The distinction between scorecards and dashboards has been a topic of perennial debate. Sometimes the idea of dashboard and scorecard designs “converges” [Though many use the two terms synonymously, there is a subtle difference between the them. Dashboards generally monitor/measure processes as they happen (eg. system operations over the last 24hrs/7-day etc) and scorecards usually evaluate progress towards set objectives (eg. KPI/SLA objectives vs status)].
The focus of this blog post is not to debate or delve into the theoretical aspects of dashboards and scorecards. Rather, it is to share a bit of detail on how dashboards, scorecards or their hybrids (“score-boards” as some term it?) can be built on the Service Health Reporting (SHR) reporting platform.
Here is a simple SysOps Dashboard that has been created based on SHR Systems and OMi content. The source files have been shared on the SHR Community for your reference.
Such visualizations can be created using the following client tools and their components that are part of the SHR enterprise reporting platform.
1. XCelsius – to create the visualization
Details on installing and configuring XCelsius is provided in the HP SHR 9.40 Configuration Guide – Appendix B. The tool offers the capability to create many more types of visualizations than the staple line/bar/pie charts used in WebI reporting interface used in SHR – tree maps, gauges and dials, geo-maps, trend icons and trend analyzers are just a few examples.
2. Data Manager in XCelsius
Enables the integration of QaaWS queries that feed live data from the SHR backend to the dashboard.
3. QaaWS (Query as a Web Service)
The QaaWS client is a nifty utility which helps build a query from the SHR data model in the universes and publish the query to the platform and make it available as a web-service.
In a nutshell, these are the steps to create a dashboard:
Build a set of QaaWS queries
Add the queries as connections in XCelsius using Data Manager
Map the query results to the excel cells
Build your chart/visualization components leveraging the mapped excel cells as data source
This obviously needs bit more elaboration which is detailed via an example and references in this tech write-up on the SHR Community.
Like any other SHR report component that can be integrated with MyBSM, the XCelsius dashboards too can be integrated. For detailed steps on integrating SHR reports or dashboard visualizations in MyBSM, see the SHR 9.40 Integration guide available on SSO.
What’s more? You can also have these dashboards glued to your desktop using BI Widget client. The Widget client can be downloaded from the SHR community. Extract it to your desktop and click on setup to install the same. Note that this is a Desktop client tool and is supported only on Windows.
Widgets also have an auto-refresh configuration option, which could be leveraged for dashboards/desktop report components that could possibly be of interest on NoC dashboards and OpsCenter displays.
Further, it is not just dashboards, select WebI report elements of SHR out-of-the-box reports that can also be used as desktop widgets.
And lastly before I wind up this post, it’s time for some acknowledgement – special thanks to Krishna Rao and Tamilarasi K (from HP SHR R&D) and to Prapulla, B (APM R&D) for their inputs in enabling illustrations described in the context of this article.