Home Forums From Data to Dashboards Summer 2021 Discussion 1 (DTDS21)

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    • #8795
      Liz Lewis

      Is the WHO local maternity dashboard really a dashboard (based on what you’ve read in the textbook and Stephen Few’s article)? Why or why not?

    • #8821
      Lydia Merritt

      I am going to say it is not a dashboard, although it does contain data that could be used in a dashboard. The data is not presented in a simple at a glance view nor do I see any predefined conclusions typical of a dashboard format. I think it is more of a report than a dashboard.

    • #8823
      Lauryn Lin

      Based on Few’s dashboard definition, I would argue the WHO local maternity dashboard is an example of a dashboard in need of design improvement. The dashboard highlights metrics related to objectives and is consolidated in one screen. However, thinking of key design principles, the dashboard formatting could be simplified for easier readability, in addition to adjusting the use of color (highlighting just year totals to allow comparison between current/previous years & target, or using only red to highlight months of poor performance; not using blue for the rest of the dashboard background; etc.).

    • #8825
      Rebecca Halley

      Based on Few’s article, I would consider the maternity dashboard to be a dashboard. Although it doesn’t follow some of the best practices discussed (using color in table formatting, the overuse of bright colors, and the overuse of color in highlighting the data), it succeeds at being a visual display of the data that they are tracking to improve outcomes, while condensing the information down to a single view that can be monitored at a glance.

    • #8827
      Twynette Mixon

      After reading Few’s article and the overview of chapter one in the text, I would have to say that I do believe this to be a dashboard. But it is so congested with information that it looks overwhelming. I do agree that it could be simplified and possible use of charts and/or bar graphs to display the information effectively.

    • #8829
      Emily Leonard

      Based on Few’s definition, I believe the WHO local maternity dashboard to be a dashboard. It has the basic elements to convey vital information to the target audience. Specifically, I think the color-coded system is helpful to highlight important trends in the data over time. However, like others on this thread, I agree that the information can be shown differently to more productively meet the needs of the audience. The addition of graphs to show trends over time could helpful. These could include line graphs to show time-series data or bar graphs so illustrate deviations from an average metric.

    • #8831
      Scott Troppy

      I would say it is a dashboard based on the article by Few. It does need some data and visualization formatting for better understanding of the data. There are many ways one could improve the dashboard (color and other graphical options) to give the audience a better understanding of the data and metrics being presented.

    • #8833
      Molly McKenna

      I do not think the WHO local maternity dashboard is a dashboard. The data is not consolidated in a way that helps the reader easily understand what they are looking at. I thought about the color coding and if that would make it a dashboard, but I had to spend several minutes figuring out what the color coding meant. In Few’s article he states that information in a dashboard can be monitored at a glance.

    • #8853
      Veronica Topp

      Based on the readings, I believe the WHO local maternity dashboard really is a dashboard. While some of the design elements are distracting and could be improved for easier readability, the data is presented in a way that provides an at-a-glance view of relevant data that leads the reader to a predefined conclusion. The indicators included in the dashboard were chosen by local stakeholders and decision makers and therefore are directly relevant to the people using them. The traffic light color coding allows the reader to quickly see what metrics need improvement and the dashboard is contained to a single screen.

    • #8956
      Elizabeth Mello

      Using Few’s definition of a dashboard, “a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.” I think that the WHO maternity dashboard is a dashboard. It’s consolidated on a single screen, only specific metrics are included, the data is limited to only the targets and indicators over time, and the color coding helps provide that “at a glance” interpretation. Further, according to the article, this dashboard is for use by local healthcare providers, so there isn’t a need for definitions, simpler text, or additional explanation of the the indicators, since they are likely already familiar with them. I agree with previous comments that the dashboard could use some design assistance, but overall I think it meets it’s goal of being a dashboard.

    • #8957
      Karen Murphy

      The WHO dataset is presented in a dashboard. At first glance, it may appear busy, but that does not mean that it does not achieve the standard outlined by Few for the character of a dashboard to be a provide the necessary information to make business decisions. The summary data is comprehensive, concise, and specific to the need. The metrics are outlined, the acceptable ranges are identified and flagged with colors that are easily understood by the reader, and it can be updated on a scheduled basis. Alexander expands on the standards that Few uses in his article. The WHO articles discusses the reasoning behind the dashboard, and its transition from one demographic group to another, and any considerations that needed to be made in that process. Multiple users can benefit from the data contained in the dashboard.

    • #8958
      Rebecca Barlow

      Yes, based on the reading, I do believe the WHO dataset is a dashboard in need of some improvement. The dashboard uses too many bright colors in highlighting data which is overwhelming to the eye, but it is visually displaying data and condensing the information into one view.

