This transportation dashboard is just about 10 years old. It has had incredible impact on the agency and shows what quality dashboards can accomplish.
Now in its third major version, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) dashboard continues to provide clarity and value to its user base. First profiled by the Dashboard Spy, this transportation dashboard is a MUST SEE dashboard example for all dashboard design teams. Here’s a dashboard screenshot. Link to the live example will follow.
Go here to try out this amazing business intelligence dashboard example:
Here is some background:
The VDOT Transportation Dashboard received first place in the 2006 CodeCharge Studio Developer awards and the Center for Digital
Government’s 2005 Best of the Web award. CXI’s QMAC (Quality Assurance, Management and Compliance) development team received the 2005 Commissioner’s Award for Excellence for innovation and quality improvement. The success of the Dashboard was written about in multiple state and national publications including “Red Light, Green Light,” an article in the June 2003 issue of Government Technology magazine.
The primary goal of the original Project Dashboard was to get VDOT construction projects on time and budget and to hold the agency accountable for its performance. The system color codes projects like a traffic signal; green, yellow or red, according to the current status. Green means that the project is on time and within budget.
Yellow means that the project is at risk or slightly off track. Red means the project is behind schedule, over budget or has too many work orders. This visual method of displaying the status is simple for the general public and provides VDOT employees with a broad, cumulative view of VDOT’s performance.
Before the Dashboard, VDOT used two mainframe systems to track projects. One system tracked projects before advertisement. The other tracked monthly payments to contractors. VDOT employees had to manually calculate project totals by collecting information from both systems. The process was time consuming and VDOT
desperately needed a better management and reporting tool.
The original Dashboard launched internally in August 2002 and to the public in March 2003. While the main reason for the system is to give VDOT employees a
way to keep track of project progress, the benefits of releasing the Dashboard to the public are huge. Citizens can email the VDOT engineer responsible for the
project and immediately receive an automated reply with a tracking number. A personal response follows later. There is also a FAQ (frequently asked
questions) section for users to learn more. VDOT’s Public Dashboard received 82,348 hits (314,280 page views) in 2004, so citizens are taking notice. Overall,
citizens feel better informed about VDOT’s operations as a whole and also the status of particular projects that impact their daily lives.
The number of VDOT’s projects finishing within budget rose to 68% for the first half of fiscal year 2005, from just 22% four years ago. Internally, Dashboards have transformed VDOT’s project management. The number of projects finishing within budget has risen to 68% (in the first half of fiscal year 2005) from just 22% four years ago. “Many projects have fallen from about 200 percent over their original estimated time frames to about 30 percent over their time
frames” Commissioner Shucet stated in the Daily Press. For fiscal year 2006, 84% of projects were on-time and 86% were on budget.
The Dashboard is VDOT’s web-based performance reporting system. VDOT employees and Virginia citizens can access the Dashboard at http://dashboard.virginiadot.org. Version 2 was launched in July 2005 and expanded the original Project Dashboard to cover all of VDOT’s operations including construction, maintenance, engineering, finance, safety, operations and environment. Users can customize reports to see statewide statistics or learn about specific projects. A data warehouse stores the information that the Dashboard displays. The data comes from various VDOT applications like the financial, construction management and utilities management systems. It can be sorted by region or a project’s size and is updated daily.