The Dashboard Spy

September 29, 2006

Communication Program Dashboards – Xcelsius dashboard metrics for public relations, internal & corporate communications

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 2:07 pm

Someone at a PR agency in London (www.theleanagency.biz) seems to have been bitten by the continuous improvement bug and is applying lean manufacturing techniques to the world of public relations and other communication programs. The emphasis is on measuring their client’s processes and the metrics of PR, internal communications and corporate communications campaigns. They have developed a dashboard approach to monitoring the KPIs using the Crystal Xcelsius product. The screenshots presented here are too small to really make out the details, but I’ve also snipped the listing of relevant metrics from each. What is helpful is the categorization of the metrics into three types: Output-based metrics, Impact-based metrics, and Outcome-based metrics. Hopefully these screenshots will help those enterprise dashboard people out there working on dashboards for public relations.

Here is the public relations dashboard and the metrics associated with it. Metrics include share of voice, tone of voice, message penetration, agency performance.

Public relations dashboard xcelsius

PR Dashboard metrics

Here is the internal communications dashboard and the metrics associated with it. KPIs include the number of visits to the company, newsletters distributed, events held, staff turnover, employee engagement surveys. 

Internal communications dashboard

Internal communication KPIs metrics dashboard

Here is the corporate communications dashboard and the metrics associated with it. KPIs include the number of activities, share price movement, increased profitability, increased sales.

Corporate Communications Dashboard

 Corporate communications KPIs

Homework: Measuring the success of PR and communication efforts is on a lot of people’s minds. Have you read Evaluating Public Relations: A Best Practice Guide to Public Relations Planning, Research & Evaluation? Take a look at best practices of measuring and evaluating PR efforts. Also, as these dashboards are executed in the easy-to-use Xcelsius, take a look at the book, Crystal Xcelsius For Dummies . Xcelsius, by the way, is a simple way of putting a flashy Flash interface in front of your excel spreadsheet. It’s true value is that it allows you to create input controls such as dials and sliders that you use to change output controls such as gauges and charts.

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.

September 27, 2006

Fleet Management Dashboard – Motor Pool Optimization, Vehicle Assignment Dashboards

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 10:00 am

Previously, we looked at some vehicle fleet management dashboards from agilefleet.com. Matt, our Dashboard Spy over there, sent us some screenshots of their new generation enterprise dashboards for our enjoyment. There is a switch to KPI gauges and graphs as these dashboard screenshots will show. The first screenshot shows the fleet management dashboard. It shows the visual status of vehicle availablity, fleet capacity versus demand and various text-based summaries. I like the focus on the customer via the Customer Satisfaction gauge which is broken down into Staff, Vehicles and System metrics. Also of note is the “Make this my default Dashboard” functionality. The second dashboard screenshot shows a detail pop up that shows the reservation specifics. The other screens show a vehicle optimization chart. In my previous post, I commented on being confused about the meaning of the colored indicators and their abbreviation. This is cleared up  by the legend.

Fleet Management Dashboard

Motor Pool Optimization Dashboard

Fleet Management Enterprise Dashboard

Vehicle Management Dashboard

Note: Hey, Dashboard Spy!: Do you know how smart you are getting by reading The Dashboard Spy? From vehicle fleet management to airplane crew size optimization to monitoring executive KPIs, we’ve examined enterprise dashboards from all aspects of business. I’ll do my share to keep snooping around for those elusive dashboard screenshots that keep this dashboard screenshot collection interesting.

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.

PS: If you find yourself part of an enterprise dashboard effort, you must study Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing enterprise dashboards.

September 26, 2006

Happy Face Excel Dashboard – using conditional graphics to show KPI status

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 9:36 am

Enterprise Dashboard Spy reader update: With your great interest and contributions of your own dashboards, The Dashboard Spy collection of executive dashboard screenshots has grown to over 800 examples of all sorts of BI dashboards! This unique enterprise dashboard reference can now be found at a new URL:http://enterprise-dashboard.com. And for your convenience, the posts on the various dashboard screenshots are collected together on the enterprise dashboard sitemap. The move to the new url allows exciting new functionality such as videos on enterprise dashboard related information.

On the lighter side of enterprise dashboard design, we look at this nifty excel dashboard example using graphics to show status or state. From the excellent excel resource site, http://www.contextures.com comes this great xls file download of a happy face excel dashboard. The idea is that this sample shows how an excel graphic changes in response to the entry of a different cell value. I grabbed 2 screenshots below. The first value is 95 which gives me the bright happy smile. The second worksheet shows a much lower value and hence we get the frowny face. Maybe something gimicky to lighten the day the next time you deliver an excel spreadsheet to your users? Finally KPIs that smile or frown at you!

Happy Face Excel Dashboard Graphic

Sad face excel dashboard graphic

Homework: If you need to catch up on some excel charting basics, start with Excel Charts for Dummies.

