Tips and Tricks

“Dashboardable” data at your fingertips

Have you built a dashboard yet?  If not, now is the time! The amount of data surrounding COVID-19 is endless and provides a starting point to explore visualizations with dashboards, charts and maps. The Rhode Island Department of Health’s COVID-19 data tables have been made available on their Hub Site.  These are the same data values they use for reporting in the Rhode Island COVID-19 Response Data dashboard.

Where to begin!

This workflow requires you to have publishing privileges in your ArcGIS Online Organization.  

FIRST: Find the data

Scroll to the bottom of the RIDOH’s dashboard to the Click Here button.  This will take you to the raw data files stored as Google sheets.


  • Download the data: From Google Sheets, download data to your computer, or
  • Add shortcut to drive: From Google Sheets, choose the icon along the top to add a shortcut to drive.  This will create a shortcut to the data from YOUR google drive and allow you to access it to add content to AGOL.

NOTE: Place the data in the root directory and not a subfolder.  AGOL does not allow browsing of Google Drive folders.

SECOND: Add data to your AGOL site

  • Sign-in to your ArcGIS Online site, Add content > select add an item from cloud drive
    • choose from Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive

This workflow uses Google Drive.

  • Pick Google Drive > Choose your Google Drive account.
  • In the Add item from Google Drive window, change the file type to Google Sheets > Choose the COVID-19 Rhode Island Data.
  • Provide the content details required by AGOL
  • Select a sheet to publish

As an example, add the Municipality of Cases sheet

The tabular data is saved as a hosted table in ArcGIS Online.  This data can be used in a dashboard or joined with Towns feature layer to create a map.

THIRD: Use the data

  • Create a web map, adding the following layers: Municipality of Cases (hosted table) and RIGIS Municipalities (hosted feature service).

FOURTH: Dashboard

Save the map. Share the map. Share as web app > Choose ArcGIS Dashboards.

The data you need to begin generating charts and indicators is brought into the dashboard because the hosted table is part of the layers list in the web map.

  • Add a serial chart to the dashboard, the hosted feature layers and hosted tables contained in the web map are available to use.
  • Begin the dashboard adventure.  Explore the data and begin using it to create pie charts, gauges, and indicators.  

EXTRA: Join RIDOH table to RIGIS Town features

Using analysis tools in the web map viewer,  join the attributes of the table to the town feature service.

  • In the web map > Analysis > Summarize Data > Join Features
  • Join features and records using the town name.  Reference the graphic to make the proper selections.
  • Save the result as a new layer.

Step 5: Save your result layer name

    CREDITS USED = .437 Credits

    Now the values from the RIDOH table may be used to symbolize case numbers across the state AND used as numeric values in a dashboard.

    For more on creating and designing dashboards, checkout this resource page from ESRI.