The Dashboard Spy

March 11, 2006

A College Executive Dashboard Management System

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 2:12 pm

St. Charles Community College in this post explains the dashboard analogy: “The term “dashboard” is commonly used to refer to the surface located below the windshield of a motor vehicle or aircraft, which contains instruments and controls. For example, today’s aircraft contain instruments that signal the flight path and performance of the aircraft to the pilot. Modern aircraft dashboards have many gauges, warning lights, and computers that are integrated into key instruments. These instruments are designed to give the pilot accurate and precise information about what may be going wrong in the aircraft, so that corrective action can be taken. The signals are often aggregated to avoid overwhelming the pilot with information, but individual problems can be traced back through the detailed instrument displays to identify specific information. SCC’s KPIs use this analogy in terms of sustainable development. It is an instrument panel designed to inform decision-makers at the College about our progress towards or away from the sustainability of those key performance indicators we have selected for our accountability system.

The report’s Executive Dashboard Summary page graphically recapitulates 24 KPI findings and classifies findings into seven Core Performance Areas. These include the categories of: student success, career preparation, student satisfaction, developmental education, student engagement, student self-assessment of general educational gains, and transfer success.* In addition, next to each KPI measure is a “stop light dial” indicator that displays the overall health of the key indicator in question. The color codes used to document a KPI’s progress towards its standard include: solid green (exceptional performance), light green (above benchmark), yellow (below benchmark), and red (alarm bells).”

KPI 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_ Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books.

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