Digital Dashboards have been implemented to measure and track an unimaginably wide range of business activity. A Dashboard Spy reader asked me how I keep up my interest in the subject of business intelligence dashboards. After viewing thousands of dashboards, don’t they all blur into a swirl of graphs and blinking lights? I replied that it was the unbelievable diversity of business application for digital dashboards that keep things fresh for me. We went on to chat about some of the more unusual and exotic business dashboards that I have seen.
When asked to point out an example of a dashboard being used on a cool or unusual project, I sent the Dashboard Spy reader this screenhot of a Project Management Dashboard used to track the completion progress of the Large Hadron Collider built by CERN.
This circular graphic represents the progress of the LHC installation. It’s a snapshot from 2007.
Here is a picture of some CERN scientists showing some of their computer screens:
Click on the “More” link to read more about this digital dashboard:
As you can see from the dashboard screenshot, this is a one-panel circular dashboard that showed the progress of the installation of the LHC.
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. Built by CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), it involved over 10,000 scientists and engineers. The project was first worked on in the early 1980s with the construction of the huge circular tunnel started in 1983. The LHC successfully circulated proton beams for the first time on September 10, 2008. The LHC will be officially inaugurated in a few days on October 21, 2008. Due to a problem, operations have been halted. The LHC will resume operation in the spring of 2009.
The LHC is a giant circle (27 km across) with 9300 magnets that will accelerate two beams of particles into each other. The LHC is the world’s largest machine and is the emptiest and coldest spot in our solar system. The world’s most powerful supercomputer, a distributed computing network called the Grid will track the experimental data.
A simple dashboard of sorts was used over the years to track the progress of the LHC. The circular dashboard shown above is a simple graphic to indicate progress. The overall LHC Dashboard used a series of graphs to indicate progress.
It is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the last unobserved particle among those predicted by the Standard Model. If you want an enjoyable explanation of the science behind the LHC, take a look at this popular rap song on particle physics and the LHC created by a CERN scientist. It’s called the Large Hadron Rap:
If you’re interested in the science, start with this LHC Reference: CERN LHC Brochure
The designer of the LHC Circular Dashboard is Victor Engmark and had this information on the dashboard design:
LHC Installation Circular Dashboard
The original LHC Installation Dashboard in MTF shows individual functional positions (‘slots’), and the status of the work (‘jobs’) on each slot which have to be done to finish the installation. The resolution is on the individual jobs, and the information is shown in a table. Later, an interface was needed to show the aggregated status of slot installation for the whole LHC. Since the LHC tunnel runs in a circle, it would be appropriate to display information for the whole tunnel as a ring. I suggested using SVG for this, and developed a system which would generate a line for each of the slots, and then rotate them into place according to their position. The cryogenic distribution line (QRL) and magnet slots are separate, and are therefore displayed in two rings.
Technologies & techniques used
Tags: Science dashboard, project management dashboard, tracking dashboards, progress measurement dashboard