Customizing NetSuite Dashboards

by Caleb Schmitz in , February 13th, 2023

In this lesson, we're going to go over dashboards. Dashboards are an excellent way to show any reporting, saved searches, and all types of actionable data you need to make decisions throughout your day. It's also an excellent way to set up your day so you can look at your dashboard, see anything that jumps out at you, have things that need your immediate attention, and plan your day.

Dashboard Customization Basics

In this lesson, we're going to go for a pretty high-level version of the dashboards, and we'll cover some of the simple, self-explanatory ones and dive into just barely into some of the more custom ones so that you can dive into them even further on your own if you would like to. So first of all, you'll go to the home button on the left side of your NetSuite navigation and click on 'Dashboard'.

netsuite home dashboard

This will take you to your home dashboard. Unless you already have a pre-designed role-based dashboard assigned to you, your home dashboard will likely be empty other than the settings portlet:

netsuite home dashboard

To begin editing your dashboard, click the 'Personalize' dropdown on the right side of the dashboard.

personalize netsuite dashboard dropdown

Some tabs are Standard Content, SuiteApps, and Currently Used. The Standard Content tab is where you will select most of your portlets.

personalize netsuite dashboard standard content tab

If you have installed any dashboard SuiteApps, you can view these options from the SuiteApps tab. We do not have any dashboard SuiteApps installed in the demo account we are using for this tutorial, so this tab is empty.

suiteapp dashboard portlet tab

On the third tab, you can view all your Currently Used portlets. In our example, you can see that the only portlet on this tab right now is the settings portlet.

netsuite dashboard portlets currently used

New Release Portlet

I've found that one of the most valuable things for the dashboard is this new release portlet.

netsuite dashboard new release portlet

This is a good thing for decision makers and your admin to see what is coming out that you may want to implement into your NetSuite system. For instance, this one is showing the release for 2020.1, and there are going to be a lot of things being added. You'll want to see what those release notes are so you can improve your system even further.

Portlets: Navigation

Many of the navigation portlets that you can add to your NetSuite dashboard are features that are already readily available in your header navigation. But if you frequently navigate these links and want to save yourself a few clicks, having the portlets immediately visible on your dashboard can be handy.

Recent Records

We'll add the recent records portlet, which is a great way to navigate your NetSuite system a little bit easier.

netsuite recent records portlet

It's doing the same thing as the recent records dropdown from the header menu, but it's displaying the information more visibly within your dashboard for quick access.

SMT Links

SMT links may or may not be available for you, depending on your role and whether or not you have SuiteCommerce. SMT is a way to manage your SuiteCommerce website with more drag-and-drop type features. The SMT links portlet is self-explanatory. It simply allows you to have links to the Site Management Tools (SMT) interface for your SuiteCommerce website directly on your dashboard for quick access. However, you can also access SMT by navigating to any page of your SuiteCommerce website, pressing the ESC key, and entering your credentials on the login page that surfaces.

Want to learn how to customize your SuiteCommerce site with SMT? Check out this tutorial on working with Site Management Tools to learn how to use avialable drag-and-drop and CMS features.

RSS/Atom Feeds

RSS feed is a handy tool to connect information internally within your company, and it's a way to display other website content within your dashboard. For instance, let's say you have an internal blog or maybe even a blog on your website, and you want to show that same blog content to all your employees. You can easily add links from the portlet, which will show up to 10 links. So the RSS feed is a neat tool to share information internally within your company.


The Shortcuts portlet displays any shortcuts you've created in NetSuite. If you are unfamiliar with NetSuite shortcuts, they are essentially a way to bookmark any page in NetSuite so you can quickly access it later. We won't go over how to create NetSuite shortcuts here, but we do cover that in our NetSuite Navigation tutorial linked below.

Interested in learning how to efficiently navigate the NetSuite UI? Check out our NetSuite Navigation tutorial!

Portlets: Planning/Tasks

Calendar Portlet

You can also add a calendar portlet. If you're unfamiliar with the calendar in NetSuite, you can add things to your individual calendar and you can integrate with other people's calendars. Simply set up a calendar event, refresh the page, and your event will show up right there, just like any other calendar.

netsuite calendar portlet


Tasks are just displaying the tasks that you have available to you. Those tasks are listed in activities scheduling and tasks; if you were to create a new one, it would show up right there.

netsuite tasks portlet


The next one we're going to look at is reminders. Again, this is a good one for your CRM, sales, or even for anybody doing project management. You can go into setup and specify what types of reminders you want to display.

netsuite dashboard reminders portlet

Portlets: Displaying Data

Analytics Portlet

The first list that we can look at is the Analytics portlet. This will be one you can use for quite a few things. From the setup popup, you can see a lot of different types of already preset analytics in here:

netsuite analytics portlet settings example

In addition to determining the portlet type and visualization that you want, you can also name the portlet and set your desired number of visible rows (max 200).

