Project Spotlight: FermiDash — Fermilab's Executive Dashboard
The Fermilab Dashboard, also known as FermiDash, is a web-based business intelligence system that was developed to meet one of Fermi Research Alliance’s (FRA) contractual obligations to the Department of Energy (DOE)—to provide a management and decision support dashboard for Fermilab.
“FermiDash largely supports the Fermilab Contractor Assurance System (CAS),” says FermiDash Operations Manager Matt Crawford. The CAS, he says, gives DOE insight into the laboratory’s operations and the controls we have in place to keep them correct. To this end, FermiDash displays key performance indicators for each of the management systems, or focus areas, defined in CAS: corporate governance; stakeholder relations; performance planning; science; finance; business operations; environment, safety and health; quality; engineering; information technology and communications. New areas such as “partnerships” will be added as well.
A dedicated team of people from the Computing Sector are working collaboratively with stakeholders across the laboratory to complete Phase 2, the current phase of the FermiDash project. Phase 1, completed in December 2011, involved developing and implementing the technological infrastructure and deploying initial content. Phase 2 is concerned with moving content forward. This phase is divided into seven sub-phases; each spans two months and focuses on two management systems at a time.
“We are trying to be agile,” says Melissa Tanner, FermiDash Project Manager, “[working] with the management system owners to add new content and implement as many improvements as we can in a short period of time.” The team will consult with the data owners several times during the two-month cycle to refine what data they want displayed and show them how the new content appears on the dashboard so that they can provide input along the way.
FermiDash is already starting to replace some of the reports we generate for DOE, thus saving time and effort. Among these is the General Plant Project report, which presents the status of mid-sized construction and renovation projects. Formerly, the Business Services Section compiled a quarterly report and delivered it to the DOE. Now that information is delivered through the dashboard. FermiDash is also starting to be used in weekly laboratory management meetings to convey performance against goals in areas such as ES&H. As the dashboard evolves and additional content is added, the usefulness and effectiveness of FermiDash as an executive-level management tool will continue to grow.
~ Fang Wang