The United States Patent and Trademark Office makes use of dashboards to keep track of performance within the agency. As this is a large organisation, it generates a considerable amount of data. Below is a sample of the current dashboard layout used by the agency, which has been created using BonaVista Systems software.
As you can see in the top left of the image this dashboard contains data spanning a period of one year. It has been color coded in various shades of gray to indicate varying degrees of performance. These levels have been labelle ‘Good’, ‘OK’ and ‘Poor’. The dashboard itself follows a straightforward grid layout. It makes use of a number of sparklines and horizontal bar charts and primary emphasis is placed on comparing current results to those of the previous year.
The dashboard is divided into three categories – Measures of Pendency, Application Metrics and Allowance Rate & Quality. Each category then has a list of KPIs beneath it. Adjacent to each KPI users can see a sparkline indicating performance during the last 12 months. Following this there is a horizontal bar chart labelled Current Duration in Months. The background of this chart is color coded to indicate whether this performance falls into the Good, Ok or Poor category and a single vertical black line indicates previous values. The same approach is adopted for each of the other categories on this dashboard. Finally there are two line charts dealing with Applications related data. The first displays the number of Applications received on a monthly basis during a one year period, while the second shows Applications Received versus Applications Processed.
Overall this dashboard is functional but not inspiring. The same approach is used for each of the three categories and there is little variation in the display. The gray color scheme is also unattractive. An interesting feature of this dashboard however is the users can click on each KPI to see an exact definition of the term in question.