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.

September 25, 2006

Financial Dashboards – using Crystal Xcelsius to present views of Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — Tags: , — dashboardspy @ 11:17 am

Business Dashboard Design Topic: Embed Dashboard for quick ROI

One of the easiest ways to create a slick dashboard is to use Crystal Xcelsius to portray your data, and the relationships between your data, in an interactive flash movie.  The output is an swf file that you can put on the web or stick into powerpoint, email or a word document. We’ve looked at a range of examples before and continue our tour of different implementations with this look at a Financial Dashboard demo from analysisfactory.com. Previous examples from a multitude of sources have focused on what-if analysis functionality where you use sliders and dials to change parameters to see how that effects the totals. This example is much more of a read-only view where Crystal Xcelsius is used to display data in a usable fashion. Drop downs and tabs are the main navigation features. Visit the demo to experience the interface, but here are some dashboard screenshots for you to study. The main idea of the interface is that the line items in the table on the left can be visualized on the right side. When you click on a row, its corresponding chart appears on the right side of the dashboard. Below the chart are any notes that accompany the KPI.

Profit and Loss Financial Dashboard Xcelsius

Balance Sheet Dashboard Crystal Excelsius

Cash Flow Dashboard

Homework: What is Xcelsius? In a nutshell, it is a tool for the business user to front end an excel spreadsheet with an interactive flash movie. It’s totally drag and drop and produces a very slick interface. My favorite intro to Xcelsius continues to be the Crystal Xcelsius For Dummies book. And if you haven’t tried Business Object’s Crystal Xcelsius yet, go ahead and download the trial. I had some trouble running it on one of my machines, but it really works well on several others. The latest version has greatly appreciated UI improvments such as being able to embed any graphic image into the interface.

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.

September 21, 2006

3D Stereogram Dashboard – Weather Event Visualization Dashboards from the Bleeding Edge

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 9:57 am

Stereograms are those old-fashioned postcards that have two pictures side by side mounted in front of an optical device that focuses them together to form a 3D picture. Antique shops often have boxes of these sepia classics from victorian times. Years later, these became popular again with the Viewmaster toy. No doubt when you were a child, you peered through your Viewmaster at 3D Disney images. I had a shiny red one with pictures of Donald Duck riding the Disneyland monorail. What does this trip down memory lane have to do with enterprise dashboards? Well, stick with The Dashboard Spy for another paragraph and I’ll bring it all together. First, another detour.

In 1979, the first autostereogram was created. This allowed a 3D effect to come from only one image and without googles or anyother device. However, the big caveat was that you had to learn to cross your eyes and unfocus your vision in a certain way. When the Magic Eye series of books came out in 1993, this became quite a sensation with 3 books spending a total of 34 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list. Many people simply couldn’t manage the effort it took to see the hidden 3D pictures. It required a zen-like “not trying” approach that was frustrating.

OK, now back to the world of enterprise dashboards. The brainiacs at the University of Maryland studying advanced web-based data mining, fusion and visualization interface techniques modeled the data regarding the College Park Tornado of 2001. The results can be studied at this page on their 4D Visualization Dashboard.

I’ll show you the most interesting dashboard screenshot first. It’s what they call a self-stereo graphic. You  cross your eyes, unfocus your vision and get a 3D visualization right on the dashboard. In other words, it’s an autostereogram-powered enterprise dashboard. Unbelievable, right? By the way, I have not been able to get the effect right. I was able to do it 13 years ago, but I’m out of practice. Tell me if any of you Dashboard Spies out there have any success. Maybe we’ll need those blue and red paper 3D glasses after all!

3D 4D Weather Event Visualization Dashboard

The rest of the dashboard screenshots follow. These screens show an expand and drill down path. Note that the University page explains the visualization details in full. Hardcore viz junkies should definitely check it out.

Weather Event Dashboard

Expanded weather enterprise dashboard

Detail of weather event visualization

Homework: Practice on these stereograms from the Magic Eye books. Also, be sure you know what you’re doing in the current world of 2D dashboards before you go to a 3D or 4D executive dashboard. Study the examples in Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data.

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.

September 20, 2006

Project Management Dashboard – Letting team members access MS Project through a dashboard

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — Tags: , , — dashboardspy @ 1:51 pm

Dashboard Topic: Project Dashboards

Here’s a look at the digital dashboard approach to project management using a layer between the project team and MicroSoft Project. These enterprise dashboard screens come from valleyspeak.com. The concept is that you can continue to use the native MS Project file, while also having it serve as the data source powering a Project Dashboard. This way, rather than acquiring a Project license for everyone and his brother, you can let the “team” access the project details via a browser-based dashboard. I put “team” in quotes because on a typical project you get plenty of concerned parties that come and go.

