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Operational Dashboards

In his book, Performance Dashboards, Wayne Eckerson indicates that, "operational dashboards track core operational processes and emphasize monitoring more than analysis or management."

Operational dashboards are usually focused on monitoring of key systems and processes. Many organizations also use operational dashboards to manage other aspects of their company or organization more efficiently, and to perform some analysis on cause and effect. The ability to monitor and measure real time or near real time systems is a very important aspect of an operational dashboard or reporting tool. For example, finding out that a package was placed on the wrong truck doesn't help you very much if you don't find out about it until tomorrow morning, after the data has made its way through your complex Business Intelligence (BI) system. You need to know that information as soon as possible, in right-time, in order to prevent or correct a problem as soon as possible. Perhaps a better description of an operational dashboard is right-time information.
Multiple Data Sources

Another key point of an operational dashboard is the ability to pull data from multiple data sources or systems. Often the data needed to manage complex operations comes from several different data sources. Sometimes those data sources are relational databases, OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) systems, or some of the data may be targets and goals from Excel. Perhaps some of the data comes from a hosted CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Additionally there may be data from traditional BI systems such as Business Objects, SAP BW, Cognos or Hyperion. Most effective operational monitoring systems provide the ability to view information from many sources at the same time.
Visual Indicators and Alerts

Best practice design of operational dashboards focuses on the correct use of visual elements and alerts that can quickly convey information to anyone monitoring the dashboard. This is often accomplished by using charts and graphs, but may also incorporate gauges and maps depending on the type of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that are implemented and the nature of the system or tasks that are being measured. Custom visual indicators may also be created that show a flow or process, and the stages in that process, as well as visually indicate where problems may be occurring. Common operational dashboard examples include the following: key measures or key metrics that show a trend line and visual alert indicating increased call center traffic, network load and systems monitoring at a telecom center, outage or predicted outage based on traffic patterns, inventory trends and levels and reorder times, quality control issues in a manufacturing process that need to be addressed immediately, or they might monitororder fulfillment and shipping. In addition to visual indicators and alerts, the ability to set thresholds and email notification may be important to managers that need to know about critical situations during off-business hours. Mobile access to the dashboard through a VPN or secured network may also be necessary for some organizations.
Actionable Dashboards

A goal of any operational management system is the ability to take action to correct a problem, or to respond as quickly as possible in right-time. While it may be impossible to link to all systems, a good operational dashboard can provide a way to drill down on visual elements to gain more detail, and even drill into or launch applications that allow the operator to take the needed action to correct the situation, or make others aware of it. Many companies have used operational dashboards as interfaces into other systems, allowing them to access their ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems, CRM applications, network and systems management, and other applications directly from their operational performance management dashboard.
How an Operational Dashboard differs from Business Intelligence

Because of the real time or near real time nature of the data and systems being monitored, often it is not possible or is impractical to create an operational dashboard solely on a business intelligence system. The dynamic and real time nature of the data requires immediate access to the data sources or systems, without going through a time consuming ETL (Extract Transform and Load) process and move the data into yet another data warehouse, datamart, OLAP cube or in-memory OLAP environment (QlikView, Tibco Spotfire, Tableau). While several BI systems are trying to approach operational business intelligence, there will always be latency in those systems.

Platforms: Mac , Mac OS X

System requirements: No special requirements.

 
Added: 29 May, 2012 File size: 149.4 MB
Status: new Download times: 512 kb/s: 39 m 51 s
Program type: shareware   1 Mb/s: 19 m 56 s
      2 Mb/s: 09 m 58 s
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Tags: Systems, Operational, Dashboard, Dashboards, Monitoring, System, Visual, Ability, Sources, Correct, Process, Information, Nature, Management, Business, Righttime

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