Visualize data in dashboards


This tutorial is an extension of the Getting started tutorial. Make sure you have completed it and use the estate module you have built as a base for the exercises in this tutorial.

The term « Dashboard » is used in Odoo for objects that display data, but involves different implementations. This tutorial will only focus on the Enterprise view that is used to provide aggregated data visualization. They can be added as a view_mode to an existing model (i.e. a view you can switch to via the view buttons in the top right of a view), but they are also often used as a view for to a special model customized for data visualization. You may hear these special views referred to as SQL views.

It is useful to note there is a « Dashboard » app in Odoo Community. This app allows users to create their own customized view of data, but the customization is only visible to each user and can only be viewed within the « Dashboard » app. Technically it is possible to make global dashboards using this board module, but it is much easier to do as an Enterprise view. Plus it looks nicer and has extra features not available in board. Some other dashboards within Odoo also exist, but they are custom made and are beyond the scope of this tutorial.

The documentation related to this topic can be found in Dashboard.

File Structure

You probably have already guessed that since dashboard views are an Enterprise view, they must have a dependency on an Enterprise module. The Enterprise module is web_dashboard. Don’t forget to add it to your manifest file! It is standard to add dashboards intended to be used as a view_mode for one of your module’s models (in the model folder) to the views directory (i.e. the same file that contains the other views for the same model).

It is standard to create a separate Enterprise module to add extra Enterprise views and features to a Community module. This is done in a similar manner as the module link technique covered within Chapter 14: Interact With Other Modules. The difference is that instead of linking 2 different modules, we are extending our estate module. We do this by creating a new module and adding both the Community module and its necessary Enterprise module dependencies to its manifest. You will commonly see « enterprise » in the module’s directory name. To keep this tutorial simple, we will add dashboards to our existing estate module.

SQL Views have 2 parts: their xml file (don’t forget to add it to your manifest file) and their Python file (don’t forget to add it to the appropriate __init.py__ files). The former is the same format as the view_mode xml while the latter contains a custom model and SQL code to populate its fields. It is standard to add SQL view files to the report/ directory. It is also common to include « report » in the name of the SQL view’s files. You may be wondering why do we put the files in a report directory? We saw earlier that the dashboard is for data visualization, therefore it is not editable. You can think of dashboards as interactive reports where you can click on statistics, graphs, and charts to see the specific data contributing to them. Note it is also standard to store the xml code for PDF report templates in the report directory.

It is expected that your work tree will look something like:

├── models
│   ├── *.py
│   └──
├── report
│   ├──
│   ├──
│   └── estate_report_views.xml
├── security
│   └── ir.model.access.csv
├── views
│   ├── *.xml
│   └── estate_property_views.xml

Dashboard View


Goal: at the end of this section, we will have a new dashboard view that displays different property statistics.

Basic Dashboard view

Dashboards can display data in different ways, including:

  • showing an aggregate of a field

  • using aggregated fields in a formula

  • using a widget

  • using another view as a subview

There are many useful statistics and visuals we can provide for our real estate example using these options. A full example to reference while doing the exercises in this section is viewable here (restricted github repository link).


To fully enjoy our dashboard view, we will need good test data to populate it. Test data will allow us to check that the resulting look and statistics are correct. It is a good idea to test with data that will cover most or all of your expected use cases, but is also easy to verify with that your statistics are correct. In our goal’s case we are looking at count, sum, average, minimum, and maximum statistics, therefore a good representation set for our dashboard is:

  • At least 3 properties with different property types, expected prices, and average living area.

  • At least 1 sold property and at least 1 canceled property

If you don’t have a set of data like this already, you can either:

  • Complete Define module data (if you haven’t done so already) and add the extra cases to your demo data (you may need to create a new database to load in the demo data).

  • Manually create the data in your database.

  • Copy this data file into a new directory called data in your estate module and copy these lines into your file (you may need to create a new database to load in the demo data).

Click through your database data and make sure it is what you expect. Of course you can add the data after you write your dashboard code and then test that your view is working as expected.


Building a dashboard view is very similar to what you have previously done in Chapter 7: Basic Views. For the dashboard view, we use the dashboard root element and choose from its possible tags (see all the possibilities and their attributes in the Dashboard documentation). So a simple dashboard example is:

        <aggregate name="min_expected_price" string="Min Expected Price" field="expected_price"
            group_operator="min" help="Lowest expected price."/>

In this example, <group> adds styling and <aggregate> declares an aggregation. We indicate which field we want to aggregate, what string to display with the value, and how to aggregate it with the group_operator attribute. The group_operator can use any valid PostgreSQL aggregate function plus the special Odoo defined count_distinct.

Hopefully you remember how to add views to a window action view_mode (hint, it was covered in Chapter 6: Finally, Some UI To Play With). Now let’s make some dashboards!


Make a dashboard view.

  • Create a dashboard of aggregated values for the model. You can look at the Goal of this section for some inspiration. Remember to check that your statistics are calculating as you expect and note that the calculated values take into consideration any applied view filters!

  • Bonus: Add in some aggregations that need a domain to make sense (remember domains were also covered in Chapter 7: Basic Views).

Pie Charts

Adding pie charts to dashboards is a piece of cake using the <widget> element. An example is:

      <widget name="pie_chart" title="Property Types" attrs="{'groupby': 'property_type_id'}"/>

In this example, we indicate that we’re using the pie_chart widget with the name attribute and the title for the pie chart, and that we’re grouping it by property type.


Add some pie charts.

