InetSoft Construction Management Dashboard

A new Dashboard Spy friend, Michael Schiff, at InetSoft submitted this dashboard example. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Interactive version available here.

As explained by Michael:

This display is a perfect example of why we need dashboards in today’s world. Behind this colorful showing of charts and sliders are thousands upon thousands of data points. Spreadsheets are not easy to read – dashboards are.

The entire design philosophy of a dashboard is based on speed.

Consolidating data into a purely visual format allows users to identify trends and make informed decisions far quicker than analyzing numbers.

This dashboard gives a complete overview of a fictional construction agency. It tracks all the metrics related to running that company, using a series of input and output elements.

The selection lists, drop down menu, and calendar allow the user to modify the outputs on the charts. If, for example, a user would like to know how many accidents there were in California between July and August, they can tweak the dashboard appropriately.

Try this dashboard for yourself at this link here or see our professional design tools at http://www.inetsoft.com.

Dashboard Spy Demo of Klipfolio Dashboard for Web and Mobile

I had the pleasure of being shown the ins and outs of the latest dashboard software product, Klipfolio Dashboard for Web and Mobile. Freshly launched, this dashboard system is a model of clarity in design and usability. Klipfolio President and CEO, Allan Wille, personally takes us through the Klipfolio screens in this video:

Klipfolio Dashboards with The Dashboard Spy from Hubert Lee on Vimeo.

I think you’ll agree that the design of this business intelligence is quite impressive.

In the last few minutes, I ask him about the pricing model.

The Klipfolio Dashboard trial version can be found here: http://app.klipfolio.com

Tag: Klipfolio Dashboard for Web & Mobile. Easily assemble, monitor, and share key performance indicators (KPIs) for your business metrics on any device.

 

 

Project Dashboards for SCRUM and Agile Development

This excellent article on Scrum best practices focuses on the use of project dashboards in an agile environment. Titled Agile Project Dashboards, this article focuses on providing a solid approach to Agile Project Dashboards.

The main indicators suggested for the project dashboard are:

  • Project Progress Schedule
  • Delivered Business Value
  • Product Release Burn Up Chart
  • Team performance
  • Delivered Story Points
  • Highlights
  • Risks
  • Next Steps
  • Timeline
  • Release Plan
  • Overall Project Status (Red – Green – Yellow)

Read the article for elaboration on each of the points.

Here is the premise for the project dashboard:

We should take a minute to think about our PO’s priorities and responsibilities. Many companies end up with former Project Managers running this role. If that’s the case, there is a big chance that the PO will be responsible for managing costs, tracking project schedule, people, risks, follow up on features for commercial releases, communicating, etc. In many scenarios this kind of information won’t be necessarily revealed during a Demo, during the Sprint planning, or even on the Retrospectives. If that’s the case, there’s a chance that the team will be disrupted at some point to be asked about this data.

The question that arises here is: does the team have sufficient information to help the PO identify some of these variables and indicators? Can the Team provide more business value, apart from the Product Increment at the end of each Sprint? Can we take advantage of our Scrum ceremonies to compile some of this information in a clear and visual Dashboard?

 

New Dashboard Product: Klipfolio Dashboard for Web and Mobile Version 1.0

New KPI Dashboard Supports all Smartphone and Tablets: Klipfolio Dashboard for Web and Mobile Launches

Successful beta program and industry trends spur the release of version 1.0 for Klipfolio Dashboard for web and mobile.

Klipfolio News Release Ottawa, Canada September 27, 2011

Klipfolio Inc, the leading provider of KPI dashboards for the enterprise, today launched Klipfolio Dashboard for web and mobile, which delivers business intelligence and key performance indicators (KPIs) to any browser and any device, such as Apple’s iPad and iPhone, and Google Android phones and tablets.

“Klipfolio’s BI and dashboard strategy is centered on making it easier for users to assemble, monitor, and share key performance indicators,” said Allan Wille, President and CEO of Klipfolio. “Aligning this philosophy with ease of access, ease of deployment, and the tremendous shift in enterprise mobile device adoption, is a natural step for our customers and the industry as a whole.”

Industry research has positioned BI spending at the top of the corporate wish list for the past five years, with operational BI, and now mobile BI, continuing to push adoption even higher. Additionally, with IT departments becoming less tactical, business buyers are looking for solutions that are easier and less expensive to deploy and manage. Klipfolio Dashboard for web and mobile requires no IT involvement, and allows for line-of-business users to self-serve and create powerful dashboards on their own. Pricing is $20/user/month, with volume discounts available for departmental or enterprise deployments.

The real-time dashboard is being delivered in the cloud as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to enable browser and mobile access to key performance indicator (KPI) dashboards. Klipfolio Dashboard provides a consolidated view of real-time business performance metrics, helping everyone throughout the organization make quicker, more informed decisions, while improving performance and profitability.

