Apriso Dashboard Builder: A new way to visualize production
Studies show that one of the most fundamental ways today to help people cope with information overload is to visualize it. Not only is it easier to analyze and understand relevant information by mapping out data – but it also enables us to quickly discover key patterns, significant trends, and compelling correlations that may otherwise be challenging to see. You don’t just understand what is happening – you know why it is so.
The drawing board
In the past, Apriso did not have an embedded tool that could be used to build interactive dashboards. All screens and charts had to be created manually, which was a time-consuming process that left room for inconsistencies.
With the introduction of the Dashboard Builder, you don’t need to start from scratch if you want to create an interactive report, a dashboard, or a chart. Just drag-and-drop what you need on the screen, bind data to it, maybe do some data shaping, and you are good to go.
The user interface is consistent throughout all elements: the out-of-the-box charts, plots, grids are easy on the eye and easy to use. No additional designing is needed unless you want to go the extra mile. The tool has a lot to offer, from simple charts to maps and gauges. Thanks to its uniform interface, it is easier to analyze data, improve performance, and prevent downtimes.
Additionally, screens designed in this way are highly interactive, responsive, and easy to control. They are perfect for showing data in business presentations.
Dashboard Builder was the first embedded reporting tool that I have used. I had no experience with such proprietary tools in the past. The good news is that I managed to learn how to use very quickly.
At first, it looked complicated and confusing, but it gets progressively more natural to use the more you play with it. Options are laid out logically and are just a few clicks away. Drag-and-drop capabilities help to position items on the screen quickly and efficiently. Reports and data visualizations became faster to create, and in some areas, the tool was even more capable than MS Excel.
I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly I can make dashboards – it took no time for me to create a finished report from scratch. Even for someone without an eye for design, like myself, making a neat-looking and laid out dashboard was a breeze.
I think that even people without a lot of technical skills can learn to use this tool and then create their reports. This approach can significantly speed up the analysis process and, consequently, the adjustment to changes in data or parameters.
Still not ideal
Like with most things in life, there is always some room for improvement. I have noticed a couple of issues that can be troublesome:
Sporadic lags and reloads may occur.
The dashboard is a dynamic screen designed for display – so far, the only export options are non-editable files that leave out portions of large datasets (e.g., for massive spreadsheets, only page 1 is shown).
I like working with Dashboard Builder. It is intuitive and interactive. Although it has a few minor flaws, with time and development, they will surely be fixed. The tool looks modern, and its functionalities reflect the direction in which the market will be going. Dashboard Builder is an excellent addition to the Apriso MES product portfolio.
About the author
Mateusz Ziomek is a Consultant at Andea responsible for MES solution delivery. He has an analytical mind and loves to break issues down to their elementary components and then look for the most effective way to solve them. Mateusz likes to stay busy. He is now part of a team that is developing an Apriso MES solution for a company that is a world leader in air conditioning systems. He is also in the process of obtaining a Computer Science degree from the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow.
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