What Makes a Good Monitoring Dashboard? 6 Features

Data and technology are integrating into ways that assist monitoring and evaluation professionals to more effectively learn, adapt, and evaluate their projects. Dashboards represent one of the tools contributing to data analytics through machine metrics and other capabilities.

Dashboards are information management tools that visually analyze, track, and display data points and metrics to evaluate project status and performance. The emergence of machine monitoring software provides capabilities to connect to machines and deliver data to manufacturing floors, saving time, improving morale, and productivity.

No doubt connecting machines to computers can boost productivity by offering meaningful insights into projects. A well-designed manufacturing metrics dashboard can improve business productivity in many ways. Manufacturing dashboards are visual information tools organizations and manufacturers use to display data and convey information effectively.

It's crucial to note that although dashboards encompass lots of appeals, subtle nuances are separating well-designed dashboards and ineffective ones. Low-quality dashboard designs and poor set-up practices can limit its effectiveness. Thus, manufacturing leaders and shop floor managers should be on the lookout for these quality dashboard features.

Features That Make a Good Machine Monitoring Dashboard:

  1. Clear, Intuitive, and Customizable

Effective machine monitoring shows clear and consolidated information at a glance. The dashboard simplifies the visual representation of complex data, helping stakeholders understand, present, and analyze new information. So, great dashboards do the following;

  • They communicate information promptly
  • They show changes and trends in data over some time
  • They display information clearly and efficiently
  • The most effective data components and widgets are well-presented
  • They are easily customizable

The initial customization of visual information and data to user requirements will improve usability, thus eliminating the need for different persona.

  1. Everything is One Click Away

A great dashboard provides everything under one roof. That means that all essential information is easily accessible, data is prioritized, and information is displayed in a visual hierarchy on a single screen. The dashboard design provides a coherent overview that captures clear initial data with more opportunities. In addition, elements (charts, forms, and tables) are displayed with a minimum view and can capture more details in a window.

  1. Reduced Complexity, More Clarity

Providing clear information is a difficult task in a world overwhelmed with data. Thus, presenting only the most relevant information is one a crucial aspect to consider. The more information present, the harder it becomes for users to locate what they want.

designers must prioritize the most relevant subset when faced with too much data to visualize. The designer should prioritize and remove misleading metrics. Effective dashboard design decisions should be guided by the following:

  • Nature of the data
  • Project goals
  • Needs of the end-user

Designers and manufacturers must understand that when reading performance metrics or any other form of information, shop floor managers and supervisors have limited brainpower to process huge amounts of information at once. Some of this power is used to decode the visualization; any brainpower left may be used to understand the information.

  1. Succinct Communication

Define the message you want to communicate and articulate it clearly in your dashboard design. Having a clear message that you want to communicate will help guide your dashboard design process. Not every survey question, indicator, or data point is designed equal. Before creating a machine monitoring dashboard, designers often engage in a little exploratory data analysis to understand key insights to convey in the dashboards. The story you want to communicate should align with your visualization choices, such as plots and maps.

  1. Use The Right Visuals

Investment goals and manufacturing decisions drive the visualization used in the dashboard. If the overarching portfolio is trying to improve quarterly returns, then the visual should compare numbers such as with a graph or a pie chart. But if the goal is to diversify the portfolio, a compositional graphic like a pie chart will do a great job in reflecting the capital distribution. Users shouldn’t dig deep into the displayed chart to understand the data. Using the right visuals provides a means to understand and comprehend key insights.

  1. Put Numbers into Context

It's crucial to remember that data doesn't exist in isolation. Investors and stakeholders need to see the relationship between different data sets to understand the bigger picture. For instance, how do the current manufacturing metrics and throughput statistics fit into the bigger picture? Well-designed dashboards consolidate information and group together related datasets so that users can understand causes, effects, and influences quickly.

General Rules about Machine Monitoring Visualization

Remember to keep your machine visualization simple. Most stakeholders and investors can manage only a few visuals per page, and in most cases, line charts and basic bars will suffice.

Remember the following:

  • Indicators containing actuals and targets are best visualized using bars, charts, and lines
  • Horizontal bars work best for performance rankings
  • Bar charts should be used instead of pie charts – this is because you cannot see the differences between pie fields with similar values
  • Line plots are mainly used in time series plots. Line plots compare multiple series (targets, actuals, etc).
  • Bubble plots present three different variables (Y-axis, X-axis, and bubble plots)
  • Ensure the colors fit sequential or diverging data. When selecting colors, check color brewer for directions and guidance on color palettes for maps and plots

CSIFLEX – Transforming Your Visualization Landscape

When implementing a machine monitoring solution on your shop floor; remember that the dashboard is just a data visualization tool. This visualization tool will only be successful when connected and integrated with a company's communication, operations, and learning strategy. At CSIFLEX, we keep visualization in mind. We always look at how we can enhance your manufacturing reporting and visualization processes.

Contact CSIFLEX and know exactly how you can transform your visualization landscape.