Workforce metrics and KPIs of interest to a company’s human resources department were the focus of the previous post. In particular, we listed many human capital metrics by category. For today, I promised a link to an interactive HR dashboard demo, so here is a Workforce Analytics dashboard done in Crystal Xcelsius.
This interactive demo of a Workforce Analytics Dashboard is courtesy of Inverra. As our Dashboard Spy in that company told us:
This workforce dashboard was developed through a series of meetings with the SVP of HR and his business counterparts. The dashboard was used to highlight specific demographic trends and spur discussion on what action the company should take to address them. Of particular interest to the execs was the capability to quickly compare workforce metrics across both geographic and role-based views.
A Dashboard Spy reader who works for the human resources department of a state government wrote me to discuss the best ways to show Human Capital metrics on an excel dashboard she was planning. I encouraged her to share her final dashboard when she completes it, but in the meanwhile, she sent me a collection of human capital metrics that might help anyone else with an HR dashboard project.
The following table lists the metrics studied at her office by category (or theme):
Dashboard Spy reader submissions of dashboard examples are certainly of a wide range of topics and implementation styles. Because of the many interests of the readership, we get alerted to dashboards that appear all over the world. Thanks to Derek G., we have a most interesting dashboard from the BBC News.
We dashboard designers are always looking for compelling ways to show dynamically changing metrics and KPIs. When we can devise a way to use the changing data to create a “sticky” and interesting interface, we really can impress the users.
As our Dashboard Spy in the field said in his email:
In case you haven’t seen it yet, there is an interesting new dashboard being
used on the BBC News website to show most popular stories. You can access
it here http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/live_stats/html/map.stm
I thought it might be worth covering on your site.
Well, this certainly is an interesting dashboard. Take a look at the following 2 screenshots. The first one shows the most popular stories on the BBC News Site. What you can’t tell from the first dashboard screenshot (but you can see on the second dashboard of the most emailed stories), is that the left side list dynamically re-orders itself every few seconds.
Executive Dashboards must above all deliver actionable information. That is, after all, the goal of the executive using the dashboard – “Show me what actions to take to optimize my business”.
The challenge for us executive dashboard designers is how to create a dashboard that meets these goals.
The other day we viewed a video on Avinash Kaushik discussing analytics dashboards. That post had some great information on the do’s and don’ts of dashboard design, but there was much more that I wanted to present but couldn’t due to space contraints. So in this post, we’ll take a further look at some sage dashboarding advice.
Avinash has this page on Create High Impact Actionable Executive Dashboards that we should all read.
Here’s a screenshot of the his amazon page. My screenshot doesn’t show the explanation of the rules themselves, so you’ll have to visit the page.
Selecting the correct KPIs and metrics to place on your dashboard is arguably the most important phase of a enterprise dashboard project. All too often, in its rush to step along the software development life cycle as quickly and painlessly as possible, the IT department and project sponsors don’t give enough time for the business subject matter experts to think about the best metrics to create dashboard charts, tables and alerts for.
This point came to mind as some Dashboard Spies and I watched a video by Avinash Kaushik, a big figure in the world of web analytics. If you don’t know this very talented man, please check out his blog on web analytics called Occam’s Razor. Lately he’s been talking about the idea of Web Analytics 2.0, but that is another topic (listen to his podcast on Traditional Web Analytics is Dead). Oh, heck, here’s a recent screengrab to whet your interest (and I might as well reveal the punchline – Web 2.0 leads you to understanding by examing Clickstream, Multiple Outcomes Analysis, Experimentation and Testing, Voice of the Customer, Competitive Intelligence and Insights. Here is the diagram:
Back to our dashboarding topic, here is the screenshot and link to the video about Customer Centric Web Decision Making, in which he posits the controversial idea that traditional web analytics is dead. He shows a dashboard-like slide with what he calls 8 x 6 x gazillion metrics:
Dashboard Spy reader and seasoned IT consultant Pete Brown, who I’ve come to think of as “Dashboard Pete”, has provided us dashboarding enthusiasts with a powerful PowerPoint template to use when we want to structure a presentation in the dashboard style.