    • #8960
      Reed Sherrill

      I believe the content is indicative of a dashboard but the presentation of the content is not. It consolidates essential information into a concise, interpretable, one page view– but it is tabular, not graphical. I’m not sure it qualifies as ‘at a glance’ due to its layout/formatting (outside of the color-coding), but the data lends itself to ‘at a glance’ use. I prefer Few’s definition over Alexanders’, so I’m going to ignore the apparent violation re: not having pre-defined conclusions. Overall, I feel it has all of the ‘raw materials’ to be a dashboard, but lacks the design elements that are often found in dashboards. If pressed to choose, I would say that it is a dashboard– I believe the substance and usefulness of the presented data outweighs the design components that are missing.

    • #8963
      Jessica Fefferman

      While the displayed data in the WHO article has some dashboard attributes, it it does not meet the critical attributes sited in Few’s article which is having “intuitive indicators … that are instantly understandable”. To me it is more of the raw data that could be used to create a user friendly dashboard. Given that the end use often had to view it in black and white, the color coding did not add the value it needed to be easily visually interpreted, I am going with it being more of just a data table and not a dashboard.

    • #8964
      Linda Am

      I believe the WHO local maternity dashboard is an actual dashboard based on Stephen Few’s definition of a dashboard and from Chapter 1 that describes a dashboard with the following: at a glance views, graphical (trends/comparisons/charts), data relevant to goal(s), and predefined conclusions.

      Although, it may look like an overload of data at first glance, all the information is there on a single screen and it achieves the objective of displaying what they wanted to display regarding maternity performance measures. There are colors and a monthly trend view which was nice to see the percentage. I just feel it could also display pie charts or bar charts in color to make it even easier for any audience to read. It meets Stephen Few’s definition of a dashboard because it shows trends at a glance but it definitely can be improved and look more visually pleasing with comparing parts to a whole. I would just prefer a pie chart or bar graph but it still the WHO maternity dashboard still has predefined conclusions can the reader can point out the monthly and yearly totals.

    • #8965
      Marilyn Romero

      According to Few, a dashboard has to serve a purpose, can be viewed on a single screen, easily understood. The dashboard may be simple, but it does show all the necessary information at a “glance” so that the hospital can see if they are meeting their goals.
      Similarly, the book also states that the dashboard should show “key indicators” to achieve a purpose. The WHO dashboard has the goals/targets for each indicator. The book does include in its definition that a dashboard is usually graphical. However, it does not state that it must be graphical to be considered a dashboard. If we only consider graphs to make up a dashboard, then the WHO dashboard would not be a dashboard.

      The WHO maternity dashboard does meet the Few and book criteria for a dashboard. The dashboard is not just a report that requires further analysis. The WHO dashboard is perhaps a dashboard in the simplest form.

    • #8999
      Kerry Dunnell

      I’m late to comment, but love this question, and look forward to seeing what other learners have said. In my opinion, the WHO maternity dashboard example partially meets the standard communicated in the Few article, because it has information that is important to a group,and has been used to inform decision making, such as staffing patterns and enforcement of policies. However, the example is not instantly understandable and doesnt offer any charts that offer a simple picture of the data or analysis.
      When viewed in light of the readings from Alexander, this is clearly not a dashboard, because it provides data, analysis in one document, and does not provide high level summaries, so that the user has to read and think to consider, and it relies on color and borders for presentation, instead of taking the analysis and creating simple visual images. The example is more the analysis of data, so the middle step between data and the presentation that Alexander makes clear is value of a dashboard.

    • #9008
      Andree Entezari

      I believe the Fig 1. Example of a maternity dashboard display, Zimbabwe, 2012 is not a dashboard. While it does provide a high level summary that Few explains is needed it isn’t concise and clear to the audience the “flow” and story that is being told. From our first week, we learn that dashboards need not be a data repository and only pull the most important information for the user. However, due to the incredible amount of data and charts it is not clear what is the most important information to takeaway from. While the color coding does provide a sense of proximity to the target with standard deviations, the text key at the bottom should include colors or a separate legend for the user to go off of.

    • #9015
      Dikha De

      The WHO local maternity dashboard is a very simple color coded excel worksheet with data. Though, it has much room to be constructed into into a dashboard. It cannot be called a dashboard due to the lack of visual summaries and incomplete labelling. While the red color code stands out as “danger” areas to focus on: Caesarean section rates, Admission to SBCU and overall perinatal mortality rate. A better dashboard can be built to visually indicate each of the performance measures and how far off they are from their respective target measures.

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