When we drive most vehicles, these have a dashboard with gauges telling us the important things we need to know about what is happening with the vehicle and how it is going. The dashboard may indicate speed, how much fuel is left plus warnings like temperature in case things are not going as well as they should be.
When executives want to know the status of what they are in charge of to help them make informed decisions based on the data, they could have a online dashboard with that information. This dashboard may tell them what they need to know about sales figures, units produced, project milestones reached, global growth by region or whatever information is relevant to them as it changes daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and/or annually.
Computers have dashboards as well and so do some mobile phones.
Some DAM systems have dashboards too. Sometimes these dashboards are part of the DAM system and sometimes they are extra add-ons which may measure data from other related ECM systems as well.
Why have a dashboard? Would you rather be uninformed? Do like shuffling reports or spreadsheets instead? Would you rather script your way through this data because there is some illusion that this is easier to do on a daily or weekly basis, then filter to the information needed each and every time?
Does a frequently updated (or live) presentation of the information you need to make informed decisions (based on the actual data, not gut feelings) sound more useful? Why would you not want this? Are you afraid of progress or the lack of it? Do you fear having this measured for you in useable numbers and digital charts so you can find out what is not working as well?
To paraphrase Peter Drucker, we can not manage what we do not measure and we can not measure what we do not define. If we do define what we need to measure, we can add this to dashboard, analyze the data in a clear, manageable way and make informed decisions as we watch the changes over time.
In May 2011, I gave a presentation about DAM Reporting, Measuring and Auditing at the Henry Stewart DAM Conference in New York City. I spoke about how to measure what is happening within the DAM and the power of DAM reporting. Some might think it is a really boring topic. So did I, but it was worth talking about since no one else was. It was so boring that the room for this presentation was standing room only. Not so boring I guess.
How to measure what is happening within the DAM comes down to filtering and using a dashboard. You could do that with reports with more processing and analysis. It is just more work.
Everyday, we are have more data, information and knowledge rain down on us. Managing this mountain of data is a matter of filtering to what is needed. If we are drowning in it, Clay Shirky put it best by explaining this is simply filter failure.
Being uninformed and ignorant of what is going on with your technology as well as your business is so 20th century. Filter. Analyze. Prioritize. Get a dashboard and use it to look at what the data and information says about what you define, measure and manage.