Using Dashboard Technology

This is the continuation of a transcript of a presentation by Stu Worman from Indiana University at an IT conference for unversity IT professionals.

So the philosophy here is that we are really using this dashboard technology just to help us organize our data into real information. We are using people to analyze what is going on. There is no artificial intelligence going on. It doesn’t come back and say “Hey, you know the DHCP isn’t working right now so you have a problem you need to go look at it.”

The gauges on a dashboard are just indicators to help you know there is something going on that you need to go ask questions about and find out what is happening. So you can make better decisions. So good decisions really depend on this data, but sound decisions are rooted in facts. You have to have the facts to be able to stand up to what is going on.

While your instincts might lead you to good decisions, it’s also good that you can have some understanding, and you have replication, and you have convergence. You know what is going on.

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We have graph that we can measure activity over the same time last year in the academic year. So that means not just lining up the same day of the calendar year, but lining up the first day of classes, for example, since that could be a different day this year.

And we can see how those graphs measure. And you know it is just amazing to me that the trends a year ago for the same academic day are almost exactly the same. So if they aren’t, I better find out what is going on and figure out how we can address those things.

So really what we’re doing here is trying to turn information into information that cannot be ignored. If you haven’t read or listened to “Good to Great,” it’s a really great resource that I would suggest to you. Not just for a dashboard, not just for decision-making, but just for management in general. He really does talk a lot about how you have got to get your information into a place where you cannot ignore it. So I suggest that book to you.

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