Federal IT Dashboard

Exciting Dashboard News from The Dashboard Spy: New Federal IT Portfolio Spending Dashboard Set to Usher in New Level of Business Dashboard Adoption.

Forgive my excitement, but in the course of carefully studying thousands of business intelligence dashboards for the Dashboards By Example blog and various Dashboard Spy publications, I’ve become very confident in my ability to predict which dashboards will truly become “game changers”. Whether because they contain especially compelling data visualizations, are the first ones to “mash up” certain data sources, or come to market with a startlingly new level of user interface design, certain dashboards launch to great acclaim and user acceptance. Some dashboards will achieve a high level of usage and acclaim simply because of the size of the sponsor organization. In this case, when the U.S. government builds and promotes a major dashboard project to publicize the accomplishments of 30 agencies, it is a really big deal.

The new U.S. Federal I.T. Dashboard is now available at http://it.usaspending.gov. Right out of the gate, this business dashboard has ranked on page 1 of the Google search engine and has enjoyed quite a bit of publicity. It is well worth checking out by all business intelligence dashboard designers, users and stakeholders. There is no doubt that this particular dashboard will introduce a great number of new users to the dashboard paradigm.

In the period from June 1, 2009 through June 29, 2009, nearly 400 Federal employees from over 30 agencies tested the I.T. Dashboard. The response within the various agencies was reported to be huge.

Another important point about this dashboard: I’m told that the project went from concept to action in a 90 day period. And keep in mind that this is a government project! I am astounded. Doesn’t this speak volumes about the state of dashboarding technology and best practice?

Let’s have a look at what all the excitement has been about. First we’ll examine a video about the Federal IT Portfolio Dashboard, then look at some dashboard screenshots.

Here’s the video:

When you visit the IT Dashboard at http://it.usaspending.gov/, make sure to spend a few minutes watching the home page. Note how the charts present themselves. They “flip” through a series of different metrics without user intervention. Almost like watching TV, the viewer can simply preview various KPIs right on the home page’s top graphic.

Here are some screenshots of the IT Dashboard.

IT dashboard Department of Human Services

Department of Energy IT Spending Dashboard

For more data views and the lower level pages of this dashboard, please visit the Federal IT Portfolio Dashboard.

Update: This dashboard has created quite a bit of buzz. Here was some coverage of the unveiling of the IT Dashboard by National CIO Vivek Kundra. I bet you didn’t know that the United States had a Chief Information Officer!

Here’s a review video that discusses the Federal IT Dashboard:

As mentioned in the above video, this dashboard project was spearheaded by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. He appeared in this YouTube video answering questions from citizens on facebook:

PS. Here’s a happy IT Dashboard user. Recognize him? Yes, it’s President Obama using the federal dashboard! Talk about making sure you keep your dashboard user happy!

President Obama using the Federal Dashboard


Hubert Lee
The Dashboard Spy

Tags: Federal Spending Dashboard, Federal Agency IT Spending, Government Transparency Dashboard

11 thoughts on “Federal IT Dashboard

  1. I like what they’ve done with this Fed IT dashboard, in no small part because they used our JuiceKit treemap (www.juicekit.org) for one of the analysis views. It looks like they have some clever developers who are pulling in a wide array of visualization technologies to make this solution.

  2. Wow. That is a pretty comprehensive dashboard. It would be great to find out what technologies they are using to pull this together, how they accessed all the data, and how long it took to develop the dashboard.

    Great dashboard though. I’m relatively new to developing dashboards but I can see how the use case for this dashboard can be developed for other gov’t agencies as private sector businesses.

  3. I’m a bit less than wowed. I agree that there are some neat features, but the output is still a waste of space and potentially misleading with snazzy 3D elements and pie charts being used.

  4. The Federal IT Dashbard is a good first attempt. I’ll give it a B. Nice Try.

    The Good: Use of Tree Maps, data feeds
    The Bad: Crappy 3D chart junk
    The Ugly: Unclear Organization of initial performance dashboard AND the 3D chart junk

    Overall though it a good first effort. They should read a “few” Stephen Few books on data visualization before they try the next round.

    It does appear though that they are trying to improve visibility of the spend for the taxpayers who are interested.

    I applaud the effort.

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  6. I really liked the interactive bubble trend charts! Any idea what they used for that? The data source downloads was a nice touch. Also I noticed they labeled some of the analysis charts as questions. Really cool! I hadn’t thought of that. Some people have a warped sense of humor when naming their reports. Sure hard to figure out the answer when you don’t know the question….

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  11. Hi fellas!

    I’ve just signed up dashboards.org and wanna say hi to all the guys/gals of this board!

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