The dashboard design pattern has not only been fully adopted by practitioners and users in the fields of business intelligence and corporate management, but is now considered the “go-to” design solution by a multitude of people across myriad industry verticals. Anyone in any industry with a need for communicating information seems to benefit from the dashboard design pattern.
The reason why I so firmly believe this now is my observation of how quickly various organizations published dashboards depicting data related to the Swine Flu outbreak. In a very short time frame, some very sophisticated business dashboards have appeared tracking various data concerning the spread of the virus. Regardless of the goals of the organizations involved (and they are quite varied), they’ve all arrived at the dashboard design pattern as their method of information delivery.
Let’s take a look at 3 Swine Flu dashboards. There are more, but I chose these three because they represent very different approaches to business dashboards.
The first dashboard is called The Swine Flu Tracker and is a mashup dashboard with data integrated with GoogleMaps. Click on the link in the previous sentence to launch the dashboard. There is an impressive amount of interactivity on the dashboard, including the ability to animate time series so that you can see the diffusion of the Swine Flu across the world. Here is a screenshot:
This next dashboard is called the Swine Flu (H1N1) Dashboard and is more of a classical KPI/Metrics charts type of dashboard. Click on the “Analyze” links to filter the data by various ways.
And this third dashboard is a netvibes rss reader type of dashboard. It’s called the CABI Swine Flu Dashboard.
The “time-to-market” of dashboard applications these days is just astounding. What I find exciting is the diversity of design approaches and technologies that a dashboard team can apply.