When local governments make the effort to supply their citizens with the knowledge and data that can make a difference in their lives, it makes a positive impact on the quality of life. As an example of a truly effective municipal website, see the Region of Peel. Their logo says “Working for You” and I think they really mean it. From gardening alerts, to local economic indicator dashboards, this site keeps the residents informed. In the sample dashboard screenshot below, note that the gauges on the bottom dashboard act as a navigational element that you use to view the various economic indicators. The dials themselves are merely decorative and not meant to indicate true values. When you hover over the various parts of the economic dashboard, you get a hover over message to indicate sections of this enterprise dashboard such as population change, taxable assessment, value of building permits, residential housing starts, labour market, existing home sales, Canadian manufacturing production, business establishments, business bankruptcies, and Ontario Works caseloads. The section above the dashboard graphic is split into a left column for use in displaying KPI graphs and a right column that is dedicated to text-based commentary. Oh, by the way, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, the region of Peel is in Canada. Specifically, it is in the province of Ontario and is the second largest municipality after Toronto.
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.