Cars cost a lot of money, and when a driver gets behind the wheel, they want to know that every component is working correctly. It can mean the difference between life and death—not to mention getting to your destination on time! For this reason, vehicle dashboards are painstakingly designed to be simple yet functional, so that virtually anyone can understand them at a glance.

In a similar vein, how much investment was involved in building up your organisation and its IT infrastructure—and let's not forget ongoing maintenance! The cost of system failure can mean life or death for your business, missing destinations and deadlines. In some sectors, such as health or search and rescue, it can even lead to injury or loss of life. With the consequences of lost visibility in mind, take a look at your organisation's dashboards (if they exist!). Ask yourself—are they as easy to understand as the dashboard of a car?

Most organisations would reply 'no' to that question. All too often, dashboards exist because the organisation's monitoring solution provided one out-of-the-box.  That's fine if your intended audience is all technically inclined, and understand what it means when there is a 'memory bottleneck' or the 'committed memory in use is too high'. These alerts, however, might mean nothing to upper management or the executive team, who are directly responsible for approving your team's budget. Action needs to be taken to translate the information, so that it is accessible to all your key decision-makers. So what are the first steps?

Here are three initial items to consider:

  1. Context is everything! Without context, your executive team may not understand the impact of an under-resourced ESX server that's beginning to fail. If, however, your dashboard were to show that the ESX server happens to host the core income stream systems for the organisation, you may have their attention (and funding).
  2. Visualise the data! Approximately 60% of the world population are visual thinkers, so your dashboard should be visually designed.  Find a way to visualise your data. Show the relationships and dependencies between systems. Oh, and "death to pie charts!".
  3. Invest the time and effort! Find your creative spark, and brainstorm as a team. A well-designed dashboard will pay on-going dividends with every incident managed, or business case written. Make sure you allot time to prove your work against SLAs.

If you need help with dashboard development or design, give JDS a call on 1300 780 432 and speak with one of our friendly consultants.

Our team on the case

Never burn a bridge, humility may require you to take a step backward one day.

Warren Saunders

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

6 years

Workplace Solutions

All things Event Management (HPE Operations Management i, HPE Business Service Management, HPE Business Process Monitoring, HPE Sitescope, and custom integrations for everything in between).

Workplace Passion

  • Making complex issues easy to understand through competent technical writing, presentation delivery and creative design.
  • Finding solutions to problems which were previously placed in the “too hard” basket.

Ensure IT works.

Chris Younger

Delivery Manager

Length of Time at JDS

10 years

Skills

HP Certified Instructor, HP Business Service Management, HP LoadRunner, Splunk Sales Engineer, Certified in Service Now.

Workplace Passion

I am a big advocate for the value provided by Synthetic Business Process monitoring. When I first saw it 10 years ago in HP Business Availability Center I was impressed and I am still touting the benefits after all this time. Time and time again, I have seen it provide invaluable visibility into the user experience. These days it can be achieved using trendy newer tools such as Splunk for a fraction of the price it previously cost.

Work hard, Play hard.

Andy Erskine

Consultant

Length of Time at JDS

2.5 years

Skills

  • The CA Suite of tools, notably CA APM, CA Spectrum, CA Performance Manager
  • Splunk

Workplace Passion

Learning new applications and applying them to today’s problems.

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