Dashboards and Data Viz | Design | iDashboards Products | Manufacturing | Tips & Tricks

Version 10.2 of iDashboards marked the second major release of iDashboards since the revolutionary release of the iDashboards 10.0 HTML5 only release.

Version 10.2 provides many new capabilities to improve the user experience, making things easier to understand for dashboard users. Builders will appreciate new features designed to save time building and provide additional innovative approaches to visualize their data.

  • Reports – configurable, schedulable reports.
  • Live Chart previews – Builders can now see their changes as they make them, saving tremendous amount of time
  • Live Dashboard previews
  • Automatic Large Number Abbreviations
  • New Chart Types
  • Candlestick Chart
  • OHLC Chart

SVG Chart

This chart type may be the most powerful and innovative chart type made available in version 10.2, and will be the focus of this blog. You are now able to take a well-crafted SVG file, connect to your data and interact with your cursor to display shapes using range colors or custom colors.

The SVG Drawing Chart has a unique way to display data visually in an easier to understand format within your dashboards.

With the interaction possible on your dashboard, it can also make the story of the dashboard much more apparent and the information quicker to digest. Pairing it with other charts and graphs can help your dashboard be more impactful and insightful as well.

Here are some examples that help to envision possibilities for SVG Drawing Charts:

6 Examples of SVG Charts (Top L to Top R: Human Skeleton, USA Map, State Map, Campus Map, Building Floor Plan, Building Layout)

As you can see, the entire area can be color ranged, taking your charts to the next level in giving you a more complete view of your information.

There are many verticals that can take advantage of this new chart type to make their own industry metrics easier to comprehend and improve their business intelligence.

For example:

  • Manufacturing – Electronic Work Instructions
  • Healthcare – The Human body skeleton, The Human Eye, Cardiology and Heart parts
  • Transportation & Logistics – Yard Location of shipping containers, Warehousing locations
  • Higher Education – Campus Maps, Enrollment locations
  • IT – Network maps
  • Retail – Store front merchandise locations
  • Government – Zip Code breakdowns, County breakdowns

With all these possibilities, it didn’t take long to find a use case for an SVG Drawing chart.

Manufacturing Productivity – SVG Chart Use Case

Working with a manufacturer gave me my first chance to utilize the SVG Drawing Chart, as a Product Engineer at iDashboards. Whenever I train clients, I find it fascinating to discuss how they currently handle data and KPIs as we start to storyboard their needed dashboards. As I was storyboarding a scenario with the Plant Manager, I realized he needed a better way to consume his data.

He explained to me what his current daily process looked like. First thing every day he would extract from their database the work that was scheduled to be completed that day, spending half his day analyzing where problem spots were. There were almost 70 different Workcenters in his plant, making it extremely challenging to manage which Workcenters were behind schedule and which were delaying other centers from completing their jobs.

Enter iDashboards. I immediately envisioned using a color coded chart to show the plant manager where his Workcenters of concern were. He would be able to see that information on the dashboard in real time and manage operations with a pulse on everything the moment it was happening. In order to make a dashboard like this effective, our goal is to visually bring insight from your data to provide immediate recognition of areas of concern without having to analyze for hours.

With a direct connection to the database, I started building the chart with a bird’s eye image of the plant. Given there were 70 Workcenters, I decided to use our Image Plot chart to capture all the different data points.  Here’s a mockup of the chart I originally built:

Bird's Eye View of Manufacturing Floor Data - Image Plot Chart

The Plant Manager was ecstatic at this first take on his Workcenter activity as it clearly gave him a stronger idea, in real time, the status of his Workcenters. I wasn’t satisfied. When I build charts I want to make sure the chart shows the metric in a crystal clear manner and didn’t think the Image Plot chart fully captured the Workcenter status.

What area was really the source of the most delay in production? This certainly was an improvement from poring over data for half a day to find areas of concern, but was still not hitting the nail on the head from my perspective.

Enter the SVG Drawing chart. I was able to shade areas of the plant floor and give the manager a much quicker view into the areas that were furthest behind in productivity. By color coding the areas, it simplified the view of the plant floor and made the areas with major delays stand out much more readily. The information became more consumable for the dashboard users.

Bird's eye view of Manufacturing Plant Floor Data as SVG Chart

He agreed! He now had the ability to come into the plant in the morning, see live data, and have the dashboard continuously refresh throughout the day on his Wall Display screen.

Improving Operational Efficiency across the Plant

Speaking to him a couple weeks after he had implemented the SVG chart, he shared how he was able to improve his experience further by utilizing a drilldown to the image plot chart. Now, he could see only the area of concern and have it filtered to only show the Workcenters centers in that area. This gave better insight at a high level, but granular focus on the area of concern.

The improvement provided by the dashboard also brought him another benefit. As he saw each area of the plant and how some affected progress of other areas, he proposed to management changes in the overall plant layout that could improve efficiency. This recent change, he is expecting Workcenter productivity improvements, and in return, less product loss and/or product delay issues.

Ultimately, I was extremely satisfied that this new, unique chart type, the SVG Drawing Chart, provided value and was utilized to improve the overall business process management for this plant manager.

The SVG Drawing Chart opens up a limitless supply of opportunity to put your data into a more meaningful, easier to understand, and aesthetic perspective. We would love to hear about your ideas for the new SVG chart and help to take your dashboarding to the next level!

Curious to learn more? Check out our infographic and learn more about effectively choosing charts that best display your data and communicate your metrics.  


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Jerry Stowe Principal Pre-Sales Engineer @iDashboards

For over 25 years, Jerry Stowe has assisted customers using a variety of software technologies. Currently, he thrives in assisting clients and prospects to realize the full potential of their data, utilizing exceptional dashboard development and data visualization techniques. In his spare time, he enjoys long romantic walks to the fridge.


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