Availability

Learn more about Klipfolio Dashboard for web and mobile at http://www.klipfolio.com, or sign up directly at app.klipfolio.com.

Manufacturing Operations Dashboard

A reader sent me these pictures of a manufacturing dashboard to post. Take a look. The first shot shows an executive dashboard mounted on the wall of a conference room. I’m pretty sure that dashboard is fake (photoshopped) unless it’s a poster on the wall.

Manufacturing Dashboard in Conference Room

Here’s a close up of the data. It’s hard to see, but the table displays important statistics about a particular product type at one location:

  • How many are presently in process?
  • On average, how long does it take to move a unit through the floor?
  • What’s the first pass yield?
  • Are shipments on plan?
  • When’s the last time anyone tested a product?
  • When’s the last time we communicated with the floor?

Totals are provided in the far right column and bottom row. As manufacturing events, tests, and measurements occur on the different floors around the world, resulting statistics are immediately updated on the board.

Operations data dashboard

CTO Twitter Dashboard

Check out this simple yet engaging dashboard comprised of a panel of the latest tweets from CTOs from across a range of companies. A couple of factors that I find compelling: The tweets are all from Chief Technical Officers, the CTOs are arranged by market niche of the companies that they work for, and sometimes the content is just darn funny!

If you are a CTO, get your tweets on this dashboard: CTO Twitter Dashboard

CTO Twitter Dashboard

Twitter CTO Dashboard

How to Build a Project Management Template in Excel

Excellent tutorial and templates on using Microsoft Excel for project management. Yes, it’s a paid resource, but not very costly and well worth it. What am I talking about? The Chandoo Project Management Templates.

Here’s the scoop. Go to this link: Project Management Templates and you’ll see that the first section is entirely about project management templates using Excel.

Here’s a great post explaining how to build a project status dashboard:

Project Status Dashboard in Excel

You’ll go from this to this:

Project Status Dashboard

Infographic on Teen Opinion on Email

Dashboard Spy on Infographic Example: What do teens think of email? Aweber has done an infographic on the future of email use as seen through the teenager viewpoint. Here is the infographic:

teen email infographic

Here is the synopsis of the infographic.

Note that the data is based on a survey distributed to the teenagers:

The majority of those who believe email is dying say that email is not fast enough, and isn’t mobile. They don’t realize that phones can handle email alerts along with Facebook updates. This misconception may stem from the fact that the majority of smartphone users are not in high school.

Many of the students (57%) agreed that email is good for business communication. Others pointed out that an email address is required for many sites, and that social media and email pair well together to cover informal and formal communication needs.

Many students only took their current use of email into account when responding, and didn’t discuss the possibility of future use. However, some did mention that email is currently important for business and professional communications.

The Problem with Dashboards

Your company dashboard is only as good as the data it pulls and successfully interprets. Many dashboards are misleading because of flawed data or simply not useful because of the lack of good metrics.

Here is an excellent whitepaper on this subject:

Why Use Dashboard Metrics? (direct link to pdf)

An excerpt:

“The major problem with dashboards, however, lies in the fact that many are based on flawed measurement techniques and metrics that are not predictive of success. A dashboard is only useful to a company if the data behind it are accurate measures of consumer behavior and the best predictors of organizational success.”

A useful dashboard will be tailored to the company and include unique measures that best predict its success (Harvard Business School, 2007). A “one size fits all” dashboard is not beneficial for the company. Conducting research to discover the measures that are specific to your company will create a dashboard that will provide actionable information.

Another potential problem with dashboards is focusing on only one aspect of the company, such as marketing activities. A successful dashboard will integrate all departments within the company in order to get a more complete picture of company health. Also, some dashboards only show short-term targets and results, such as sales figures, rather than focusing on critical, long-term predictive indicators (MacDonald, 2006).

The major problem with dashboards, however, lies in the fact that many are based on flawed measurement techniques and metrics that are not predictive of success. A dashboard is only useful to a company if the data behind it are accurate measures of consumer behavior and the best predictors of organizational success.

When creating a dashboard, it is not useful to throw up values haphazardly or only include those figures that make the company look good and keep the CEO happy. This way of thinking can prevent companies from staying focused on the metrics that actually predict success. In the book, “Moneyball,” baseball managers focused their decision- making on indicators that were better predictors of success rather than the traditional metrics that managers would focus on (Lewis, 2003). The author, Michael Lewis, shows how Bill James and Billy Beane transformed major league baseball by demonstrating how improving efficiency can leverage limited resources and create success. What James and Beane did was to redefine the metrics used to evaluate the value of each major league baseball player to a team. Instead of looking at traditional indicators like batting averages and earned run averages, Beane re- focused baseball on walks, on-base percentages and other metrics—because they are a better predictor of success (i.e., winning baseball games). This way of thinking can also be applied to marketing. But what are the metrics that should be measured?

Read the white paper to find out.