Security Checkpoint Dashboard – a special event physical dashboard used backstage

My fellow Dashboard Spies know how much I like real-world, physical dashboards. Here's one from the Coachella Valley Music and Film Festival. It is a poster board mounted at various chainlink fence checkpoints backstage. Since there are so many event types and participants, it can be difficult for security agents to remember what areas the various ID bracelets entitle wearers to. Using this dashboard, the security agent can match each bracelet type to the picture and description and allow or disallow access. A check means entry is permitted and an X means entry is denied. Think of this as a real-world Access Control List with associated entitlements. Neat.

Concert Security dashboard

Homework: Event security is no joke in this day and age. Take a look through these books and articles on special event security.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy's favorite books.

IT Service Desk Management Dashboard – tracking alarm status along the service process flow

Dashboard Example: Service Desk Dashboard – For the enterprise help desk team, a service desk dashboard is a critical tool in their daily workflow.

We have this enterprise dashboard screenshot submission that features an implementation of the NimBUS Business Dashboard product. Yes, the same folks that gave us the soda machine dashboard. From the Dashboard Spy at nimsoft.com:

“The attached dashboard image visually splits the IT Service Desk function into two halves. The left side of the dashboard view graphically depicts Netstal’s Service Desk process flow. You can see problem/incident inputs occurring manually via calls from end-users into the service desk (depicted top) and inputs also occurring automatically via alerts from our NimBUS monitoring product (depicted bottom). The process flow continues to show incident processing through to problem resolution and communications of incident status back to the persons who originated the problem/incident request.

The right side of the dashboard view has an array of meters that categorize all open incident requests/tickets with ticket counters and alarm indicators when ticket counts rise to warning levels.

Interesting to point out – in the left-side process flow diagram you will find alarm status indicators positioned at key process points. The small and strategically positioned color-coded status indictors will draw attention to bottlenecks and backlogs in the incident handling process. This Service Desk dashboard contains real-time incident-handling performance indicators. This is key to quickly pinpoint and resolve problems in the service desk process.”

Here is the overall dashboard. It is wide so I split up the views in the following dashboard screenshots:

Service Desk Dashboard

Service Desk Process

Open ticket dashboard

Homework: Take a look at the nimsoft gallery for more ideas. The process flow for the service desk service shown on this dashboard is a great reference, but if you need to brush up, check these books on help desk management.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books on business dashboards.

Project Pipeline and Resource Allocation Enterprise Dashboard

Dashboard

Topic: Project Management Dashboards

Information Technology department managers know the difficulty of allocating human resources across multiple projects. What is the correct level of staffing necessary to both handle the workload quickly yet also be most cost effective? Obviously you can staff for maximum load, but the cost would be too high. Conversely, you can run a barebones staff, and save on budget, but then your capacity is constrained. How to strike a balance?

From a few years back comes this project/resource executive dashboard from http://www.innerfacedesign.com/pr_pipeline.html. It’s a fine looking dashboard by a talented designer that tracks projects not only from a current load perspective, but also from a pipeline viewpoint. On the top of the screen we have projects (current, pipeline and backlog). On the bottom of the screenshot we see resources by role and their utilization. This example uses a scenario of a User Interface Design Group and their project pipeline. The manager using this executive dashboard would look to balance the resources with the shifting project pipeline to try to optimize his productivity. Interesting graphical approach to a common departmental problem.

Enterprise dashboard screenshot

Tags: Project Management Dashboard, Business intelligence project management dashboards

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Service Desk Dashboard – tracking support call KPIs for a helpdesk operation

Service Desk Dashboards: For the enterprise’s IT trouble-shooters, a service desk dashboard is likely one of the most valuable tools in their collection. Few teams in the enterprise suffer from more real-time urgency than the service desk which makes the need for an effective help desk dashboard more acute.

First we examine a typical help desk dashboard, then we have a quick glance at a desktop dashboard for service desk dashboard reporting.

