A Dashboard For Everything and Everything on a Dashboard

I tweeted the other day:

I have too many dashboards, so have decided to create a dashboard of dashboards. #

Completely serious.

Dashboards are one of the few situations that solve this pattern: "The only solution for too much $0 is more $0." Like science. (Unlike violence, ditch-digging, etc)*

To help manage NimbleText, I've currently got three dashboards that I visit all too frequently.

First, there's google analytics. I mostly track where visitors are coming from, and whether they're doing the things I want them to do (download nimbletext, visit the pricing page etc.).

Second, there's the (newly created) page where I analyse samples of the patterns that people are creating in the online version. (This is a bit of a privacy minefield, so I've added a note about that here).

Then there's 'dash', the recently created dashboard where I have a bunch of information about sales and product activation.

And currently in the works is another dashboard for managing A/B tests. It will probably be at AirBadge.com, my favorite domain that is currently under-utilised.

That'll make a total of four dashboards. What the hellz!? No one needs four dashboards! Even Dashy McDashman, the dashing darling of Dashville only needs three!

So I plan to make another dashboard that gathers together all the information from the other four. (It'll be at AirBadge too.)

To grab data from google analytics, it will use whatever rest-ful services it can get its hands on. To expose data from my own sites, I'll probably create some jsonp endpoints at each of those sites. Oh, we can call them micro services, and feel modern and clever.

The new dashboard will be basically a page with a bunch of little widgets (<article class='panel' >...). Each widget will have some data attributes that describe how to grab the data it wants. Some widgets will be charts, some will be tables. Some will automatically refresh. They'll probably be laid out using isotype which I've used before. Some could have live information, using that signalr business.

Darling developers of the Mac world, Panic, have created a beautiful dashboard product called Statusboard. My goal is to have almost none of the features of Statusboard, but all the beauty.

* At this point while writing the article, I wanted to list all of the words that do or do not suit that pattern. To accomodate creating and sharing that list, I realised NimbleText Live needed a way to share a pattern, something in the style of JSFiddle. (Richard Mason suggested this feature just last week). So I had to stop writing this article and add that feature in. It's there now. Look for the little Save icon.

Here's some other patterns I've created: Atwood's Law versus Murphy's Law and other correlates. Superhero name generator.. Etc.

 

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