Live clock / stopwatch function for dashboard

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Rob W.
Rob W. ✭✭✭✭
edited 05/30/23 in Formulas and Functions

Hi all,

We're looking to migrate a production performance tracking tool from Excel into Smartsheet so we can leverage connections to other datapoints we have stored there.

Intent: One of the functions this Excel is serving (via VBA) is to provide a live clock function with seconds to show time elapsed between a 'start' event trigger and a 'finish' event trigger.

Approach: In Smartsheet, we can certainly use automations to timestamp a start and finish event, and effectively the same strategy to get the equivalent of Excel's NOW() value. From this, simple math gets us to a total time (finish - start) or elapsed time (now - start), so we're 95% there, though importantly, we still don't have a seconds value.

Problem: Management is requesting a dashboard with a rolling seconds function since this has a bit more visual impact than updating once a minute.

I'm assuming several constraints to this:

  1. Dashboard refresh frequency is a function of page refresh.
  2. Timestamp values and date math functions don't include seconds.

We can certainly set up production displays to refresh the page every minute (or every second, but that will probably kill the effect by reloading the page constantly), but the hope is we can get an actual second value to update live.

This doesn't have to actually be coming from the sheet data, if we can somehow fake a 0-60 counter in a dashboard, and show this next to the HH:MM data as a metric, we can make that work. Was looking at the web content widget but can't find anything that will play nice with this (Smartsheet claims "no embeddable content").

Please provide support for the above strategy or alternate solutions.

Answers

  • Mike M Consulting
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    This may/may not solve your issue. You can Embed Web Content into your dashboard using the Web Content widget. Try finding a countdown clock that meets your needs on the internet and insert it into your dashboard. Of course, the bigger question is the purpose of the clock... is it to inspire or excite the team... xx minutes till the company cruise... or is it to drive urgency?

  • Rob W.
    Rob W. ✭✭✭✭
    Options

    Thanks Mike,

    I've tried embedding a URL (including ones specifically described as "embeddable URL" from Youtube) and haven't been able to get Smartsheet to recognize any content as suitable for this widget. If you have any examples where this works (doesn't even have to be a clock, I just want to get this widget to function first), I'd be interested to validate.

    The purpose of the clock is to provide a more immediate and visible feedback function for manufacturing operations takt times to drive both consistency and incremental improvement.

  • Ryan Sides
    Ryan Sides ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options

    Here's a list of approved domains for embedding content on your dashboard:

    You would need to somehow "trick" google slides or sheets to display the countdown, then you might be able to get it to count on your dashboard. But I haven't tested this.

    Ryan Sides

    Smartsheet Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Advanced on LinkedIn and YouTube

    Come Say Hello!

  • Ryan Sides
    Ryan Sides ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Options

    There's this way to add a countdown timer to google sheets, but it only updates every minute 👎️

    Ryan Sides

    Smartsheet Tips and Tricks for Beginners and Advanced on LinkedIn and YouTube

    Come Say Hello!

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