Following up on FEVS: Saving Time and Money while Facilitating Decision-Making through Dashboards
July 5, 2018 in Informed Decision-Making
By Scott Waymouth
Last April, we introduced and explored a number of Federal Employee Viewpoint (FEVS)-related topics, including Preparing for the Survey, Navigating Results, and Action Planning. As we begin a month’s worth of posts focusing on reporting and dissemination of information, we wanted to revisit FEVS from a new perspective.
Anyone who has worked on a survey analysis that involves tens to hundreds of questions broken out by a similar number of differentiating demographic factors will tell you that it can be quite the task to make sense of all of this data! With the broad range of topics addressed and the multitude of ways that the data can be sliced and diced, it can be easy to fall into the trap of conducting the analysis in a very generalized way that uses standard indices to look at the overall themes and, in doing so, sacrifices the nuanced data that might only be pertinent to a small subset of your audience. No! Don’t do this! Instead, focus on creating interactive dashboard reports that will allow for your audience to adjust the granularity and scope of the reports to their own specific needs.
Now, you may be asking yourself, “What is a dashboard? And why is this so much better than just relying on my standard ‘Best Place to Work’ index?” Great questions! Let me tell you. Dashboards are the following:
Configurable: Dashboards allow you to set up standard reports that you are interested in viewing on a regular basis. Depending on organizational and personal preferences, you may choose to use a certain type of report over another (i.e., bar chart vs line graph), or build in multiple dashboard pages for different views of the same data.
Customizable: In addition to allowing for tailored configurations, dashboard solutions allow for user-specific and role-based customization. There may be specific questions on the FEVS or other surveys that are only relevant to a small portion of your organization. Rather than including this on all reports (cluttering everyone’s experience) or excluding it altogether (depriving some of your organization from relevant data) why not have it appear for those interested and not appear for those that aren’t?
Interactive, Scalable, and Filterable: One of the biggest advantages of dashboards is that they are not static reports, and instead can be adjusted through the use of interactive filters and controls. Users can quickly adjust the scope of a report from organization-wide to a specific office, position, gender, age group, or any combination of the above factors. This allows for users to quickly hone in on the data they are interested in to answer the questions that are most relevant to them. Will a ‘Best Place to Work Index’ help you determine what is causing mid-career program managers to leave your organization? No? Do you think being able to compare that population’s survey scores on specific questions to the organizational average or that of another population might be helpful? Yes? Me too.
Efficient: Dashboards save you money! Lots of it! If I wanted to develop a nuanced static analysis for every office in my organization, I would be crunching numbers in perpetuity. Instead, I can create a dashboard that contains all of the data and tools to slice, dice, filter, and compare and let each user hone in on what is most important to them. Additionally, once I have the dashboard set up, all I need to do is feed in the new data each year to keep it up to date!
In summary, dashboards give the analytical power to users so that they can easily create the reports that they need to answer their own specific questions. And, by reducing the time required to develop these analyses, dashboards give you more time to actually use the data to inform decisions rather than banging your head against a wall creating books upon books of static charts. Convinced that dashboards are awesome and want to learn more about using dashboards at your organization? Reach out to us at BD@fmpconsulting.comto learn more.