This peek at a support desk KPI enterprise dashboard comes from a company running the HEAT service management suite to optimize its IT service functions. The IT group takes the performance data as input for this call data dashboard. KPIs include number of open calls, escalated calls, calls received today, percentage of annual daily average, closed calls, calls more than 3 weeks old and a statistic that I really like – calls not updated in the last 7 days. I feel that this statistic is important in terms of customer satisfaction. The client obviously wants fast action. As the open call ages, the satisfaction index would obviously decrease. The 7 day mark seems like a good spot for some “We’re working on it” contact.

helpdesk dashboard

Now we look at using the desktop area as a deployment platform for a service desk dashboard. Take a look at this help desk dashboard from Klipfolio. It actually works as a widget that resides on your desktop!

service desk dashboard

From the Klipfolio site:

Cut response times and increase customer satisfaction

Improve performance across the support department with real-time tracking and sharing of incidents, cases, and metrics. Frontline agents can make choices based on up-to-the-minute data. Management can shuffle resources to accommodate changing workloads – leveraging data from Parature, Remedy, Heat, and other systems. Resolve more problems in less time. Make a direct impact on customer satisfaction.

Put priorities front and center

Desktop dashboards put individually tailored KPIs on support-organization desktops. Key indicators are “top of mind” at all times. Individuals never lose sight of what they are accountable for and must act on. They can do more with less. Their actions are aligned with goals driven by carefully crafted strategies underlying the indicators in front of them. No more real-time data trapped in enterprise systems, in trouble-ticketing applications, or on big-boards, white boards, or flip charts. Priorities are front and center.

Helpdesk Dashboard

Homework: Study up on this subject with these books on help desk management.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s books on enterprise dashboards. His current favorite is Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing executive dashboards.

Health Care Clinical Quality and Safety Dashboard – Using enterprise dashboards for hospital performance improvement

By special request from a Dashboard Spy reader interested in using enterprise dashboards in the area of Health Care Clinical Performance Improvements, we present these screenshots from Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, a 330-bed hospital in Peoria. This organization was an early adopter of data dashboards. See this great article on how Methodist’s IT team started developing and implementing data dashboards in 2003, using dashboards to track and improve all dimensions of performance organizationwide, including market breadth and penetration, customer service/patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction, clinical quality and safety, and financial results. Board members, senior executives and physician leaders, service line directors, department or unit managers, and front-line staff review specific data dashboards regularly.

Here is the process improvement process used at the hospital:

Performance Improvement Process

The statement of the formal goals and establishment of the above process was key to the Performance Improvement program. As the article states:

Michael Bryant became Methodist’s CEO in 2000, and he raised the performance bar by setting a goal of being in the top 5% of every performance area. To achieve that goal, it was clear that communication of the goal and the status at the indicator level was a must. Methodist achieved that communication by using a simple stoplight color scheme, which provides clarity for all Methodist dashboards. “Green” indicates excellent work that should be maintained; “yellow” signifies a need for focus because performance is starting to lag; and “red” is an alert, indicating an immediate need for intervention and improvement. “We use these stoplight colors for every dashboard, whether measuring admissions, employee turnover, patient satisfaction, falls, or operating margin,” says Duvendack.

To ensure reliability and validity of data collection and analysis, dashboards should have rules that govern their development and implementation. “Behind the scene of any data dashboard is a strict set of definitions for indicator numerators and denominators, how measures are calculated, inclusion/exclusion criteria, and other parameters,” says Duvendack. “Consistency of dashboard construction and indicator calculations is critical, so a limited number of trained individuals at Methodist are responsible for working with the data that populate the clinical dashboards.”

In addition, because timeliness of the data is critical to effective response, rapid turnover of charts for abstraction is required. Clinical abstracters at Methodist review charts as soon as possible, generally no more than a few weeks after a patient is discharged. “In order to provide meaningful input to quality improvement efforts, the data cannot lag too far behind the care received,” says Duvendack. Data from chart abstraction are entered into the database. The PI department disseminates the dashboards weekly.

These are the bi-weekly hospital-wide dashboards used to enable the performance improvements in the hospital. I apologize for the low quality of the dashboard screenshots. This is the data the Heart Failure Care team uses. The PI staff releases unit-based disease-specific dashboards weekly. Front-line staff and all members of the disease-specific teams in the appropriate clinical units receive the dashboards via e-mail and other means. “We distribute report copies at team meetings and post the dashboards on PI boards, in bathrooms, and every other venue we can use to get the word out. Staff is very familiar with the dashboards,” says Duvendack.

data dashboard

This is the unit specific dashboard. Service line directors, physician partners, and core teams review the reports during weekly meetings, and teams identify “outlier” indicators that require focus. Weekly dashboards may not include all the cases because data are added on a “rolling forward” basis, but by the end of the month, all cases are included in the monthly report

Data Dashboards

Homework: For background on this please look at these books on clinical improvement. And if you are on an enterprise dashboard project, do yourself a favor and take a look at Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing enterprise dashboards.

