The Dashboard Spy

July 10, 2007

Enterprise Dashboards of the Future – a vision of a kitchen dashboard by GE

Filed under: Dashboard Screenshots — dashboardspy @ 9:34 am

Dashboard Spy readers – for a while now, we’ve been using our new url of to post our enterprise dashboard screenshots and articles. While most of you have updated your booksmarks and have joined us at the new site, some are still finding their way to this location.

Here is a peek at the types of posts that you may have missed. For a quick rundown of the dashboard screenshot posts, refer to this enterprise dashboard example sitemap. For a taste of the recent Dashboard Spy posts, I will now post today’s example dashboard here.

General Electric’s View of the Future Includes Dashboards – The Kitchen Dashboard

Those of you involved with enterprise dashboard design for your company have a responsibility to design not just for today’s needs, but also to anticipate future usage and build in enough forward-thinking design so that your corporate dashboard does not seem outdated next year. We all know how long updating corporate applications can take, so it really is in everyone’s best interest if you put on a futurist hat and really think about the future of dashboards, both at your company and in the world at large.

As food for thought, let’s visit with the futurists at GE. They have been hard at work envisioning the future kitchen. It seems that their idea is that the main interface to your kitchen in the year 2035 will be through a large, interactive kitchen dashboard. There is a slick video of the kitchen dashboard concept that you should all see. Here is a screenshot of the dashboard:

GE Kitchen Dashboard

I think you will all agree that it is slick and sexy. However, my own opinion is that the entire concept (and this extends to the design of all dashboards) is over-engineered. How many of you have been on an enterprise dashboard project where the stakeholders get overly excited about various bells and whistles that they have seen and the dashboard becomes one big flashing mess? Well, my thoughts about this kitchen of the future take that warning in mind.

What I think is going on here is that some interface designers came up with a really cool concept that they like and applied it to a kitchen because they thought it futuristic. Did you notice that the main user of the dashboard in the video was a young man? No doubt, that reflects the design team that came up with this sci-fi vision (Yes, I’m going out on a limb here.)

If the GE design team had used a team of homemakers and cooking enthusiasts for the conceptualization, I think you’d have something much different. And I rather think that a complex dashboard where you drag portlets around the kitchen would not have been the answer.

So, according to the Dashboard Spy, the moral of this story is not to over-engineer the dashboard. Think of it this way, would your CEO want a dashboard with 40 panels and 300 KPIs? Or would he rather have a real business intelligence dashboard that consumes all the right metrics and shows his a few simple green or red lights?

What do you think? Come over to the new Dashboard Spy site and let us know.

Regards, The Dashboard Spy

Tags: Dashboard, Dashboards

References (Dashboard Sitemap Pages 1-4):

  1. Dashboard
  2. Dashboard
  3. Dashboard
  4. Dashboard

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