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Jun 23, 2011

My entry in Perceptual Edge dashboard contest

Last month, I submitted an entry to Stephen Few's dashboard competition. He supplied data for one teacher's class and asked for a dashboard that the teacher could use to "rapidly and effectively monitor the performance of her students for the purpose of helping them improve their mathematics skills." I think my entry missed the mark by being more of an analytical dashboard instead of a descriptive dashboard.

The winning entries took the latter approach by featuring a giant table containing all the data. (You'll find many other entries in Stephen Few's discussion forums.) I do have a student table along the right side, for look-up of common items (answering "What's my grade?" questions). But the prime real estate in the upper left is for some analytical highlights, and next to that are details for a selected student.

In the student table, I tried a small "wedge" graph to represent how each student is doing toward their goal. But based on comments, I'm not sure it worked so well.

It's a small area chart plotting current grade to goal grade with the idea is that a student whose grade is below goal has an uphill journey ahead, but some read the upward line as a good thing.

You may notice that my entry doesn't look a lot like JMP output. I performed all the table manipulations, analysis, tabulating and graph building in JMP, but used Adobe Illustrator for final assembly and styling. I was pleasantly surprised how well all the components translated in a way that Illustrator could recognize the structures for further editing. Here is the original Graph Builder view of the sparklines, for example.

After copying into Illustrator, I removed all but the lines and sized it to fit into the table that I had already copied in from Tabulate. The dashboard was a great exercise. I found ways where JMP can do better for making this kind of view and was pleased at how well JMP served to create all the parts.

Community Member

Walter Paczkowski wrote:

This is very interesting. Could you share the JSL code and a demo so we can see more than just a small screenshot?




Xan Gregg wrote:

Thanks, Walt. There wasn't really any JSL, unless you count a few formula columns for the current vs. goal plots. If there is enough interest, I could work on a "making of" post, if that's what you mean.

Community Member

Kun wrote:


I look forward to seeing your "making of"post. Thanks, Kun