  • Add the pie charts from the Goal of this section to your dashboard. Hint: you will need to add 'measure': selling_price to your pie chart attrs if you want to show selling prices grouped by property type.

  • Hover over and click on the pie charts to check your charts counts values and don’t forget that filters will also apply to the charts.

  • Bonus: Add a domain to your selling price pie chart to only include « sold » properties (i.e. not « offer_accepted » ones). Note that the ' will need to be escaped since it is declared as part of the attrs.


Similar to how we can use the list view within the form view (we saw this automatically happen for One2many relationships in Chapter 8: Relations Between Models), we can add other views within our dashboard view. The most commonly added are the pivot and graph views, but the cohort view is also an option. A dashboard with only subviews is:

    <view type="graph"/>
    <view type="pivot"/>

The ref attribute can be added to <view> elements to use a specific XML id for that view. If no XML id is provided for a graph or pivot view, then the default view will be used. The cohort view will not work in the dashboard without a specific XML id. If you have already created some of these views, then you are welcome to add them to your dashboard! Sample graph and pivot views are included in the solution code that you are welcome to use as well.


Add subviews.

  • Add in a graph and a pivot view to your dashboard. Try playing around with the layout of your subviews in relation to your pie charts and aggregated values and refer to the Goal of this section for an often used layout. Remember to check that your subviews are displaying your data as expected (and yes, they are also affected by the filters!).

SQL Views


This section expects you to have a basic knowledge of SQL. If you have little to no SQL knowledge then this is a good tutorial to start with and these exercises are good for those who need a refresher or extra practice.


Goal: at the end of this section, we will have a new SQL view that displays different property statistics.

SQL view

Occasionally we want to show data that goes beyond what our model already has in it. We could add a lot of stored computed or related fields (non-stored fields cannot be aggregated or displayed in pie charts), but it would be impractical to store a bunch of fields only for this purpose. We can instead add a custom SQL view to minimize the computational load and keep our model clean of unnecessary fields.


We will start with the more difficult part: our special report model. This file starts the same as any other model, except that we add 2 attributes _auto and _rec_name:

from odoo import fields, models, tools

class EstateReport(models.Model):
    _name = ''
    _description = "Stock Report"
    _rec_name = 'id'
    _auto = False

_auto = False indicates that we do not want to store the model in the database, and we will create a custom table by overriding the BaseModel.init() method. _rec_name indicates which of the model’s fields represents a record’s name (i.e. the name that will be used in the navigation breadcrumb when opening a record’s form view). In this case, I left it as “id” because our property offers don’t have a name. We will need the tools import later (i.e. odoo/odoo/tools, which is full of all sorts of useful helper methods you will probably use in the future). Note that it is standard to include report in the model’s name.

Remember, your new model will need to be added to your security file, as you learned in Chapter 5: Security - A Brief Introduction!

Then we define the fields we need for our dashboard the same way as any other model (like you learned in Chapter 4: Models And Basic Fields), except that every field is readonly=True. After all, our model is for read-only purposes only.

Now we override the BaseModel.init() method mentioned earlier:

def init(self):
    tools.drop_view_if_exists(, self._table)"""CREATE or REPLACE VIEW %s as (
          )""" % (self._table, self._select(), self._from()))

We use tools.drop_view_if_exists to ensure that we don’t create a conflicting view and then execute the SQL query. It is standard to separate the different parts of the query to allow for easier model extension. Exactly how the query is split up across methods is not standardized, but you will often see at minimum _select and _from methods [or something similar], and of course all these methods will return strings. The columns from the SELECT will populate our model’s fields, so ensure that your column names match your field names or use alias names that match.


Create report model.

  • Create a report model with the following fields:






    Corresponds to id of



    Equals state choices of





    Equals state choices of



    and write the SQL query necessary to populate the fields (hint, you will need 2 JOINs).

    You won’t be able to check if your model is correct until we create a view for it, but you are welcome to check your query directly in your database to see if the results are as you expect. If you struggle with this exercise, then here is an example to reference.


Now that we have our model, we can make its dashboard view. There is no difference in how it’s made, except that its file is located in the report folder. Since it is a new model not linked to any other model, we will also have to add a new menuitem to view our dashboard. Typically, SQL views are added under a first-level menu called Reporting (because it’s a report, surprise!). Do you remember how to add a menuitem? If not, revisit Chapter 6: Finally, Some UI To Play With again.


Create report view.

  • Recreate the dashboard in the Goal of this section. Hint: it uses the formula element, which we did not need for our previous dashboard.

  • Bonus: Create list and form views for your new report model so we don’t have to see the ugly defaults when you click on your pie charts.

Extra Tips

Tip 1 A common mistake in SQL views is not considering the duplication of certain data due to table JOINs. For example, in our Goal, we have a pie chart of the offers” property types. We may be tempted to add a similar pie chart with a domain to only include canceled properties, so we think we are only counting the number of canceled properties by property type. In reality, we are still looking at all the offers per property, so any property with more than 1 offer will be counted per offer. This example is easily double-checked by clicking on the pie chart to see its list view:

Pie chart list view

But for cases such as average aggregations or using a subview such as the pivot view, it is easy to miss this mistake. It is also easy to miss this mistake when you have insufficient test data. To add a number of properties canceled by property type pie chart to this report, we would either have to do a hack (too advanced for this tutorial) or simply exclude it from this report.

Tip 2 If you have a field that you do not want as a measure (i.e. in your pivot or graph views), then you can add store=False to it, and it will not show.