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Sample Dashboard by Conflair

Sample generic COTS Dashboard

Management Dashboards

What is Management Dashboard?

Management Dashboard is a tool that allows you to get a summary of your business's status in one glance. It presents a number of key business indicators in a visual display. The data for these indicators is pulled from a variety of sources: departmental databases, customer relationship management systems, staff reports, defect and change management applications, manufacturing equipment, web stats. The presentation is done through graphical, tabular and textual means, and usually allows drill-down into specific measures.

Management Dashboards are often referred to as Digital Dashboards, Enterprise Dashboards or Executive Dashboards.

You can find a number of examples of Management Dashboards in The Dashboard Spy blog.

Why do you need a Management Dashboard

Similarly to the instrument panel in a car, the original dashboard, management dashboards provide you with the input necessary to make decisions regarding “driving” the enterprise. They provide you with a clear and reliable information that describes the status of your business, which allows you to make rational decisions based on quantitative data. Thus, dashboards improve the quality of decision making and reduce the risk involved in making intelligent guesses.

Types of Management Dashboards

  • Enterprise Management Dashboards
    These dashboards present information about the whole enterprise. For example: product sales status per region with a drill-down into sales history, personnel turnover, project completion status for different projects, collection status, customer satisfaction per product and region.
  • Project Management Dashboards
    Project Management dashboards present information on specific projects. For example, for a software development and implementation project the key business areas presented might be: implementation status – deployment per unit, defects by number and severity with a drill-down into defect history, change requests by status, help desk requests by organizational unit and time to close, budget utilization vs work done with a drill-down into history by software version.
  • Manufacturing Management Dashboards
    Dashboards of that kind concentrate on production measures. Besides giving the management a “bird's eye view” of the manufacturing process's status, they provide valuable information for making adjustments to the manufacturing process and implementing Lean improvement methodologies. The metrics presented in Manufacturing dashboards can be: productivity over time, equipment utilization and downtime, rework, cost per unit.

How can Conflair help?

There are a number of large and well-established vendors the develop industry-standard Management Dashboard applications. These applications are built to fit different types of enterprises and are customizable to varying degrees. However, purchasing an application and customization it might cost in certain cases significantly more than development of a tailor-made Management Dashboard, especially if we are talking about a company that is just starting to use this kind of decision support tools. More than that: what makes the difference is, as always, not the technology as such but rather the selection of the appropriate key business indicators and designing simple and reliable ways to get the data needed to calculate them. Purchasing and customizing a software application, as powerful and flexible as it can be, will not solve this issue.

Conflair, in the spirit of IT Solutioning, focuses of the creation of Management Dashboards that fit your needs. In order to do that, we follow a number of steps:
  1. We listen to you
    We study you needs, ask questions to understand them better and learn what kind of key business indicators you are looking for.
  2. We design the Dashboard
    One picture is sometimes better than a thousand written requirements. We define key business indicators, specify where we are going to get the information from, and design a dashboard – on paper for now – to submit it to you for discussion and approval. Being presented with a paper prototype of the Dashboard, you can decide if what we are going to develop makes sense in terms of contents and visualization. This way, a lot of effort and investment can be saved since the mistakes will be fixed before they are coded into software.
  3. We create the Dashboard
    Following the approved design, we create the Dashboard. In doing so, we can select from a wide variety of technologies: classic ASP, .NET, Java, or even as simple as Excel. The key here is to adjust to the technological platform you prefer.
  4. We maintain the Dashboard
    Conflair can maintain the Dashboard by adding new key business indicators or altering the existing ones, porting the Dashboard to new databases, etc. We can also host the Dashboard.

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