The goal of this article is to define what a person must know to create a dashboard for working environmental risk analysis. The article is the result of information retrieval on the term dashboard from a design perspective. This article describes two overarching perspective. These are demand-driven (user-centric) or supply-driven (data centered). One conclusion is that readings will have to be on in several different industries, technologies and disciplines.
Dashboards are used for corporate and business analysis in order to get an overview monitor and guide the development of an organization or a company. The area Compliance Management concerns information gathering, analysis and control for the organization to adhere to the laws and rules that apply. This article examines the area of working environmental risks and it is possible to argue that what is examined is the ability to create a dashboard as compliance software for the area. A particular focus is on users who are senior leaders, national or international level and who need to control how the work environment is managed at hundreds of local branches or places of business.
Work environment (health and safety at work)
A systematic approach to health and safety at work is about to pay attention and take into account all the circumstances of the work environment that may affect employees health and safety. Crucial for a systematic work is what is what is achieved in practice to improve the working environment. This is in Sweden regulated in the Work Environment Ordinance (1977:1166 ) and in the The Work Environment Act (1977:1160) . In Sweden the governmental authority Arbetsmiljöverket monitors that the law is followed. They publish detailed specifications for how the companies will work to fulfill the law. Every company or organization are conducted to once a year or at major organizational changes conduct a risk analysis.
A risk analysis takes its starting point from available data, research and statistics on occupational risks in a particular sector and, based on this knowledge, produced a number of control points . Risks are highlighted and weighted. An action plan is created and then the each risk must be addressed. Risk assessment, summaries of injuries and incidents and action plans must be to be documented.
It is very common with various forms of commercial chains in Sweden. It may be a commercial chain with a large number of stores, car repair-shop, hamburger restaurants and so on. It could be a brand with so-called franchisees. It will be a central issue at the national level to manage, operate, so that all players in the group stay with the laws or regulations on work environment. The profession of this this is called Compliance Management.
There is a need on top-level as the manager of a trademark or brand monitoring how the local actors do their job. Trends, changes, progress must be monitored and there is a need for a tool or aid for analysis and decision-making. In this article i want to define the knowledge areas concerning creation of a dashboard for working environmental (health and safety at work) risk analysis. To do this we need to establish what constitutes a good work environment and how can the activities around this be measured?
Corporate business management is a very broad area that can be summarized with an organizations actions, tools, and culture to guide the company in the desired directions. In this context, I will focus on two things: Business Performance Management (BPM) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). Business Performance Management is a consolidation of concepts that companies have been practicing for some time, such as data ware housing, business intelligence, and quality management. This single integrated concept is focused on Enhancing Corporate Performance. BPM provides an opportunity to align operations to organizational strategy and evaluates its progress overtime toward goal attainment (Frolick & Ariyachandra, 2006). Performance measurement is a fundamental principle of management. The measurement of performance is important because it identifies current performance gaps between current and desired performance and provides indication of progress towards closing the gaps. Carefully selected key performance indicators identify precisely where to take action to improvement performance (Weber & Thomas, 2005). It is important to identify what is important in an organization, then seek to measure this. This is what is called the KPI and the data that is collected can then be analyzed and forms an important part of the governance of the organization.
It is possible to argue that to and govern a company in a more systematic way demonstrates both the levels of hazards in work environment and how systematic approach to the work environment lead to competitive advantage. An similar concept is Competitive Intelligence that could be under stood as methods and tools for using in the organization with the goal to give the company strategic advantage. Competitive Intelligence are about the development of technologies, systems , practices , and applications to analyze critical business data so as to gain new insights about business and markets . The new insights can be used for improving products and services, achieving better operational efficiency, and fostering customer relationships (Chen & Chen, 2013).
In the area of required tools for creating insight and knowledge from large amounts of data it is a systematic way of looking at the world that aims to create capacity for action at alternative future scenario. Special focus is on creating the opportunity to understand and preferably anticipate unexpected changes.
A dashboard is a real-time snapshot created that allows the user to get insights. It is a user interface that presents facts and trends in an organization and its environment. The concept dashboard has its background in design for cars and concerns the design of information interaction that occurs between driver and car. The basic idea of a dashboard is that interactive visualizations help users gain insights into data, identify patterns, and make decisions. During visual analysis, a single analyst or a group , access information from multiple sources to combine insights (Elias & Bezerianos, 2012).
The dashboards major parts
In the article Harnessing the web information ecosystem with wiki-based visualization dashboards McKeon Introduces the idea of a wiki-like system for building dashboards (McKeon, 2009). He describes how there is a variety of data sources, tools for processing information and tools for visualizing data. He describes that it is his goal to research and development with ambition to reduce the barriers to create a dashboard. He examines in detail how it is possible communicate the artifacts through social media, and that a dashboard can become a social phenomenon where many people co-create and develop dashboard. A very simple instructive image is presented in the article that essentially shows some different parts of a dashboard. The last part, social media is of particular interest to McKein but the other parts can be regarded general in the preparation of creating a dashboard. Here below shows the five main parts of McKeins image.