Recent posts have explored the growing use of dashboard-style navigation in PowerPoint. See Using PowerPoint as a Presentation Dashboard over on the main Dashboard Spy site. Also, we spoke recently of how many dashboards themselves rely on PowerPoint as a distribution method. See Project Status Dashboards in PowerPoint.
The iDash template (take a look below at the cell phone navigation gadget for the inspiration of the name) will allow you to easily navigate between sections of the presentation through the use of a small icon dashboard. Here is a screenshot:
Update: If you need a quick path to Microsoft Excel dashboards, consider these Excel Dashboard Templates from ExcelUser. They are plug and play, pure Excel worksheets. Just point them to your data source.
It’s not often that you get to look over the shoulder of a talented information visualization expert while he builds an Excel spreadsheet. Jorge Camoes’ post entitled How to Create a Dashboard in Excel allows us to do exactly that.
As Mr. Camoes wrote to me:
Just wanted to tell you about a dashboard I posted in my blog, the “Demographic Dashboard”. It is a fully functional Excel 2003 dashboard that uses population data from the US Census Bureau to show growth and age structures for each country around the world.
With this dashboard I wanted to show that an average Excel user can design a dashboard that fits the needs of his small/non-profit organization for data monitoring. I also tried to follow some visualization best practices (no gauges, no speedometers…).
Hope you can find it interesting.
Take a quick look at this Excel dashboard and you’ll agree that “interesting” is an understatement:
New information visualization techniques tend to be adopted slowly. When something innovative hits the mainstream, it is most certainly worth noting, because, sooner or later, your dashboard users are going to say to you, “How about that information gadget I saw in the New York Times?”.
Today, let’s all go and try out an interactive application on the New York Times site: An Analysis of the 34,000 Words in the State of the Union Address.
Here is a screenshot of this incredible application. Note the use of the heat-map style where the size of the graphic denotes the relative weight of the occurances. We’ve noted the use of such information visualization techniques before on dashboards.
Tags: New York Times Interactive Analysis of the 34,00 State of the Union Address Words Delivered by George Bush, Heatmap dashboards, Information Visualization
Dashboard Topic: Demo of an Excel Dashboard for Hospital Bed Management.
Strategic management of hospital beds has become a high-pressure requirement in today’s world of health care facilities needing to do more with less resources. Like it or not, hospitals make money by determining the “right” kind of patients, procedures and getting the occupany and turn-over rates right. Yes, it seems cold-hearted, but strategic management of resources such as beds is what drives the profitability of health-care facilities.
Now, in defense of hospitals, I recently had the experience of bringing someone with an arm injury to the emergency room. This person was concerned because of her lack of health insurance. While checking in, however, the nurse and the admissions clerk both, in separate conversations, reassured us that they do not turn away people who need care. In fact they pointed out a sign posted in a prominent location that they do not turn away people because of an inability to pay.
Now, back to excel dashboards. Today we have the opportunity not only to look at screenshots of an excel dashboard for the management of hospital bed metrics, but, thanks to qimacros.com, you can actually download a working Excel worksheet for use as a hospital bed management dashboard system. Here is a screengrab of the goals and objectives of their bed dashboard system. I screen captured this page from their bed management demo video:
Update: Xcelsius 2008 Dashboard example
ALso, this post on Designing Dashboard Alerts has become very popular. Be sure to check it out.
Topic: Project Health Dashboards
Dashboards are best experienced through working demos. Well, actually, they are best experienced as a regular user on the actual implementation, but let’s assume you can’t get someone to grant you hands-on-the-keyboard access. Most of the time on this blog when we discuss business dashboards, we have to settle with screenshots and descriptions. Sometimes, however, a Dashboard Spy reader will lead us to a working prototype or demo so that we can experience the interactivity of the system first hand. This is especially critical with the current generation of rich interface applications.
Today, courtesy of Inverra.com, we look at a demo of a Business Objects Crystal Xcelsius dashboard. This dashboard was implemented for the project management staff at a large company to check on the in-flight status and health of their projects. Here is the link to the project management dashboard demo and here is a screenshot: