This dashboard and the description are taken from the “Information Dashboard Design. Displaying data for at-a-glance monitoring” by Stephen Few. The sample shows how AnyChart can be used to create complex visualizations, which are usually given as great examples of visualization by experts in datavis.
Here is what Stephen Few says about this dashboard:
A Chief Information Officer (CIO) must monitor many aspects of an organization’s information systems, including projects to implement new systems and update those that exist. My sample CIO dashboard includes information in the following categories:
- System availability (uptime)
- Customer satisfaction
- Severe problem count
- CPU usage relative to capacity
- Storage usage relative to capacity
- Network traffic
- Application response time
- Major project milestones
- Top projects in the queue
- Other critical events
This is a mixture of strategic and frequently updated operational information.
Only one section of this dashboard – the upper-left corner – displays near-real-time data. This section includes five alerts: one for each of the major systems to which the CIO might need to respond immediately when a problem arises. If no red icons could blink until clicked or even emit a sound that gradually increases in volume. The alert icons could also link to other screens that describe precisely what is wrong.
The rest of this dashboard provides the CIO with information that is more strategic in nature. Notice that a great deal of contextual information has been provided to complement the measures – especially comparisons to measures of acceptable performance. This is the kind of context that could help the CIO easily make sense of these measures.
There is a great deal of information on this dashboard, yet it doesn't seem cluttered. This is largely due to the fact that non-data pixels have been reduced to a minimum. For instance, white space alone has been used to separate the various sections of the display. A judicious use of color has also contributed to this effect. Besides gray-scale colors, the only other hues you see are a muted green for the name of each section and two intensities of red, which in every case serves as an alert. It is easy to scan the dashboard and quickly find everything that needs attention, because the red alert objects are unique, visually unlike anything else.
Including information about project milestones, pending projects, and other critical events on this dashboard not only locates all the most important information the CIO needs in one place, but also supports useful comparisons. Being reminded about coming events that might affect existing systems and being able to look immediately at the current performance of those systems could raise useful questions about their readiness.