KPI Meter

There are quite a few things in here, and it's just a simple KPI meter, and you're going to need to make sure that you have data for this to show information, for instance, for the KPI meter for income. We don't have any money in there because we haven't put any data into this demo account.

netsuite kpi meter portlet

KPI Scorecard

The one you might use quite a bit will be this KPI scorecard, and We're going to go ahead and set up an example. Let's do financial ratios, and let's click save. You can look at all the different KPIs that are being tracked, how that information is being compared, and highlight information that you need. There's a lot of flexibility on what you can do with KPI scorecards.

kpi scorecard portlet

Displaying Lists on Dashboards

Another portlet available to you is Lists. If you drag and drop it onto your dashboard and then click into the portlet settings, you can see this is an easy way to list any specific list you may want.

netsuite dashboard list portlet setup

This portlet is good if you find yourself looking at the same list information daily; you can display it right on the dashboard instead of having to navigate it every time.

Trend Graph

A trend graph portlet is excellent for decision-makers to see how their business has been trending over the past year, last quarter, or whatever period they want to evaluate. If you go into the portlet settings, you can see there are a lot of data and display settings to help you create a graph to visualize your data trends. You can adjust the settings to visualize the different data types, and adjust the time frame to only show data from the period you would like to evaluate.

netsuite trend graph portlet setup

Trend graphs from this portlet are helpful when preparing for meetings because you can even download images and export the data.

Report Snapshots

We won't go into report snapshots too heavily, but this is a handy portlet if you want to surface a particular report on your dashboard. If we go into the portlet setup, we can look at some of the dropdowns on what the snapshots could be.

netsuite dashboard reports portlet

You can compare all sorts of things, customers, sales invoices, items by sales reps by sales, and all that information with date ranges. You can have different charts (area, line bar, column) and adjust the color to meet your display preferences.

Bank Reconciliation Portlet

Another portlet you have available to you is the Bank Reconciliation Portlet. We're not going to go into detail here because the portlet itself is self-explanatory, but here is what that bank reconciliation summary would look like with some demo data in place:

bank reconciliation portlet

Login Audit Trail

My login audit is just an audit of your login. This is an excellent way to access that information quickly if needed. But if you have to look at it frequently, it's an excellent way to get at that information quickly.

Portlets: Entering Data

Phone Calls

The phone calls portlet is a great tool for adding things to your CRM. So maybe a good example would be phone calls you have scheduled later on or need to follow up on you can display here.

netsuite dashboard phone calls portlet

You can also add your phone calls here in Activities > Scheduling > Phone calls > New.

Quick Add Portlet

This quick add portlet is another great way to add information to NetSuite quickly. For example, you are a customer service rep trying to enter cases or different types of tasks. But that's just one use case. You can set up the quick ad from the menu in the top right corner and change what type you want it to be.

netsuite quick add portlet

For example, if you wanted it to be maybe a lead that you had, you could have the form be for lead. You can customize this form a little bit more, but they come with a pretty good standard base and will get you started, so at least you have the essential information to get basic data before returning to fill out the rest of their information. This is an excellent tool for anybody working in customer service or within your sales team!

Quick Search Portlet

The quick search portlet is handy when searching for things you haven't figured out the prefix for. If you're new to NetSuite, you might know that prefixes restrict your search to a specific type of information, helping you make a more specified search and find what you need a little bit faster. Let's say, searching for a postal zip code, and you don't know what the prefixes are off-hand. Instead of guessing and trying to figure that out in the global search bar, you can use the portlet to enter your search and select the type of result you are looking for from the dropdown menu.

quick search portlet example

It's a handy tool to define your search a little bit more to get the exact information you need, especially if you're not very good at knowing all the prefixes for this global search bar.

Need a refresher on NetSuite gloabl search prefixes? Check out our blog post on The Best Way to Learn NetSuite Keystroke Shortcuts!

Search Forms

Search forms are a neat way to have a saved search on your dashboard. These are just different views will do a custom item view, and let's say that we want to look at an inventory item that's some criteria for any inventory item.

netsuite search form portlet

Or let's say we wanted to look at any inventory item or non-inventory item selected control and then clicked it. So we search here, and then we'll show you a quick search for that items, too, so it's just a simple way to adjust your view.

Custom Search

The custom search portlet is a great catch-all for surfacing information on your dashboard. Let's say you have a bunch of company-specific information that you want to display on your dashboard, and there isn't a great native portlet for your use case. If you can surface the information using a saved search, you can display that custom search on the dashboard using this portlet.

There are a number of display settings at your disposal in the portlet setup as well, so you can further customize the appearance of this custom search.

netsuite custom search portlet setup
Want to visually track progress toward a goal? Learn how to display a Saved Search Progress Bar on your NetSuite Dashboard.

Custom Portlets

We recommend looking at custom portlets and maybe reading up on them and SuiteAnswers to see what they can do. This is a bit more complicated because it can involve scripting and development work. Still, they can be convenient to get any information you don't currently have with these existing portlets.

custom search portlet

Well, that's it for dashboards! Hopefully, this post gives you something to work with while trying to understand NetSuite and what it can do for your business. If you have any questions and want some free consulting advice, feel free to contact our team at Anchor Group.

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