How to Build Infrastructure Performance Dashboards that Resonate with Executives

Infrastructure Performance Dashboards that Resonate with Executives

You spend a ton of time building the perfect performance monitoring dashboard. It’s a thing of beauty. It’s loaded with graphs and data about the health of your infrastructure.

And then an executive sees it. And you have to start all over again.

How do you build performance monitoring dashboards that excite executives? How do you provide insight that allows them to make better business decisions?

It all starts with knowing your audience and their needs. There are a few things you must keep in mind when designing dashboards or reports for executives:

  • Simplicity – 17th century French mathematician and logician Blaise Pascal once said, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” Translation: simplicity is more difficult to achieve than complexity. But simplicity is exactly what any executive wants from a dashboard or report. Get rid of the clutter of too many charts and graphs. Boil it all down to a single KPI, or an easy red/yellow/green indicator of status. This will help the executive better understand current and future performance of your infrastructure.
  • Comparative Views – Did that recent configuration change improve performance of the service or application? Did that technology upgrade deliver the desired return on investment? Be sure to graph performance pre- and post-change in a side-by-side view. This way you can provide executives with concrete proof that the project was worth the time and money.
  • Financial Impact – How much are SLA violations costing your business each month? How did downtime of a specific application or service impact your financial standing? These are questions business leaders need to understand. Look for ways to correlate a dollar amount with violations and downtime. Then extrapolate that over the frequency and duration of service issues. Now you have a tangible number that allows executives to weigh financial impact against the cost of rectifying the issue.