Rajesh has a mock-up of a digital dashboard available.  You can see where this is going.  A portal of one.  All data on the desktop.  Simple, easy to customize, and powerful.” [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

Excellent! I've needed a mock-up of a digital dashboard in order to illustrate some of my ideas for the SLS portal (intranet + extranet). Mainly, I want to show the “snapshot” idea. We have Lots (capitalized, bolded, italicized, in red) of statistics, but we're not very good at displaying and disseminating them. That's one reason so many people don't understand what Illinois Library Systems actually do (including a goodly number of our own members).

A real-time snapshot of these numbers would definitely help, and aggregating them in one place would be essential. Combined with current SLS headlines and usable navigation, it could be a good entry page for the extranet. In addition, having it visible on the intranet would probably be a morale booster because as with most organizations, the criticisms and complaints are always louder than the praise and gratitude.

On a side note, I interlibrary loaned the book Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an Age of Complexity by Karl E. Weick and Kathleen M. Sutcliffe (I know Jim was reading it, as was someone else whose post flew through my aggregator when I had nowhere to blog it). In skimming it, I came across a checklist on page 102 that assesses your organization's preoccupation with failure. The authors use the term failure in a postive way – do you learn from your mistakes, do you improve your services as a result. I've been pre-occupied with this idea for the past few days because I'd like to see us highlight our successes more effectively and implement what we learn from our failures more consistently. I'm one of those people that would rather try and fail than sit and watch on the sidelines, always second-guessing. A digital dashboard might help with the first part, while publish and subscribe (blogging + news aggregation) as an additional form of communication might help with the second.

More on this next month.  [The Shifted Librarian]

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