E-dashboard

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Contents

What is an e-dashboard?

An e-dashboard (electronic dashboard) is a tool for summarizing data about a business or other institution. Using graphs, charts, and “gauges” that are linked to live or archived data and located on a single webpage, a viewer of an e-dashboard can quickly see progress and potential problems emerging in the day to day or long term operations. Just as a vehicle has a “dashboard” that uses odometers and speedometers to display distance and speed, an e-dashboard displays data that indicates trends in operations that are critical to business functions.

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History

Development of the e-dashboard (sometimes called digital dashboard) concept began in the 1970s to meet the need for better decision-making tools based on corporate data. Corporate IT departments developed key charts and graphs that could be viewed internally by managers as they made decisions about operations. By the 1990s, many software companies had taken this idea further and developed dashboard applications that could be purchased as complete packages, making this technology more affordable to smaller companies without large IT staffs. Now near the end of the first decade of the new millennium, there are literally dozens of e-dashboard programs available for the corporate customer to choose from.

Features of e-dashboard

The purpose of the e-dashboard is to make large amounts of data readily available and easy to understand. Following the “picture is worth a thousand words” concept attributed to Confucius(孔子), e-dashboards rely on graphic data depiction rather than tabular display. Most e-dashboards combine several colorful charts and graphs.

Some are interactive, allowing the user to select portions of data within a chart to examine in more detail.

Demonstration

Now, try it yourself! Explore these interactive dashboard previews...

Applications of e-dashboard

The possible uses of e-dashboards are endless! Human resources managers can monitor employee attendance, job promotions, training histories and manpower allocations in multiple departments on a single screen. Sales executives can display totals by customer, by type of item, and see how close they to meeting monthly sales quotas. IT professionals can keep track of hardware and software purchases, inventories of equipment and locations of computer workstations. Customer relations can provide their clients with customer satisfaction rates and company financial statements.

But business leaders are not the only users to benefits from e-dashboards. Educational institutions are now using dashboards websites to share enrollment and graduation rates along with other markers of student success with potential students as well as taxpayers.


Teachers could even use them to display and compare test scores for different classes in a school term or over several years.

Conclusion

E-dashboards have many applications including both in-house and external consumer uses. In this age of visual communication, it is becoming ever more important to convey information in the most efficient way using the newest visual tools. E-dashboards have the capacity to display complex data in attractive and easy-to-understand ways and can be customized to meet the needs of all organizations, making them important tools in data communication.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboards_(management_information_systems)

http://www.dashboardzone.com/

http://infocaptor.com/dashboard/history-of-dashboards

http://examples.idashboards.com/idashboards/?guestuser=wpsc1

http://www.dashboardinsight.com/

http://www.corda.com/corda-gallery.php