Whenever someone asks me what I do for a living, I begin my response with “I work at a company called iDashboards”. Like clockwork, the canned response is always, “oh like dashboards for a car.” Of course this is not the case. But then again, what the IT world refers to as dashboards and what everyone else does isn’t that far off. A dashboard on a desktop could report on how many sales you’ve reported for the year, how your employees are being utilized or even your inventory turnover. A dashboard in a car reports on the most vital information that is going on in the vehicle; how fast you are going, how fast the engine is revolving, how much fuel you have and even how hot the engine is.
While on one of my many engagements, I rented a 2013 Ford Edge. It’s fast, sleek, sexy, and it even has elements of iDashboards. I know, I was as shocked as you are at the sight of those speedometers, bullets and tabular charts. Then it got me thinking, have dashboards evolved to what we see in the world around us today or has the world evolved into dashboards. Below there are two pictures. The first one is of the Ford Edge that I rented. As you can clearly see, we have four speedometers. Hidden behind the menu there is even a bullet chart that shows our AVG fuel economy.
The second picture is of a dashboard that was created by using the iDashboards software. Do you notice any similarities?
Dashboards and charts are all around us and each day more and more people, businesses and organizations want to visualize their data. Much like a dashboard in a car, those businesses and organizations need to identify their pain points and visualize their data. So to answer your question, “No I don’t work on dashboards that are in a car, but then again . . . I kind of do.”
Brett Karl– Technical Consultant, iDashboards
Get the Guide Psychology of Data Vizualization
Take a primer in cognitive psychology, the science of perception, and neuroaesthetics and learn how to make dashboards even more effective.