The Dashboard Spy

August 11, 2006

Utility Service Operations Dashboard – Monitoring Asset Outages and Resource Performance

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 10:07 am

Did you know that the July 2006 heatwave-related electrical outages in parts of New York City lasted over 10 days? First there was the outage, then there was outrage from the community. The main area affected was the Sunnyside/Woodside/Astoria section of Queens, a predominantly working class area with a large immigrant population. The outrage came mainly from the management of the issue. First, the city did not officially recognize the problem until four days into the situation. Con Edison, the electrical utility in New York City, also severely understated the number of people affected. They said that 2,500 people were affected when the number was actually 100,000. Needless to say, as the days without electrical service mounted, the situation turned into a political mess with charges that the city’s poorer residents were left to suffer – the implication being that if this had occurred in a tonier part of town, much more attention would have been alloted to the issue. In retrospect, everyone agrees that more resources should have been applied earlier.

The point of all this is to introduce this enterprise dashboard that serves as a utility service company’s operations dashboard. It is used to track asset outages. There are portlets that sync up with a mapping program. The overlays indicate outage areas. Close attention is paid to the weather as it is the main influence on when repairs can be started. I will do some research on how Con Edison tracks their outages. Do they have a similar dashboard? If so, there was absolutely no excuse as to what happened. Let me try to recruit some Dashboard Spies from Con Ed.

Operations Dashboard Electric Company

Homework: If you want some background on the utility industry, check these books on electric utilities.

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_ 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.

1 Comment »

  1. Hi Dashboard Spy,

    just found your blog today – it is a wonderful collection of resources.

    I am in the process of designing metrics and KPIs for my work at a higher ed institution, and I got some really great presentation ideas.

    Will be back and when I have some screenies of my work, I will post.

    Thanks a lot!!

    Comment by Mia, the Nature Nut — August 11, 2006 @ 6:06 pm

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