Data sources > Data aggregator > Visualization > Presentation > Social media
Data sources can be internal data (produced within the organization) or external data (such as meteorological data, or data from social media). Data aggregation is the part where different data and data sources are mixed. By combining multiple data sets new patterns emerge and new knowledge arises. Visualization phase is when the developer chooses which method or model for visualization that is most suitable to communicate with the user. The presentation is when all the visualizations are compiled into a single page. This part also concerns the interface where the user can switch between different visualizations or variables. This article clarifies the importance of how the developer must understand what data formats, data structures and standards that exist. How data is structured and in what format it is when it is obtained from the different data sources. The developer needs a good knowledge of the structure and format for ”get the data into” the aggregator. There should also be a given structure and format of the data ”from the” aggregator for a easy way to generate visualization – either by existing programs or through programming. It must also be easy to compile all the visualizations in a presentation; a dashboard.
Borgman , Heierv and Bahli mean that there are two main perspectives and this is either demand-driven (user – centric) or supply driven (data centered) (Borgman, Heier, & Bahli, 2012). A user centered approach consists in starting from a BPM perspective and by defining KPIs for different processes and business related objects and goals. This gives knowledge of what data must be obtained to present facts to the user.
A different way to work with this is to develop decision-making-tools from the data and visualization of data by investigating witch data can be obtained. This is a supply driven (data centered) perspective. In this perspective for example an existing IT systems as a sales system can be investigated. The system is examined and a discussion takes place about which data to be retrieved from the system.
It is essential to learn more about these both perspectives when a dashboard for working environmental risks analysis shall to be produced. It is possible to argue that both approaches are important and you can work from both approaches.
Some examples of areas where dashboards are used
Dashboards use in a variety of areas. It is common with ”hard values” such as sales figures visualized for a sales manager. It can also involve entirely different KPIs; as an example it is common to studie of how groups of customers perceive a brand. This can be broken down into different groups, different geographical locations, and various times and the data therefore needs to be visualized and displayed on a dashboard. Dashboards also are used to monitor and control complex development projects. The production of complex IT system requires review, monitoring and management. The various participants in the projects must also understand what the other participants or groups of participants are doing and the dashboard is thus also a form of communication between various stakeholders.
The article Awareness 2.0 : Staying Aware of Projects Developers and Tasks using Dashboards and Feeds the researchers describe how dashboards are used for programming projects at IBM (Treude & Storey, n.d.). The dashboard is required here in order to monitor and understand how programming project progresses. The study raises questions such as: How are dashboards adopted and adapted? Why are dashboards used and which roles do they support? Which individual and collaborative processes do dashboards support? How does the use of dashboards evolve over the lifecycle of a project? Treude and Storey introduces a number of concepts that they believe to be the central force Dashboards. The concepts awareness (awareness, attention, knowledge) is presented. Peripheral awareness which I interpret as a conscious sharing that in itself is not of prime importance but you still get knowledge of stakeholders, and therefore a better overall view. Another concept that is central to the overview functions there may be a comparative variable. Tracking (following a trend) is another important task and identification of Bottlenecks (or other problems that need addressed) is another.
The article Commanders Dashboard: overview of tactical changes to improvement situated decision making in the field the researchers describe how dashboards are used by military commanders groups (Smets, Streefkerk, & Neerincx, 2010). This is part of the Mobile military information and decision systems. Smets, Streefker and Neerinex refer to the concept of situation awareness which is produced as a separate area within the User-Centred Design. In the area under study is a large focus on real-time communication between soldiers in the field, and communication centers. Here there is a high requirement for accurate and timely information that is quick to create meaning from.
The article Organizational Dashboards: Steering an Organization Towards its Mission Gitlow launched the concept of ”the critical few” that seems to be slang for the primary or critical parts of an organization (Gitlow, 2005). I perceive this to be the same as the KPI and when Gitlow reason about how dashboards must take as its point out of ”the critical few” this perception is reinforced. He launched a basic structure for a organization’s dashboard. The structure must be based on organization goals (mission). Management must analyze and describe the critical, central objects and indicators that show whether the organization is successful or not, Gitlow means that this often is associated with responsibility and hence titles and organizational structure. A title such as head of security, is associated with a responsibility and it must according to Gitlow be possible to reason about the head of security´s goals and how success it is measured. In this way, says Gitlow that the analysis may start at the top of the organization and then go down, responsibility for work description by work description, responsibilities and job titles. Gitlow says that it is common but not necessary with this from top to bottom perspective. The analysis is carried out with a number of matrices (templates) with objects, indicators are formulated. In the next stage different forms of priorities are made. Now he ties designers to the project but also work with existing analytical and visualization capabilities such as Gantt charts. Gitlow describes the benefits of dashboards and this description is consistent with other research. He differs, however, the strategy and tactics to the level of usage.