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books on business dashboards.

A Project Manager Dashboard

Posted on http://www.autotask.com/solutions/for_internal_service_organizations.htm is this project management dashboard. From the site: “It’s your single access point to manage people, projects time and costs.Account information, project schedules, status & assignments, service desk tickets, time & expenses and performance against budget — all rolled up on your personal dashboard.”

Note the red/green/yellow workload report.

Project manager dashboard

So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of business dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Dashboards for Monitoring Elections

Update: Let’s fast-forward a couple of years to Election Day 2008. Obama vs. McCain. Mashup dashboards are all the rage and here’s a look at an election results map from Google:

As a nod to Election Day, I’ll start a dialog about using digital dashboards to track election-related matters. We’ve all seen the extension of business dashboards to encompass other subjects, but political statistics seem particularly well suited for dashboard-style presentation. Here is a dashboard dedicated to tracking the Tennessee Senate Race. You can view it at http://senate.tnpoliticsblog.com/.

Senate Race Dashboard

Homework: If you see any dashboards tracking today’s voting results, please click on this post’s headline, find the comments link at the bottom and please post the URL. Thanks. The Dashboard Spy.

World’s Easiest Dashboard?

Here at The Dashboard Spy, we’ve been keenly tracking the increasing adoption by business intelligence applications, dashboards, and database reporting tools of RIA (Rich Internet Application) technologies. The promise of RIA to provide enriched user interaction and the concurrent trend towards usability and user-centric design bodes well for intuitive, easy-to-use interfaces for business applications in general and BI dashboards in particular.

We’ve featured business dashboards using exciting RIA-style technologies such as Flash, AJAX, Flex, Air, Silverlight, etc. and have seen that the technology by itself certainly does not guarantee a good user experience. It is the underlying information architecture, design and visualization approaches that make for a sensible, user-centric dashboard experience.

Today we look at a flash-based database and dashboarding technology that uniquely combines several elements of our Web 2.0 world. Think of a web-based database that is easy to use because it allows drag and drop, and other rich internet application features. On top of that, you find that the interface to the database is very dashboarder friendly with built-in status indicator lights, flags and conditionally formatted graphics. Now add to that the ability to share your database with the world. The flip side of that sharing of course is the ability to browse and consume interesting data sets shared by others. Roll all this together and you get a social database that may be a dashboarder’s dream.

The web-based, sharing aspect may remind you of the Google Apps spreadsheet application. It’s along similar lines in that it is a compelling, no-cost option for sharing data across the internet. But you may find the user experience and graphic design of blist more cutting-edge, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.

Blist bills itself as “the World’s Easiest Database” with the intent of “creating a new category of online social databases that combine an instantly intuitive and comprehensible user interface with a vibrant community of data, data templates, and people.”

Here’s a video about blist from the company that explains what blist is.

The world’s easiest database? Well, that’s certainly a lofty goal, so let’s look at some screenshots and try it out for ourselves.

Here is a screen capture of the out-of-the-box sample database. You can see some icons that come in handy for BI dashboarding such as conditional formatted bars, status flags, etc.

World's Easiest Dashboard - Blist

Here is a sample of the types of charting available. This is a screengrab of a bar chart:

Blist Database Bar Chart Graph

Here is a look at the Blist Activity Dashboard which serves as an interesting jump-off point when it comes to browsing available data shared by others. Think of the possibilities if you can keep tabs on the work of other BI dashboarders. Interesting idea in business intelligence collaboration.

Read More »

SAS Enterprise Dashboard Screenshots

Enterprise Dashboard vendor, SAS, scored a 4.1 in the 2005 Meta Group Enterprise Reporting and Dashboard Assessment that we’ve been detailed these past few posts. The 4.1 score ties SAS with Microsoft, and put them in a tie for fifth place. See the original post, Meta Group Rating of Vendors for Enterprise Reporting and Enterprise Dashboards, for the source study download.

In the study, Meta had this to say about SAS:

SAS WebReportStudio (Part of BI Server Version 9.1 Product)

SAS WebReportStudio is an effective enterprise reporting and dashboard product that is delivered as part of the BI Server product. WebReportStudio is not sold as a separate product. With the release of SAS 9, WebReportStudio has improved. In addition to very strong data connectivity, SAS can embed and reuse analytical stored processes.

