Using Custom Roles to Extend Access to Activity Dashboard

Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS provides a collection of useful reports and visualizations about usage and activity in your online mapping platform.  These reports are designed to help organizations understand usage patterns and trends, communicate the value of the mapping platform to management, and to provide project leads and others with insight into how their work is adding value to the organization. (Please note the important update added in December 2014 to the end of this post.)

Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS

Esri Labs released Activity Dashboard earlier this year. After adding drill-down reports on user-level credit utilization in the July update, several C-level executives and IT portfolio managers have expressed great interest in this information. This caused many administrators to ask us if the only way to provide a member with access to Activity Dashboard is to put that member’s account in the Administrator role (thus giving them full rights to view and modify everything in the organization including the organizational configuration settings). That, in fact, is not the only way, and in this post you’ll learn how to configure custom roles in ArcGIS Online to securely provide members with access to Activity Dashboard for ArcGIS without granting them full administrative rights.

Custom roles and privileges

Of the three core roles available in ArcGIS Online (User, Publisher, and Administrator), only Administrator allows access to Activity Dashboard. As we have heard from you (and we agree) the need to view activity reports does not by itself justify granting full administrative privileges. To address this situation you can easily create one or more custom roles that enable use of the Activity Dashboard app.

Creating a custom role involves selecting specific privileges in ArcGIS Online’s administrative settings. The minimum privileges required to use Activity Dashboard are:

  • View all organization members
  • View all organization groups
  • View all organization content
  • Join organizational groups

The three “view” privileges enable access to information about the content, groups, and members that is summarized and displayed in the Activity Dashboard. The privilege to join organizational groups is needed so that the member can be added to the group used to provide access to the Activity Dashboard and other items obtained from ArcGIS Marketplace. Consult the help on the ArcGIS Marketplace purchase workflow for more information on how to make Activity Dashboard available to your organization’s members.

Configuring a custom role

The easiest way to make a role for individuals whose main interaction with ArcGIS Online is using Activity Dashboard is to start with the Viewer Template. This template already includes the “Join organizational groups” privilege, so you just need to add the three other privileges listed above. You might call this role “Activity Viewer,” or name it after the specific job title for the type of individual it is for such as “IT Manager” or “Executive.”

All members of an organization, no matter what role they are in, have the ability to view and use maps and apps shared to your organization; there are no specific privileges required for this. As an additional benefit, setting up a CIO or IT manager as an Activity Viewer in your organization may also be a good way to engage them in the use of ArcGIS Online as an internal decision making tool!

If you want to provide users’ access to Activity Dashboard in addition to their other capabilities, create a custom role with one of the other provided templates and add the privileges listed above. For example, here’s the configuration settings for a Senior GIS Analyst role that can do everything a Publisher can plus use Activity Dashboard, make groups available to open data, and request trials from Marketplace.

Senior GIS Analyst Role

As a security feature new members cannot be invited to the organization in this role since it includes elevated view privileges. After members accept their invitation and create their ArcGIS Online account they can be placed into the custom role by an administrator and then added to the organization’s group that provides access to Activity Dashboard and other Marketplace apps.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: With the December 2014 release of ArcGIS Online, the functionality of the Activity Dashboard app was enhanced and incorporated into the My Organization > View Status page. The View Status button was always visible to administrators is now also visible to any member that has a role configured as described in the following post. The standalone Activity Dashboard app is no longer available and redirects to your organization’s login page.

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  1. says:

    where can i get ESRI updates?