Gitlow also want to distinguish between two different types of critical items. One relates to the business object which consists of routine-based objects that needed to be done to enable the organization to function. This may involve, for example data about the organization, commodities or services of subcontractors as intended or that the effect of the sales is good. The second refers to more strategic items. This is about things that need to be monitored, analyzed or made to the strategic objectives; again Gitlow is leaning against existing and formal analysis and management methods. It is important to note how the dashboard takes its starting point in business analysis and that this in itself is the area both as a practice and research area.
In the article A Balanced Scorecard Approach to Perioperative Process Management: A Case Study Perspective describes how dashboards are used in health care (Ryan, Lewis, Fretwell, Doster, & Daily, 2013). There is a clear difference with a commercial activity where goods are sold and where KPIs in largely deals with the production and sales. In healthcare success is measured in other dimensions and it can be a matter of patient safety, pain scores, how many operations that start on time, if lab tests were available so that the operation could start, and so on. At the same time it should be mentioned that there is an economic perspective on healthcare. Healthcare costs money. The article also provides a picture of how the various KPI takes its starting point from the international and national agreements on quality of care.
If a dashboard is developed out of knowledge on some form of standard (rule or law) there is a opportunity to compare different companies or organizations. In this case it is called Quality Benchmark Standards. One conclusion that can be drawn from this is that when designing a dashboard, it is wise to not just ”start at the top” according Gitlows model but also look outside the company, and perhaps against national and international standards for the topic or industry. Although this study provides a very clear picture of the importance that in a very systematic way to investigate what is the sign of success, how it manifests itself, how it can be measured, how data can be collected.
A survey and article of particular interest is the Visualization of Automated Compliance Monitoring and Reporting that is about creating a dashboard to monitor how an organization relates to a specific framework, set or rules or standard (Sandner, Kehlenbeck, & Breitner, 2010). The concept of compliance software are introduced. The goal of a dashboard for Compliance management is, [to] provide professional decision-makers with the necessary leeway for corresponding measures. If these measures are not taken, several negative consequences may follow, fraud, damage to the Organization’s reputation, fines as well as the decline of the Organization’s credit rating or market value.
Another area that is most interesting and relevant to the field is that of cognition in relation to the dashboard and visualization of data. Clark says in the article Exceptions and Other Rare and Irregular Events: Two Modes of Learning in Business Intelligence that there may be reasons to work with theories about how people learn to create relevant tools (Clark, 2011). An idea that Clark is investigating is how it is grateful to alert people on exception, and how this is powerful learning. Clark believes that humans distill knowledge from rare and irregular events, and he apply this to a theory of exception-design and recommends elements of this in competitive intelligence dashboards.
Aroon Marcus argues in his article Dashboards in Your Future how the Dashboard fields focus on to short intervals and removes focus from longer to aim and trends (Marcus, 2006). He argues that the Dashboard in itself can lead to overreactions and hasty decisions. Marcus wants that this is something that should be taken into account when designing dashboards. The designer must have a deeper understanding of information needs and not just the knowledge of how information can be visualized in a smart way.
Reading for the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
The first thing needed to be done is to conduct a thorough reading on the subject of working environmental (health and safety at work) risk analysis. What is the hallmark of a good work environment? How is it possible to measure whether a work environmental manager is successful or not? In this way, we take the starting point of the organization, the processes, the organization of work-titles. There may also be reasons to look beyond the actual organizations. OHSAS 18000 is a series of standards that could be the basis for a management system for working environmental (health and safety at work) and the develop of a dashboard. The designer needs to developed a number of widely accepted key performance indicators (KPIs).
The next phase for research and deeper understanding is regarding risk analysis for good working environment and also here produce/develope a number of widely accepted key performance indicators (KPIs). This is a user- centered perspective. In parallel with this work, it will need to be a supply – driven (datacentered) examination of the data that is possible to get out of the available systems.
There is a need to do thorough research and reading regarding what technology to use. This will in turn clarify demands on how data should be organized and in what format it should be.
There is a need to do thorough research and reading regarding how data can and should be visualized. There is here an interface to both management and the cognition. The goal is to create meaning from huge amounts of data. There is also a need to understand the technologies for visualization that shall be used and what it demands there is on data formats.
There is a need to do thorough research and reading regarding the presentation and navigation for a dashboard. How shall the various visualizations be presented for the user? What are the variables that will be possible to interact with in order to further deepen the possibility of analysis? There is also a need to understand the technologies that shall be used and what it demands of data formats.
When a dashboard shall be developed the designer must understand what is considered to be a signs of success in the field. The designer must analyses the Business Performance Management (BPM) and he/she must produce knowledge on Key Performance Indicators (KPI). This is a demand-driven (user-centric) perspective. It is also possible to have a supply-driven (data centered) perspective. Here, the designers start of from the data sources that are available. There are also reasons to learn about national and international standards and perceptions what constitutes success in a particular field or industry. It is possible to divide the design process (and readings) to in different parts. These are: data sources, data aggregation, visualization, presentation. There is also a major need for knowledge on existing technologies, data formats and data structures.
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