set it up.


There are two types of panels that can be included in your Dashboard - Performance Panels and Dashboard Reports. See a brief description of each below.

Performance Panels

A Performance Panel gives you immediate feedback on how your business is doing compared to your budgets (also known as your "targets" or your "plan"). The software includes two types of performance panels – Today’s Performance and Overall Performance. Read Performance Panels to learn how to create Dashboard performance panels.

  • A Today’s Performance panel tells you specifically how your business is performing today.

  • An Overall Performance panel gives you a broad range of indicators showing how well your business is performing over a longer period of time, including today, this week, this month, or this year.


If you’re looking at the fancy performance panels displayed on your default Dashboard and wonder why none of them have moved off the zero point, don’t worry! Performance panels are based on your budgets. If you haven't set up any budget numbers, the performance panels don’t have anything to report. They will come alive once you’ve plugged in some simple budget numbers. Find out more by reading Setting up Budgets.

Dashboard Reports

A Dashboard Report gives you an almost infinite number of reporting possibilities, providing you with visual feedback about the performance of your business. Report panels are highly customizable, allowing you to choose from a variety of performance indicators, ways to group your data, date ranges, and chart types. These reports can be saved and recalled later from the main Reports menu or viewed directly from the Dashboard. Read Dashboard Reports to learn how to create and use Dashboard reports.

  • Product Lines - If you aren't using product lines, it's time to start! Product lines are designed to group different lines (or products) you sell, such as prints, albums, frames, services, etc. Set up your products lines in Maintenance > Price List > Product Lines. Then add each of your price list items to the appropriate product line (any products not assigned to a product line will be classified as "Other"). See also: Product Lines and Setting up a Price List

  • Lead Sources - Create lead sources in the software so you can track where your business is coming from. Use Maintenance > Client > Lead Sources to set up your lead sources and then make sure to ask each new client how they found out about your business. See also: Lead Sources

  • Session-Based Invoices: Most of your invoices should be created from a session record, even if the products being purchased are from another client's session. Only create client-based invoices when selling retail products that are not related to a session, such as stock frames or gift certificates. Otherwise your sales numbers for session types, photographer, and booker will not be correct. See Invoicing Overview for more information.

  • Basic Data Entry - Sometimes it's the most basic things that throw off your reports. Make sure you are entering the session type, photographer, salesperson, booker, client groups, and lead source for all your records. Use Data Entry Validation to help you and your staff remember to fill in critical information. See also: Data Entry Validation

See also

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