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Manager's Dashboard 79 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.
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80 Integrating Airport Information Systems Figure 7-1. Example of finance/administration manager's dashboard.
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Manager's Dashboard 81 Figure 7-2. Example of operations and security manager's dashboard.
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82 Integrating Airport Information Systems Figure 7-3. Example of engineering manager's dashboard.
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Manager's Dashboard 83 Figure 7-4. Example of maintenance manager's dashboard.