donderdag 26 mei 2011

What kind of users will use a dashboard?

As you may know, i've to build a dashboard for a customer. The dashboard should be build for the board of the directors as well as for workers on the workfloor. Currently reading Wayne Eckerson's book : Performance dashboards and it gives some insights about building dashoards. The first thing i'm interested in is which information is presented to whom. Who are my users and what are their demends and wishes? How do handle information? How can a dashboard aid their work? A director has different needs than a professional worker. So these questions come to my mind regarding usage of dashboards.

I think there are three different users of a dashboard:
  • Strategic users: These are the board of directors, executives, high level managers, etc. These managers monitor execution of strategic objectives and are frequently involved implementing a balanced scorecard. They will use the dashboard to align the organization with the business objectives. You can define this as a top down approach. The usage is more focussed on management. A list of typical usage is this:
    • Scorecarding.
    • Monitoring KPI's.
  • Tactical users: These are the departmental users like LOB managers, business analysts to compare performance of their areas or projects to budget plans, forecasts or last period's results. For example if a customer wants to monitor defects and the improvements of a machine they want to use a dashboard to display, monitor and analyze progress during the previous 12 months, for instance. The usage is oriented on analysis: Why did this happen? A list of types of usage is this:
    • Tracing trends in relation to company's goals and initiatives. 
    • Rootcause analysis.
    • Issues.
  • Operational users: Operational users are frontline workers and managers who deal directly with cusomers or manages the production line. This information is lightly summarized. Operational users are more focussed on monitoring.
    • Real time/right time information
    • Acting very quickly on information.
An interesting graph i found in a internet document from "Juice : A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use". These suggests different graphs for different usage.

But there's nothing mentioned about a Gauge diagram, for example. So, the idea is great but i would like more information about which diagrams should you use in which situation.


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