The Fallacy of Dashboards


by Santiago Morales

Exploring the essence of dashboards and the evolution of parking intelligence, it’s essential to debunk a common misconception. Dashboards, widely considered as indispensable tools, enable organizations to derive valuable insights from their data, serving as a singular source of trust, providing real-time monitoring, and empowering decision-making. However, they are not infallible.

During the mid-90s, presenting statistical data in an accessible format for non-data-oriented individuals posed a challenge. Excel emerged as the go-to tool, revolutionizing data presentation. Reams of information could be visualized in a relatively simple format, especially for visual learners. Fast forward a decade, dashboards evolved from manual Excel sheets to formalized applications, seamlessly pulling data from diverse sources. These dashboards introduced Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), theoretically aiding informed business, financial, and operational decisions. However, they predominantly showcased static data—limited snapshots of past performance in selected metrics.

The contemporary landscape presents a paradigm shift where dashboards are ubiquitous, promising groundbreaking insights straight out of a sci-fi movie. In-Parking Sight capitalizes on modern tools, transcending conventional dashboards. The Parking Intelligence Dashboard fuses data from multiple streams, offering correlations between seemingly disparate pieces of information. This amalgamation facilitates predictive models, envisioning potential future operations and financial changes based on user inputs.

In the current realm, managing parking resources entails navigating various variables. While traditional dashboards display these variables, we aim to delve deeper, showcasing their interplay. This empowers organizations to model scenarios and predict outcomes accurately.

The ongoing trend is to transcend operational reports and delve into insights that help users better understand their data sets. So, are dashboards obsolete? Not at all. They undoubtedly serve a purpose and remain remarkably useful. However, the need arises to distinguish a conventional “dashboard” from “parking intelligence” and unlock true insights for enhancing overall parking experiences.

Santiago Morales is CEO of In-Parking. He can be reached at