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Moritz Heiber
mheiber@thoughtworks.com
22
Your Dashboard Sucks
And how to fix it - informed decisions in overly noisy environments
© 2019 ThoughtWorks
3
WHY DASHBOARDS?
4© 2019 ThoughtWorks
“A dashboard is a type of graphical user interface
which often provides at-a-glance views of key
performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a
particular objective or business process.[...]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboard_(business)
5© 2019 ThoughtWorks
6© 2019 ThoughtWorks
DASHBOARDS MAKE
INFORMATION
ACCESSIBLE
Dashboards should:
⇨ Be simple, clear and unambiguous
⇨ Support the consumer with
meaningful insights
⇨ Tend to a particular audience
⇨ Should be easily accessible
© 2019 ThoughtWorks
7
⇐ MANAGEMENT DASHBOARD
For keeping management informed and in the
loop
KPI DASHBOARD ⇒
For informed department meetings and keeping
track of business relevant numbers
⇐ SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS
For sharing specific public information relevant to
the location and situation where it is consumed
ENGINEERING DASHBOARDS ⇒
For keeping everyone on the team alert and
focused on the most important events
LOTS OF
TRAFFIC ON
THE M4
Sorry
24 minutes of delay
© 2019 ThoughtWorks
INFORMATION OVERLOAD
8© 2019 ThoughtWorks
Turning information into meaning
Making sense of what you are experiencing
9
All of your senses are
involved, some you
trust more than
others to provide you
with information
Perception
Making sense of the
information you
received and how the
relate to your
situation at hand
Processing
Committing the
discovered result, its
dependencies and its
connections to
memory
Storing
Connecting the
processed
information with
other pre-existing
knowledge and
experience
Connection
Deriving meaning
from the resulting
connection and its
dependencies
Meaning
© 2019 ThoughtWorks
PROCESSING INFORMATION IS HARD BECAUSE ...
10© 2019 ThoughtWorks
COMPLEXITYFILTERSNOISE
“Complexity is the worst enemy
of security. Secure systems
should be cut to the bone and
made as simple as possible.
There is no substitute for
simplicity. Unfortunately,
simplicity goes against everything
our digital future stands for.”
→ Bruce Schneier in “Secrets and Lies -
Digital Security in a networked World”
11
COMPLEXITY IS EVERYWHERE
It’s as hard to even realize a situation or event is complex
Addressing it with simplicity can lead to other, sometimes
even more serious issues
Complexity has a lot of components, obscure dependencies,
non-linear resolution strategies and information asymmetry
Subjective experience and knowledge play a part in dealing
with complexity
NOT YOUR USUAL ANNOYING YAK
© 2019 ThoughtWorks
12
13
14
15
REDUCING
INFORMATION
OVERLOAD LEADS TO
BETTER DECISIONS
1.Information available, but neither relevant nor requested
2.Information available and requested, but not relevant
3.Information requested, that are not available nor relevant
4.Required information requested but not available
5.Required information not requested, nor available
6.Required and available information not requested
7.Required information available, requested and relevant
16© 2019 ThoughtWorks
example
of graphic
example
of graphic
1
7
2
46
5
3
1 out of 4 instances have
failed health checks
PROD
Last updated 5 min ago
MY SERVICE PROD
Last updated 2 min ago
MY SERVICE
DESIGN YOUR
DASHBOARD TO
CREATE MEANINGFUL
INSIGHTS
20© 2019 ThoughtWorks
Contextual
Accessible
Relevant
Specific
Stateless
Simple
MORITZ HEIBER
DEVOPS BIRTH ASSISTANT
mheiber@thoughtworks.com | heiber.im
toot.thoughtworks.com/@mheiber
21© 2019 ThoughtWorks
THANK YOU!
