Using the Dashboard to Drive Your Business Performance

by Marjo Martinez, in Tech Talk, posted 3/4/11

Overview
Today’s growing information and communication technology is altering how companies operate and move forward in a global environment. Because of the real-time nature of information being transmitted, organizations need a way to easily track up-to-the minute performance and operational statistics in order to make effective business decisions more rapidly. AutoMate BPA Server 8’s new Dashboard feature is the ideal solution to tackle such an issue.

Dashboard feature

The Dashboard is an intuitive information interface (similar to an automobile's dashboard) that allows managers and administrators the ability to view the data they need to make effective business decisions and to take appropriate actions. It supplies a variety of sharp looking circular, linear and digital gauge controls to convey real-time information regarding BPA Server workflow execution, CPU usage, number of connected agents, pending tasks and a variety of other process- and system-related data that can be of crucial importance.

The Dashboard comes equipped with the Server Management Console. To access the Dashboard component from the SMC's Navigation Panel, simply select the Dashboard tab. Developing Dashboard items is fast and easy with AutoMate BPA Server’s drag and drop capability and intuitive design interface. In addition, the Dashboard is role-based. Therefore, each user accessing the system has the ability to create their own custom Dashboard that displays only the information they need.

Creating Dashboard Items
The SMC is equipped with a default Dashboard view that displays an assortment of gadgets and list items to view or modify. Numerous options are available to change the look of gauges and associated, data elements, with the possibility of creating an unlimited number of customizable views. As a result, users can create their own unique Dashboards using favorite themes, control styles and background colors.

To Create a New Dashboard Item:

  1. From the SMC’s Dashboard section, click the New button. A new blank view is displayed with the default name of "New View" highlighted.
  2. Rename the view to your liking. Note that you cannot rename the Dashboard after this instance.
  3. Click the Edit button. A new Gadgets panel appears with a list of counters and lists to select from.
  4. Drag the desired gadget to the main viewing area.

Customizing Dashboard Items
You can custom tailor a Dashboard item once it is added to the viewing area by clicking the Edit button located on the panel above the main viewing area. This activates several interactive controls (as shown below).

Dashboard items

To Move a Dashboard Item:

  1. Right click the desired Dashboard object and select Bring to Front. These sets focus on the selected item.
  2. Click and hold down the left mouse button on any part of the counter name. The cursor will change to indicate that the item can be moved.
  3. Drag the item to the desired location.
  4. Release the mouse button to complete the move.

To Resize a Dashboard Item:

  1. Right click the desired object and select Bring to Front.
  2. Hover the mouse cursor over the Resize control located on the bottom right corner. The cursor will change to indicate that the item can be resized.
  3. Click and drag the Resize control to the object's desired size.
  4. Release the mouse button to complete the process.

To Delete a Dashboard Item:

  1. Right click the desired object and select Bring to Front.
  2. Click the red "x" button. This permanently removes the item from the current Dashboard view.

Dashboard Item Settings
Clicking the Settings icon displays a dialog box (shown below) that allows you to further customize your Dashboard object. Settings differ between counter and list gadgets. Additionally, settings may differ depending on the type of counter selected. Within a gadget’s settings, you can select the type of BPA Server it should monitor (whether the Management or Execution Server) and define other gadget properties such as color, style and theme. Make sure to click Apply to save changes.

Dashboard item settings

Conclusion
AutoMate BPA Server 8’s Dashboard component empowers businesses with an intuitive monitoring environment, providing the ability to view information from many sources at the same time and from a centralized location. For anyone managing a fast-paced business, this type of component is extremely important. Additionally, Dashboards are one of the most intuitive ways to display data so that managers and executives can make intelligent, data-driven decisions on a daily basis. Just as valuable as the Dashboard on your vehicle, AutoMate BPA Server's Dashboard gives you the information you need to know which way to drive your business at any given time, in any given condition.