National Academies Press: OpenBook

Integrating Airport Information Systems (2009)

Chapter: Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard

« Previous: Chapter 6 - Architecture, Strategies, Technologies, and Contracts
Page 78
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Integrating Airport Information Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14234.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Integrating Airport Information Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14234.
×
Page 79
Page 80
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Integrating Airport Information Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14234.
×
Page 80
Page 81
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Integrating Airport Information Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14234.
×
Page 81
Page 82
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Integrating Airport Information Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14234.
×
Page 82
Page 83
Suggested Citation:"Chapter 7 - Manager s Dashboard." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2009. Integrating Airport Information Systems. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14234.
×
Page 83

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A manager’s dashboard is a graphical user interface (GUI) that an airport manager can easily access on a computer desktop. The technology behind a self-configurable dashboard exists today. But the level of data integration needed to deliver the desired data has not been widely implemented, although such integration does exist on a small scale, as noted in Chapter 2. This chapter does not provide instructions to create a specific dashboard; rather, as the culmination of this Handbook, it presents the lowest level detail to help managers understand the vision for a fully integrated airport in the form of their own desktop dashboard. This chapter discusses key con- siderations when configuring the manager’s dashboard and provides some example images, in the following sections: • The Dashboard, • Dashboard Indicators, • SMART Indicators, and • Sample Dashboards. The Dashboard The manager’s dashboard provides information from many different sources. Managers can use these pieces of information to create a coherent picture of the overall business situation. The manager’s dashboard, like the gauges on a pilot’s instrument panel, gives a general picture. It is up to the manager to use this information to keep the airport on a successful course. The saying “If you have seen one airport, you have seen one airport” can also apply to dashboards: If you have seen one manager’s dashboard, you have seen only one manager’s dashboard. Airport managers should be able to customize (or configure) their own dashboards because every manager deals with different priorities, problem areas to monitor, reporting requirements, and so on. Developing the manager’s dashboard is a key part of the early integration process. In Step 1 of Chapter 3, Best Practices for Integration, airport senior and middle managers listed their objec- tives and identified what business-critical information they needed to work effectively. This list is the foundation for any self-configurable dashboard. In a fully integrated airport, each man- ager can configure his or her own business-critical information, and airport software systems work together to provide that information. To configure a dashboard, the manager needs to identify parameters such as the following: • Data that constitute the information. For example, what data are needed—and in what format— to calculate landing fees? • Time frames. Real-time data, daily, weekly, or monthly? • Thresholds of information needed. At what amount of a cost overrun should senior manage- ment be informed? 78 C H A P T E R 7 Manager’s Dashboard

Dashboard Indicators An airport is a complex conglomeration of many different systems, variables, and actions. It is a huge task to keep tabs on every tiny piece. Manager’s dashboards become more manageable if they present indicators that represent only key pieces or the whole system at a glance, rather than the entire array of information available. Indicators need to be chosen carefully to be sure that they actually represent a wider array of information. Like the warning lights on a pilot’s instrument panel, the indicators closely monitor information that is sensitive to change and signal a problem long before it becomes apparent in other ways. Alternatively, indicators can be the pilot light on a gas stove—a driving force or a precondition, just as without that pilot light, the stove will not light. SMART Indicators When deciding what indicators to view from the manager’s dashboard, use the acrostic SMART to remember the following characteristics of useful indicators: • Specific. Information on the dashboard can be used not only to convey useful information at a glance to managers, but also to communicate an airport’s status to the public, planners, and others. A specific number might be easier for these groups to understand. For example, “2,309 more flights this year from Terminal A than last year,” is more readily understood than “The number of flights from Terminal A increased by 13 percent.” • Measurable. Use a measurable indicator that is not vague. “X percent of gross revenues” paints a far more vivid picture than does “pretty good.” If it is not easy to readily collect, mea- sure, record, and use a piece of information, then consider how useful—or how potentially dangerous—that information is. If everyone interprets the same data in different ways, this leads to confusion. To develop an effective indicator, determine what data are readily avail- able or can be measured directly at that site (gate, point-of-sale, security line). • Accurate. Accurate information goes well beyond simply getting the numbers right. Show these numbers in context; be able to explain why and how that indicator is used, what it means, and how it is checked. • Relevant. An indicator should be relevant to an airport’s overall set of information. Make sure that the indicator comes from the appropriate pool of information. • Timely. Although monthly and weekly reports provide good information to identify and solve chronic and long-term problems, real-time decision-making requires real-time information— whether it is the cumulative impact of construction change orders or overflowing parking lots. Be proactive instead of reactive. Determine when the information is needed and how often— in real time, daily, weekly, or monthly. Be sure the indicator can depict the airport’s status when and how it is needed. SMART indicators also need to be reliable. To test reliability, build in comparisons, which are also a good way to ferret out potential problems with the data. Even when using indicators, the information each manager wants to appear on her or his dashboard can be unwieldy. To refine these indicators, identify priorities among them. Priori- ties should dictate the information hierarchy—what information is shown on the first screen and what information is available by drilling down through the dashboard data layers. Sample Dashboards Figures 7-1 through 7-4 are samples of manager’s dashboards for Finance and Administration, Operations and Security, Engineering, and Maintenance. Managers can use these examples to help determine what they need to see on their own dashboards. Manager’s Dashboard 79

80 Integrating Airport Information Systems Figure 7-1. Example of finance/administration manager’s dashboard.

Manager’s Dashboard 81 Figure 7-2. Example of operations and security manager’s dashboard.

82 Integrating Airport Information Systems Figure 7-3. Example of engineering manager’s dashboard.

Manager’s Dashboard 83 Figure 7-4. Example of maintenance manager’s dashboard.

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TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 13: Integrating Airport Information Systems is designed to help airport managers and information technology professionals address issues associated with integrating airport information systems. A summary of the efforts associated with the development of ACRP Report 13 was published online as ACRP Web-Only Document 1: Analysis and Recommendations for Developing Integrated Airport Information Systems.

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