You are on page 1of 7

.

Data-driven Dashboards
Thursday, August 5, 2010
One Representative Client,
Three Specific Examples
Dashboards can be as simple as a report or spreadsheet --
or very detailed, providing near real-time aggregation and analytical
transformation of operational data with drill down and roll up capabilities.
Computech has architected and designed numerous data-driven dashboards for its
clients; at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), such dashboards
facilitate the internal exchange of data and ideas while providing an interactive site
for communication between the regulator and U.S. public.
More than a simple, out-of-the-box reporting tool, these dashboards enable:

Process Optimization;
Decision Support for Multiple Stakeholders;
Messaging and Communication;
Information Analysis; and
Citizen Engagement.

What follows are project descriptions for DTV.gov, Openinternet.gov and


Broadband.gov. All share heretofore unaccessible data and information.
Each dashboard, constructed to support distinct FCC initiatives,
engage the public using social media and web 2.0 techniques.

Defining Features 1

Thursday, August 5, 2010


DTV.gov
Background:
In 2009, Congress required a transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Known as the DTV
transition, Congress charged the FCC with providing real-time information to the general public in
advance of this national switchover.

Challenges:
While the FCC’s main website provided cursory information, such as policy documents and scheduled
transition dates, they could not make available real-time transition data, from public-facing tracking
statistics to internal executive-level decision making. With the vast majority of the U.S. public
uninformed and unequipped for the transition, FCC help desks were flooded with calls from nervous
and confused citizens.

Further complicating the transition: service providers kept customer data private, preventing the FCC
from modeling supply or demand challenges. In addition, allowing industry to shape the message
about the risks and costs of the transition to the public undermined confidence in the FCC.

Solution:
Working with the FCC’s Office of Communication and New Media bureau, we created a dashboard
DTV.gov:: a homepage designed to communicate + crowd-source
specific to the DTV transition, and separate from www.fcc.gov. We built the site to integrate data from
non-standard sources (e.g. national broadcasters and crowd-sourced feedback from the public).
Packaged in a rich, intuitive interface, behind the scenes DTV.gov required complicated analytical
transformations, integration with other systems for key data, and authoring tools that enabled business
users to keep the site up-to-the-minute fresh. This solution enabled FCC staff to mobilize hundreds of
grass roots support organizations, Congressional staff, and millions of U.S. households by providing
up-to-the-day information on:

• Digital conversion penetration by precise geographical boundary;


• Localized transmission simulations for use by the public; and
• Education and outreach material for support and advocacy organizations, end customers and call
centers.

Notable Results:
On June 12, 2009, the transition date, 11,744,906 DTV.gov website page views were recorded, a
record in one day for the FCC. More importantly, Americans “survived” the transition to digital
television without incident, prompting major news organizations to applaud the FCC’s efforts to turn
the digital TV conversion into a non-event for most Americans.

DTV.gov: an interactive reception map shows, in real-time, all available DTV signals

DTV.gov 2

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Openinternet.gov
Background:
The "Open Internet" is the Internet as we know it. It’s open because it uses free, publicly available
standards that anyone can access and build to, and it treats all traffic that flows across the network in
roughly the same way. But the Internet’s openness appears to face some emerging challenges, such as
incidents where broadband providers have restricted the applications their customers can use over their
Internet connections, a lack of transparency about how consumers’ Internet service will function, and
congestion on the network. In light of these emerging challenges and uncertainties about existing
policies, the FCC began a process to seek public input on draft rules of the road that would clarify and
supplement current FCC policies to protect the open Internet.

Challenges:
The idea of “net neutrality” pits commercial interests against public expectations. With legislation Openinternet.gov: tools to engage the public in discussions around net neutrality
pre-dating the Internet confining regulatory interests of the FCC, the Commission needed a dynamic
platform to share ideas, communicate with the public, and engage in online discussions in order to
shape a policy that protects American interests.

Solution:
Despite being faced with an aggressive “fast tracked” deadline, we created this dashboard in a matter
of days as a platform for the Chairman to present his ideas and the Commission’s stance on net
neutrality. At launch, the site comprised YouTube videos, live streamed videos with open comments
and a full blog, ready for FCC use in posting new messages and public engagement. With the
Chairman calling for fair, open and deliberate conversations, we designed the dashboard to collect
input from anywhere and anyone.

