Control Center Global Updates: Dashboards

Global Updates: Dashboards allows you to make changes to your dashboard templates and roll those changes out across all existing projects.

Use Global Updates when you’ve made the following changes to a dashboard template:

  • Updated colors or branding on the dashboard
  • Revisions to dashboard widgets
  • Widget layout
  • New or deleted widgets

How to use Global Updates: Dashboards

Warning: Global Updates rebuilds your entire dashboard and relinks widgets to the reports and sheets every time you run an update. Changes are not reversible, so run the update on one project and check the results before you run it on all your projects.

Update the Dashboard Template

In Smartsheet, go to the Blueprint Source Folder and make your changes directly to the dashboard template. 

You can:

  • Modify existing widgets
  • Add new widgets
  • Remove existing widgets
  • Update widget layout

Create a Global Update in Control Center

Global Updates Dashboards

  1. In Control Center, select the program you want to work with.
  2. At the top of the screen, click Manage Program and then click Global Updates.
  3. Click New Update and then select Update Dashboards. 
  4. Follow the instructions in the Update Dashboard wizard.

    TIP: Name the update after what it does, for example, Move Budget Widget.
  5. At the bottom of the screen, click Create & Run. (Click Close to save the Update without running it.)

Apply the Global Update

When you run the update, Control Center searches each project to find the dashboard that matches your dashboard template by either ID or name. It also shows you projects that don’t have a matching dashboard - either because a match could not be found or the dashboard was not included when the project was originally created. You can add the newly edited dashboard to those projects when you run the update.

  1. Review the selected dashboards.

    Projects selected for the updates are sorted as follows:
    • Dashboards matched to current template ID: These projects contain dashboards created from the dashboard template in the Blueprint Source Folder.
    • Dashboards matched to current template name:  These projects contain dashboards that have the same name as the dashboard template in the Blueprint Source Folder. 
    • No matching dashboards found: Click Choose Dashboard to select a dashboard to update or to add the dashboard to the project.
  2. Click Apply to update all the project dashboards.

    NOTE: Control Center overwrites over your dashboards, but it also makes a backup of the original dashboard before it runs the update. It’s stored in the same location as the original dashboard—you can refer to it if you need to roll back changes.
  3. Review the results. Warning indicators show dashboards with update issues. Hover over the warning icon to learn more.

    Control Center Global Update Results


Get the Most Out of Global Updates for Dashboards

Make changes directly to the dashboard template. This is the most reliable method for making sure the dashboard will match your projects, even if you change the name of the dashboard. The dashboards in the project are direct children of the dashboard template in the Blueprint Source Folder. Control Center easily identifies them as such and makes the changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Some projects have custom modifications on their dashboards. Will these modifications be lost?

Yes.  When a dashboard in a project is updated, all the widgets will be removed and re-created to be identical to the template dashboard.

I renamed the dashboard in my project.  Will Global Updates still find and update it?


I manually added a dashboard and renamed it to match.  Will Global Updates recognize it?

No. Global Updates will only recognize dashboards, reports and sheets that were created through Control Center.

I deleted the dashboard.  Will Global Updates add it back?

The project will appear in the “No matching reports found” section. Select the project in Global Updates, click Choose Dashboard, and then select Add new dashboard. Run the update to create the dashboard.

Will I see all my projects?

Yes. Unlike earlier Global Updates, you will see all projects created from the Blueprint.

Can I run the Global Update again?

Yes. You can run the update as many times as you want.

Can I "undo" a Global Update?

No. You can adjust the template report in the Blueprint Source Folder and run the Global Update again.

Troubleshoot Updates to Dashboard Widgets

Widgets pull data from sheets and reports; the best way to avoid trouble with them is make sure the sources feeding the widget are consistent and up to date. If a widget on a project dashboard doesn’t work correctly after an update, check the following:

  • Do all the sources exist in the project?

    A report or sheet may have been deleted from the project and the widget can’t find the data it needs. The same error can happen if a widget refers to a report or sheet that was added to the project later, or if the item wasn’t created because it was optional.
  • Is the data structured properly in the sheet?

    Metric and chart widgets show data from cells in sheet. The update locates the cells by matching the column name and value in the primary column with the sheet template. If matches cannot be found, the widget will have Missing Data. For Global Updates to work well, don’t reference data in the primary column. The primary column should contain the “name” of the metric and the data should be in other columns.
  • Does the program lead have permission to access the underlying project or report?

    You may need to change permissions to make the data visible.