The Dashboard Spy

March 6, 2006

Flash presentation on xcelsius dashboard

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — Tags: — dashboardspy @ 8:45 pm

Update: Xcelsius 2008 Dashboard example is now available.

Take a look at http://www.datapigtechnologies.com/flashfiles/Xcelsius101.html and you’ll notice that a flash movie is loading. It’s a presentation from xcelsius. Here are 2 screengrabs, but you should check out the movie itself. It shows how to configure the product to how different graphic elements.

Xcelsius Dashboard 

 And here is a screen grab of the flash sliders in action:

Flash-based 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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Virginia Department of Transportation dashboard online and working!

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 8:23 pm

The Virginia Department of Transportation has an enterprise dashboard online for all to see at http://dashboard.virginiadot.org/default.aspx. Note the hover-over display of section content descriptions. This is a valuable resource for us dashboarders as you can actually use this thing! Try it out and see if you like the solutions they chose. What’s even more impressive, however, is that the State of Virginia is letting its citizens monitor their tax and bond dollars at work. A great example of customer collaboration through an enterprise dashboard.

Update: Here is a snap of a VDOT project manager using the enterprise dashboard and a screen grab of the user’s view:

VDOT Dashboard User KPI AnalysisPublic user view of dashboard

This first dashboard screenshot lays out a series of gauges showing KPIs for engineering, construction, maintenance, operations, safety, finance and environment.

Department of Transportation Dashboard 

Clicking on the engineering dial brings up this:

Engineering dashboard 

Clicking on the Operations dial brings this Road Alerts screen up. There is a scrolling section of text that displays traffic advisories:

Traffic Operations Dashboard 

Homework: This is an excellent example of what is known as a customer dashboard. Did you know that there are six major types of dashboards according to Malik, author of Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT. They are Enterprise Performance Dashboards, Divisional Dashboards, Process/Activity Monitoring Dashboards, Custom Applications Dashboards, Customer Dashboards and Vendor Dashboards. The dashboard type diagram from the book shows each type’s sub-categories. The Dashboard Spy dashboard categories are a little more numerous and slightly more arbitrary.

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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Pick a KPI, any KPI – Using visual size and color to show trending data on dashboards

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 6:14 pm

Here is an interesting series of screens from http://www.iexecutivedashboard.com/screens.htm. Note how the Executive Dashboard product handles the past and future trends for the indicators. Also see how the users can set their own configuration preferences. It’s always interesting to see how a dashboard application handles KPI configuration.

Past and Future Trends Dashboard
Dashboard Screen: The dashboard page displays the overall health of key performance indicators. Each box represents a key performance indicator (KPI) and the health for corresponding periods. The default executive dashboard shown can be unique to the individual logged in, or shared by the entire organization.

View Indicator 
View Screen: The View screen gives a snapshot picture of the key performance indicator (KPI). Charts display supporting data, while text details the criteria and justification for each KPI.

View Indicator
Design Screen: The design screen allows all elements of a key performance indicator (KPI) to be customized, including sub-indicators, charts, measures, criteria, and display properties.

Edit Indicator 
Edit Screen: The Edit screen displays the data and projections for the given key performance indicator – KPI. Rationale, justification, and overrides can be entered here.

Reports
Reports: Each dashboard can be produced as a report utilizing custom templates. Quick searches are also available for key performance indicators meeting specific criteria.

Design Dashboard 
Design Report Screen: The Design Report screen provides a means to format both the online and printed report. Titles, indicators, and groups of indicators are easily added or removed using drag and drop functionality from the web.

Data Values 
Data Entry Screen: Performance Metric data is added for each key performance indicator (KPI). From a single screen, both actual values and projections for multiple indicators or time periods are entered.

Criteria Screen 
Criteria (Health) Codes Screen: Unlimited levels of criteria can be added to the system. Users can choose from color codes to custom graphics to display the health of their performance measures.

Periods
Period Codes Screen: Period Codes are the smallest unit of time for a key performance indicator. They represent the level at which data is either entered or calculated. The application does allow indicators representing different time periods to be placed together on the same 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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Edward Tufte advice on dashboard thread still alive

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 4:23 pm

This thread from Edward Tufte on executive dashboard presentation is from 2003 but just got a new post: http://www.edwardtufte.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0000bx&topic_id=1&topic= 

A reader was working on a dashboard with a “Zen” version of a KPI status indicator, using as little color as possible, and incorporating Edward Tufte’s innovative “Spark Line” metaphor for display of trends. Please read the thread for Mr. Tufte’s very helpful comments. He had a great statement about over-zealous graphics:

For information displays for management, avoid heavy-breathing metaphors such as the mission control center, the strategic air command, the cockpit, the dashboard, or Star Trek. As Peter Drucker once said, good management is boring. If you want excitement, don’t go to a good management information system.

Simple designs showing high-resolution data, well-labelled information in tables and graphics will do just fine. One model might be the medical interface in Visual Explanations (pages 110-111) and the articles by Seth Powsner and me cited there. A model for tables might be the supertable, shown in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, p. 179. More generally, see chapter 9 of The Visul Display of Quantitative Information. The displays should often be accompanied by annotation, details from the field, and othersupplements.

“Sparklines” show high-resolution data and also work to reduce the recency bias prevalent in data analysis and decision-making.

If you are not familiar with Tufte’s body of work, you must immediately take a look at his books.

Edward Tufte Dashboard Advice

As for this dashboard, take a close look at the top of the screen. Note the dials, the graphs and the red, green, yellow bars. A lot of information in a small space.

Again, if you need to read up on the Tufte body of work, use this amazon link for a significant discount.

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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Back to basics article on executive dashboards

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 3:21 pm

This article by Alex Kirtland on boxesandarrows.com at http://www.boxesandarrows.com/view/executive_dashboards was and still is a great primer on dashboards. It’s from 2003, but well worth a revisit. Here’s a shot from it that features a simplified dashboard architecture. It shows how the user needs of answering fundamental business questions, getting alerts and decision making are met by a system filtering raw data through the processes of personalization, key performance indicators, and data manipulation.

Dashboard Architecture

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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

A corporate performance executive dashboard

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 2:58 pm

This executive dashboard from Bowstreet was reported by cfo.com at http://www.cfo.com/chart.cfm/4098145 Note the series of drilldowns. The dashboard features alerts, key performance indicators as graphics for EBITDA, headcount and bookings.

Corporate Perfomance 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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Network monitoring dashboard

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 3:37 am

Here’s an old writeup of a dashboard which monitors network traffic: http://www.packet-level.com/archives/archives7.htm

 Network Traffic Dashboard

Sniffer Pro 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 leave a comment or send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

Blog at WordPress.com.