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Profiles adjusts Dashboard to your work tasks
You can change the view of your Dashboard to suit the work you are doing. To do that there are profiles that changes the view of the Dashboard and shows the right tools. That way you get the possibility to put together the tools that you need and like to work with. In a small organization you may need all the apps that are available in Dashboard (then you don't use a specific profile, instead all the Dashboard apps are shown with Show all).
A reporter can use the tools for authoring (below the profile is called for example Creation).
An editor needs the planning tools and authoring tools (see for example the Planning profile below in image).
Administration tasks need certain tools for example to work with workflows or metadata (see the Admin profile below in the profile example).