22
REFERENCES
“Informationsmanagement” - Marcus Wittkamp, Deutscher Sparkassenvlg.G (May 2004) - http://www.marcuswittkamp.de/EN/start.htm
“Informationsstress am Arbeitsplatz: Ursachen und Bewältigung” - Martina Kittl, Böblingen, July 2015: https://hdms.bsz-
bw.de/frontdoor/deliver/index/docId/531/file/Diplomarbeit_270705_final.pdf
“Elementarwissen medizinische Psychologie und medizinische Soziologie: Theoretisch-psychologische Grundlagen” -
https://de.wikibooks.org/wiki/Elementarwissen_medizinische_Psychologie_und_medizinische_Soziologie:_Theoretisch-
psychologische_Grundlagen
“Vorlesungsskript Allgemeine Psychologie 1: Kognitionspsychologie” - PD Dr. Hellmuth Metz-Göckel, October 2001 - https://eldorado.tu-
dortmund.de/bitstream/2003/2950/1/AllgemeinePsychologie1.pdf

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Moritz Heiber - Your dashboard sucks

  • 2. 22 Your Dashboard Sucks And how to fix it - informed decisions in overly noisy environments © 2019 ThoughtWorks
  • 3. 3
  • 5. “A dashboard is a type of graphical user interface which often provides at-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or business process.[...]" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dashboard_(business) 5© 2019 ThoughtWorks
  • 6. 6© 2019 ThoughtWorks DASHBOARDS MAKE INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE Dashboards should: ⇨ Be simple, clear and unambiguous ⇨ Support the consumer with meaningful insights ⇨ Tend to a particular audience ⇨ Should be easily accessible © 2019 ThoughtWorks
  • 7. 7 ⇐ MANAGEMENT DASHBOARD For keeping management informed and in the loop KPI DASHBOARD ⇒ For informed department meetings and keeping track of business relevant numbers ⇐ SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS For sharing specific public information relevant to the location and situation where it is consumed ENGINEERING DASHBOARDS ⇒ For keeping everyone on the team alert and focused on the most important events LOTS OF TRAFFIC ON THE M4 Sorry 24 minutes of delay © 2019 ThoughtWorks
  • 9. Turning information into meaning Making sense of what you are experiencing 9 All of your senses are involved, some you trust more than others to provide you with information Perception Making sense of the information you received and how the relate to your situation at hand Processing Committing the discovered result, its dependencies and its connections to memory Storing Connecting the processed information with other pre-existing knowledge and experience Connection Deriving meaning from the resulting connection and its dependencies Meaning © 2019 ThoughtWorks
  • 10. PROCESSING INFORMATION IS HARD BECAUSE ... 10© 2019 ThoughtWorks COMPLEXITYFILTERSNOISE
  • 11. “Complexity is the worst enemy of security. Secure systems should be cut to the bone and made as simple as possible. There is no substitute for simplicity. Unfortunately, simplicity goes against everything our digital future stands for.” → Bruce Schneier in “Secrets and Lies - Digital Security in a networked World” 11 COMPLEXITY IS EVERYWHERE It’s as hard to even realize a situation or event is complex Addressing it with simplicity can lead to other, sometimes even more serious issues Complexity has a lot of components, obscure dependencies, non-linear resolution strategies and information asymmetry Subjective experience and knowledge play a part in dealing with complexity NOT YOUR USUAL ANNOYING YAK © 2019 ThoughtWorks
  • 12. 12
  • 13. 13
  • 14. 14
  • 15. 15
  • 16. REDUCING INFORMATION OVERLOAD LEADS TO BETTER DECISIONS 1.Information available, but neither relevant nor requested 2.Information available and requested, but not relevant 3.Information requested, that are not available nor relevant 4.Required information requested but not available 5.Required information not requested, nor available 6.Required and available information not requested 7.Required information available, requested and relevant 16© 2019 ThoughtWorks example of graphic example of graphic 1 7 2 46 5 3
  • 17.
  • 18. 1 out of 4 instances have failed health checks PROD Last updated 5 min ago MY SERVICE PROD Last updated 2 min ago MY SERVICE
  • 19.
  • 20. DESIGN YOUR DASHBOARD TO CREATE MEANINGFUL INSIGHTS 20© 2019 ThoughtWorks Contextual Accessible Relevant Specific Stateless Simple
  • 21. MORITZ HEIBER DEVOPS BIRTH ASSISTANT mheiber@thoughtworks.com | heiber.im toot.thoughtworks.com/@mheiber 21© 2019 ThoughtWorks THANK YOU!
  • 22. 22 REFERENCES “Informationsmanagement” - Marcus Wittkamp, Deutscher Sparkassenvlg.G (May 2004) - http://www.marcuswittkamp.de/EN/start.htm “Informationsstress am Arbeitsplatz: Ursachen und Bewältigung” - Martina Kittl, Böblingen, July 2015: https://hdms.bsz- bw.de/frontdoor/deliver/index/docId/531/file/Diplomarbeit_270705_final.pdf “Elementarwissen medizinische Psychologie und medizinische Soziologie: Theoretisch-psychologische Grundlagen” - https://de.wikibooks.org/wiki/Elementarwissen_medizinische_Psychologie_und_medizinische_Soziologie:_Theoretisch- psychologische_Grundlagen “Vorlesungsskript Allgemeine Psychologie 1: Kognitionspsychologie” - PD Dr. Hellmuth Metz-Göckel, October 2001 - https://eldorado.tu- dortmund.de/bitstream/2003/2950/1/AllgemeinePsychologie1.pdf