This week we launched a new computer application from the Omega Group that has some good potential. It’s the Omega Dashboard, an internal application designed to keep our staff informed. The dashboard is a webpage containing automated, updated content that presents employees them with the common operating picture: an overview of certain trends and information so you can stay abreast of what’s going on in this busy City. The whole idea is to give you at a glance a webpage with key information that you don’t have to fetch: it’s already been pushed to your page.
The Dashboard page is composed of panels called viewers. You can display several viewers in your browser, and they can be clicked on and off, arranged on the page, rolled up or expanded. Each viewer contains maps, data, and reports about incidents, crimes, places, or persons. Each viewer can have multiple pages, through which the user can cycle using the control buttons. These pages usually contain links to much more detailed reports which in turn contain drill downs to an increasing level of detail.
The content on the webpage is customized somewhat to your area of assignment: there is different content for the Northeast Team than for the Southeast Team, and so forth. The content is available for the City as a whole, or just limited to any one of the department’s five geographic commands. Here are some examples:
Crime Trends: A series of graphs of this year's trends by month for selected Part 1 Crimes.
Recent Crimes: Maps and details of selected crimes within the past 3 days: robbery, rape, indecent exposure, burglary, auto theft, larceny from auto.
Registered Sex Offenders: An overview graph of sex offenders by risk level, with a link to the detailed information on each; a map of all high risk sex offenders with an address change in the preceding week, and the details on each.
Hot Persons: Maps and details on each person for whom a new arrest warrant was issued in Lancaster County during the preceding week, and each person for whom a police broadcast (our term for an “all points bulletin”) during the preceding week.
Problem Places: Maps and details about the top 10 locations for false alarms, and the locations of any repeat calls to party disturbances at the same address within the preceding 90 days.
Dashboard News: This viewer contains an RSS feed of brief information or notices from the Crime Analysis Unit (and me!)
I’ve blogged about dashboards a couple times lately. This concept has caught on in business and in government as a means of simplifying vast information resources into snapshot view of a few key indicators. I’ve already seen the preliminary concepts of the next version of the Omega Dashboard already, and it looks like a big jump to a new plateau.