Strengths

• Best-in-class connectivity with out-of-the-box support for more than 70 data sources
• WYSIWYG report design environment that renders real data in design mode
• Strong support of multiple languages and international requirements
• Good support of Excel with add-in component

Limitations

• Low presence and scalability and performance scores due to WebReportStudio being a relatively new product
• No support for cascading parameters, though scheduled to be addressed during 2005
• No support of content caching, though this is expected to be supported during 2005
• Pricing limited to per CPU and enterprise options and is based on a subscription model

Before we look at a sampling of some SAS dashboards, let me point out the great resource that SAS has in Dr. Robert Allison. He’s produced some wonderful, award-winning enterprise dashboards using SAS technology. Also, he has been willing to share SAS code, for example, here’s how to emulate Excel-style graphs using SAS as we see in this screenshot:

SAS code to generate excel graphs

Here are some enterprise dashboards done using SAS. Feel free to submit more and I’ll update this post to include them:

SAS webreportstudio

SAS sales dashboard graph

The Dashboard Spy Business Intelligence Dashboards Blog

PS. Companies that value the importance of KPI reports and metrics but don’t have business intelligence dashboard expertise on their staff can go the route of using an embedded dashboard for their enterprise business intelligence applications.

The Cosmo Kramer Enterprise Dashboard for Kramerica Industries

Here’s a look at a corporate dashboard based on the matrix dashboard product by datajungle.com. It’s a highly interactive enterprise dashboard that concentrates on letting users slice and dice data as they need. Based on SQL Server relational, Analysis services and Cognos data sources, it lets end users build their own views of OLAP data.

There is high use of hover-over, tool-tip type displays as you can see from the mouse-over shown on the Top 3 sellers by channel portlet. Also, I can’t tell from this static dashboard screenshot, but there is some sort of popup used to explain the legend of the charts (see top markets and revenue KPIs).

Cosmo Kramer Kramerica Dashboard

Note the name of the company and the quote in the title bar of the corporate dashboard: “Kramerica – It’s business as usual at Kramerica”.  Sound familiar?

Yes, you guessed it. We’ve been looking at the enterprise dashboard for Cosmo Kramer’s company, Kramerica. You know, Kramer, from the Seinfeld TV show. 

Here are some quotes from the episode called “The Voice”, where Kramer hires an intern for his company:

“I’ve been reviewing Darren’s internship journal. Doing laundry, mending chicken wire, high tea with a Mr. Newman?”

“Well, it all sounds pretty glamourous, but it’s business as usual at Kramerica.”

“Far as I can tell, your entire enterprise is little more than a solitary man with a messy apartment which may or may not contain a chicken.”

And for you fanatics out there, here is some dialogue from the script: 

Scene: At Jerry’s apartment)

(Jerry walks in. Kramer is showing his “intern,” Darren around)

Kramer: …So that’s the bedroom. Here’s the bathroom. If you need to, you can familiarize yourself with the kitchen…Yeah, go ahead and look through some of the drawers.

Jerry: And you are?

Darren: Oh, hey, I’m Darren. I’m new here.

Kramer: Yeah, that’s Jerry, you don’t have to worry about him. Why don’t you go across the hall and get started on that mail.

Darren: Right!

Kramer: He’s a go getter!

Jerry: Who’s he?

Kramer: My intern from NYU. Well, you remember my corporation, Kramerica Industries.

Jerry: Alright.

Kramer: Well, apparently NYU is very enthusiastic about their students getting some real world corporate experience.

Jerry: But you only provide fantasy world corporate experience.

Kramer: Well, this will really free up my time so I can focus on more important things, like my bladder system.

Jerry: Alright, it’s time to go.

Kramer: Jerry, it’s not for people, it’s for oil tankers.

Jerry: (sarcastically) I know!

(Jerry tries to shove Kramer out the door)

Kramer: You see the idea is for a rubber ball inside the tanker so if it crashes, the oil won’t spill out.

Jerry: Actually, that is not a bad idea.

Kramer: (smiles) yeah.

Jerry: Now, it’s time to go.

(slams door)

So who is the Dashboard Spy? No one really knows, but his growing collection of enterprise dashboard screenshots has captured the imagination of the executive dashboarding community. From excel dashboards and custom-built business scorecards, to xcelsius and flex-based visualizations, the dashboard screenshots at dashboardspy.com serve both as nuggets of inspiration and warnings of what not to do on an enterprise dashboard. These hits and misses will enlighten and entertain. Technology-neutral, and always business-driven, the Dashboard Spy website is the place to go to learn about the latest enterprise dashboard packages. Check out the Dashboard Spy’s latest recommended book, Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data.

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