The first screenshot is of the project dashboard. I’m not too fond of the use of so many colors for the statuses. What do all the different colors mean? If you go beyond red, green, yellow and gray (for missing or not yet reported data), then you should have a legend. Just a digital dashboard best practice.

Project Dashboard Screenshot

Project Management Issues Dashboard KPI

Tags: Dashboard Project, Project Management Dashboard, Microsoft Project Dashboards 

Homework: Do you know about this book? Check out The Project Management Scorecard: Measuring the Success of Project Management Solutions

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.

September 18, 2006

Red Light – Green Light – 123 – Enterprise Dashboard Indicator Icons, a graphic resource for enterprise dashboards from The Dashboard Spy

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 4:01 pm

Enterprise Dashboard designers and practioners – take note of this update: The Dashboard Spy collection of business intelligence dashboards has grown to over 800 screenshots thanks to your support and interest. This unique enterprise dashboard reference can now be found at a new URL:http://www.enterprise-dashboard.com. Much new content has been posted so enjoy browsing the blog. And for your convenience, the posts on the various dashboard screenshots are collected together on the sitemap page in one listing showing the different types of enterprise dashboard samples. The move to the new url allows exciting new functionality such as videos on enterprise dashboard related content.

Now back to our unique enterprise dashboarding content:

Here at the Dashboard Spy, there is a continuing effort to supply the enterprise dashboard project community with truly useful materials. Previously we made available a unique executive dashboard mockup and wireframe tool called the Cool Blue Enterprise Dashboard Template. It was a big hit that was downloaded by many executive dashboard project managers, business users, business analysts and enterprise dashboard developers. In a similar vein, I now offer the Red Light – Green Light – 123 Dashboard Icon Set. It’s a powerpoint-based template containing icons and graphic resources from many difference sources that have come in very handy in past enterprise dashboard projects. Kind of my “go to” set of icons. Note: I did not create most of these icons, but I did “spy” them. 

Typically they were used for presentations to the business users to visualize the dashboard process and its benefits. These red/yellow/green light indicators were collected over time and multiple dashboarding projects. Once dashboard implementation team members got a hold of some of these icons, the sets started becoming famous. I now make them available to the general Dashboard Spy community. Enjoy using them. This set focuses on dashboard indicator lights. Other sets will feature icon sets that feature KPIs, user groups, business processes, etc. To download these icons, visit the Red Light, Green Light 123 Dashboard Graphics page.

Dashboard Icons Indicator Lights

Homework: The best way to make sure that your dashboard is a success is to really pay attention to the design phase of the project. Well worth studying is this lavishly illustrated book, Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data.

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.

September 14, 2006

Wafer Fab Dashboard – Cycle time management dashboards for semiconductor fabrication

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 9:35 am

A “wafer fab” or wafer fabrication facility is the factory where silicon, the basic element in sand, is manufactured into integrated circuits. The process is truly an incredible engineering feat. These facilities cost over $1 billion to build and the knowledge in this area literally increases every day. When you hear about computer chips becoming obsolete in a matter of months, it’s because at the wafer fab, they managed to yet again increase the number of components on each chip. Wafer fab management is all about reducing cycle times and increasing tool utilization. Typical business goals include improving line yield, reducing carrying costs, decreasing risk of obsolete inventory, increasing revenue by shortening time to market, etc.

Enterprise dashboard technology is a natural for this industry and is being used in performance dashboards and optimization dashboards.

Here is a screenshot of a cycle time management dashboard for a wafer fab. This series of graphs show KPIs critical to cycle time optimization. The underlying dashboard product is from fabtime.com. They have extensive resources discussing the optimization of wafer fabrication and the use of KPI charts and dashboards to drill down to problem areas.

Wafer Fab Cycle Time Management Dashboard

Homework: Of course, we all know Moore’s Law but did you know that Gordon Moore is truly a warm and funny man? For a great discussion with him, please see this video. Fast forward to the interview itself and start at minute 19 to hear Gordon talk about his love for chemistry. He goes on to recount the early days of silicon technology. At minute 1:08, he discusses his first fab.

Update: Every once in a while, there is a debate about whether or not Moore’s Law will continue to hold up in the future. There is always the speculation that a ceiling is approaching, etc. Today (9/18/06), the New York Times ran the article entitled “A Chip That Can Transfer Data Using Laser Light” in which the following is stated:

The advance will make it possible to use laser light rather than wires to send data between chips, removing the most significant bottleneck in computer design. As a result, chip makers may be able to put the high-speed data communications industry on the same curve of increased processing speed and diminishing costs — the phenomenon known as Moore’s law — that has driven the computer industry for the last four decades. The development is a result of research at Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Commercializing the new technology may not happen before the end of the decade, but the prospect of being able to place hundreds or thousands of data-carrying light beams on standard industry chips is certain to shake up both the communications and computer industries.

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.

PS: If you find yourself part of an enterprise dashboard effort, you must study Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing enterprise dashboards.

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