Taking an iterative approach to building up Openinternet.gov, we launched an upgraded site to


coincide with the FCC’s October Open Commission Meeting. Loaded with additional pages without
sacrificing the look or flexibility, we redesigned and expanded the dashboard to accommodate
numerous speeches and third party applications. One, an idea and voting platform, allowed the
Commission to collect ideas from citizens, the first use of crowd-sourcing information at the FCC.

Notable Results:
As the debate continues about Internet standards, Openinternet.gov’s blog receives a record setting
10,000 comments from the public. The site successfully integrates offline press relations with online
measures, allowing the media bureau to track mentions and public perception (e.g. favorable or
negative impressions) and connect with the global press in a way previously unimaginable.

Openinternet.gov: video messages welcome visitors to the homepage

Openinternet.gov 3

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Broadband.gov
Background:
In January 2009, President Obama set forth an agenda for universal broadband -- a plan to make high
speed internet service available to all Americans. Congress subsequently directed the FCC to develop
a National Broadband Plan to “ensure every American has access to broadband capability.” With the
plan due to Congress in February, the FCC required a new site to engage key stakeholders in a rapid,
and contentious policy formation exercise.

Challenges:
While the underlying premise of a National Broadband Plan garnered widespread support, many
disagreed on how to achieve the goal of bringing high-speed connections to all Americans. Virtually
all interested parties hailed the FCC's primary goal of the broadband plan; nonetheless,
implementation of its suggestions prove far more complex. With competing interests from carriers and
networking providers to public interest groups and government agencies, the FCC had to develop
creative ways to manage the influx of all incoming data and requests and the wide variety of formats
in which the material was sent. In addition to managing content, the FCC needed to ensure the public
had access to information in a timely and accurate manner. Broadband.gov: rotating homepage provides detailed information on the proposed plan

Solution:
In the interest of transparency, transformation and information organization around the national
broadband plan, we worked with the FCC to build a dashboard that provided maps to represent the
broadband access and availability. Search Engine Optimization ensured that the FCC's material on the
transition were retrieved tops by search engines like Google, not the pages of detractors. Social media
analytics allowed the FCC to measure the effectiveness of their approach to providing an open,
transparent and participatory process to create and develop its policy strategy with public participation.

Notable Results:
The launch of Broadband.gov marked a fundamental shift in policy making at the FCC, as public
forums became truly open to “all interested parties.” The site received over 1,200 comments and over
half million page views in its first week, and and introduced the FCC's first crowd-sourcing tool: over
300,000 tested their connection speed using the “Broadband Speed Test” application in the first week
alone.

A unique feature of Braodband.gov: a “Spectrum Dashboard” that shows all spectrum availability & use

Broadband.gov 4

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Shining a light on data / information
With the recent push to “open” government to the U.S. public, content on an agency’s site cannot remain static. Citizens have raised the bar;
they demand richer, more integrated presentation technologies to facilitate a community dialog. Concurrently, organizations need to collect
better and deeper information that shape initiative-focused projects. One solution: data-driven dashboards, which we create to aggregate data
from heterogeneous systems to provide business intelligence coupled with change/transformation management wrapped around heavy UX.

To go a bit deeper, we fully integrate the online experience to help our federal clients shape policy and practice good government web 2.0. In the
process, we collaborate with our clients to ensure meaningful engagement with their constituencies. To craft an exceptional online presence, we:

• Blend a team of Operations Research with User Experience professionals;


• Analyze and crowd-source data to improve predictability and reduce “re-work;”
• Design communication strategies to reach targeted audiences;
• Employ leading web 2.0 and GIS technologies to support participation objectives; and
• Incorporate diagnostic tools to measure performance.
Be it enterprise mashup dashboards or executive-level, data-driven dashboards, our Data-driven Dashboard practice provides the following
services: Data Management; Interaction Design; Information Architecture; Geographic Information Systems; Data analysis and business
intelligence; Search Engine Optimization; Social Media Analytics; Business Performance Management; and Change Management.

Data-driven Dashboards 5

Thursday, August 5, 2010


7735 Old Georgetown Road, 12th Floor
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

301.656.4030 (main)
301.656.7060 (fax)

computechinc.com
twitter.com/computech

Thursday, August 5, 2010