Home › Forums › From Data to Dashboards Summer 2020 › Discussion 1
- This topic has 9 replies, 9 voices, and was last updated 2 years, 9 months ago by julieta lomelin.
July 16, 2020 at 4:36 pm #6953Liz LewisModerator
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?
July 20, 2020 at 11:44 am #6997Kara ShowersParticipant
I would say no. It is not easy to understand at-a-glance. Additionally, important info that the author may want the reader to take away was not found up in the upper left hand corner.
July 20, 2020 at 12:09 pm #6998Kristin McCarthyParticipant
According to Stephen Few’s article, he defined a dashboard as “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” and dashboards should have supporting features that include high-level summaries that can be communicated at a glance and contain concise and clear display mechanisms. Whereas the maternal dashboard does seem to have some features of a dashboard, I am concerned that there is so much information displayed and this undermines a person’s ability to understand the information at a “glance”. I would think that there is a more efficient way to condense some of the information into more effective high-level summaries for the user.
July 20, 2020 at 6:29 pm #7022Ian LemieuxParticipant
Hi all –
Look forward to learning with and from this group!
Considering if the WHO Local Maternity Dashboard is *really* a dashboard, I would suggest not. Citing the lecture from above, and the references noted in ‘Why Dashboards?’, I’m coming back to:
The Maternity Dashboard does not allow for at-a-glance viewing (data-intensive, mix of absolute values and percentages, did not know where to look first), was only questionably strategic (did not lead me to much of a predefined conclusion, other than an over-target perinatal mortality possibly related to C-section rates and/or admissions to SCBU, however I’m unknowingly drawing that conclusion as the reader), only potentially actionable (again, the reader would draw a conclusion of their own, where this is more so a report than a dashboard), and the visualization was overwhelming (lots of color, could not see the shape of the data over time, difficult to note what data, if any, should be leveraged for comparison). In the absence of categorical data and quantitative relationships, it left me with many questions and turning back to the problem statement and conclusion for answers.
July 20, 2020 at 8:34 pm #7023Masis ParunyanParticipant
Going by Alexander’s and Few’s definitions, I would say the WHO local maternity dashboard is not a “true” dashboard, mainly because the data is not presented in an especially visual way. The only visual component is the color coding of data relative to a target — there is no incorporation of bar graphs, trendlines, pie charts, etc. In a way, it almost seems closer to a report with color coding rather than a strict dashboard.
On the other hand, the data presented is high level data relevant to a goal (namely, meeting targets for better maternal/neonatal outcomes) presented on a single screen, and the colors do help to create a visual effect that can be interpreted at a glance. However, the presentation is not as visually clear as, for example, a trendline. Given the sheer number of metrics they were tracking, this is an understandable choice, since having that many trendlines would be confusing in its own right.
July 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm #7045Emilia CainParticipant
The dashboard is not really a dashboard since it does not draw the reader into conlusions. Accordinf to Alexander’s textbook, this looks more like a report.
July 23, 2020 at 10:12 am #7046Andrea DresbachParticipant
It was good to “meet” some of you last evening!
I agree with the comments in the discussion thus far. At a glance, the “dashboard” presented in the WHO article is overwhelming and leads me to no easy conclusions. It may contain relevant data (a report) but it lacks the graphical/visual components that are essential to a dashboard. A title/summary of some sort would be helpful for starters. I did appreciate the fact that the Lessons Learnt portion of the article pointed out that the Mpilo Central Hospital’s printer printed in grey scale; further limiting the effectiveness of the traffic light color coding system.
July 28, 2020 at 12:47 pm #7084fjpatinoKeymaster
I have to agree with my classmates and say the data presented in the WHO article was not really a dashboard, or at best it was a very poorly constructed one, because it lacked a lot of the main requisites that would make it a dashboard. For instance, the data was not easy to take in at a glance, nor was it visualized except for a color coding that was quite distracting. I skimmed through the article and I was hoping to get the scoop from the dashboard but I did not get it. I think a good dashboard would allow you to get the most important key takeaways at a glance, therefore I would not call this example a dashboard.
July 28, 2020 at 4:07 pm #7085Allyson CoganParticipant
The data in the WHO article does not appear to be a dashboard according to perimeters discussed by Alexander. It seems to include more data than needed to support the main purpose and causes the primary message or goal to get lost. This graphic allowed for some user analysis of the data instead of clearly presenting a “predefined conclusion” which is yet another main attribute needed for the designation of dashboard. The use of color in the WHO graphic also makes it challenging to read which again draws attention away from the main focus and according to Alexander dashboards are often most impactful when the formatting is simple.I have to agree with my classmate this does appear to be report rather than a dashboard.
August 8, 2020 at 10:15 pm #7108julieta lomelinParticipant
I’m al little late to the discussion but I agree with the comments posted before me, the only thing I would add is that even though the report contains relevant information we don’t have a clear purpose or objective so it is had to know the relevance of the indicators.
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