With the current and likely continuing obsession with data, the internet of things, all things real-time and measurement in general, real-time dashboards are an interesting and exciting option for organisations to view metrics and data of many different types. From sales data to social media to HR to safety data, dashboards give an essential window on performance.
How essential the real-time aspect is will depend on organisational need and situation. In many cases real-time will be vital, in some cases perhaps some of the need for real-time data is perceived or exaggerated, but the capability is certainly there. There is also something compelling about watching a dashboard change, a representation of events which seem distant and removed from the dashboard interface.
Going public with a dashboard so the world can view your performance and also shows a window on your activity is a bold leap. It’s taking transparency and openness to a new level but demonstrates accountability and also a maturity and confidence in outlook. Perhaps it’s not for all organisations, but below are four very interesting and I forward-thinking examples of real-time dashboards which are open for all to see.
Attendance in real-time
Thanks to a hat tip from Ross Dawson, I was able to view the Indian Government’s dashboard which shows attendance in real time across multiple agencies. This is down to new biometrics software which logs attendance and movements in and out of the office and gives some very specific data The dashboard is completely open to the public as well, allowing for accountability of government departments.
The screen grab at the top of the post doesn’t really do justice so it’s best to go and explore for yourself, because I think it is actually quite mind-blowing. You can watch the overall attendance number rise as literally more people arrive for work.
Web performance in real time
Perhaps not quite as wild is showing web performance in real-time. The Open Gov site in the UK has flown the flag for the UK’s digital strategy. While it has had its fair share of problems there are many good aspects too. One of these again is helping promote accountability through transparency for a service which is funded by UK taxpayers. I like the real-time web performance dashboard which covers performance, number of visitors and the like o the open.gov.uk site itself.
KPIs in real time
An early pioneer in public real-time dashboards is the Indiana Museum of Art in Minneapolis which has been around for a number of years. This mixes different statistics including fans on Facebook, memberships and endowments. Not all these are in real-time and I think the dashboard needs a bit of attention but the daily attendance triggered by sensors at the museum entrance is working and is fantastic.
Sales in real time
This is the one I find the most staggering. Buffer, a producer of social media management software, operates a real-time dashboard of all their sales available to the public. You can do detailed reports, see a live stream of sales activity and subscriptions (names not included naturally) and dig into the detail. It is really quite revolutionary. See for yourself here and prepare to be surprised at the level of data available.
I think these dashboards are exciting. I can see upsides and downsides in making them open to the public, but I wonder if this will be a continuing trend. Please do let me know if you have seen any other interesting dashboards which are in real-time and open.