MICADO: What are cockpits and dashboards?
MICADO is an acronym which stands for Migrant Integration Cockpits and Dashboards. That is why in this article, we explain what exactly are cockpits and dashboards and how can they be helpful for public authorities or for other bodies dealing with migrant integration, but also for the migrants themselves.
Dashboards are information displays that are designed to make essential information visible at a glance. The advantage of presenting information on a dashboard, is that important data sets can be summarized in order to facilitate informed decision-making. Complex data sets, indicators, diagrams and maps can all be integrated into a dashboard. Common forms of data visualizations are bars, columns, pie charts, maps, tables etc. Some dashboards also include interactive elements (buttons, sliders) that show how data is changing over time, or that allow the user to simulate scenarios based on existing data. In this case, dashboards become interactive cockpits. In addition, some dashboards allow the user to access more detailed information by clicking on a graph or data set. Hence, dashboards can be described as the visualization of data sets, which can be updated to include more recent data.
The following features are characteristic of dashboards:
- All essential information is presented on one interface
- Information is visualized, e.g. in diagrams or graphs
- In-depth analyses of statistical data and further details can be displayed by clicking on single dashboard graphs
- Visualisation of real-time information
Furthermore, dashboards can highlight when values hit a specific target range to facilitate timely decisions and actions.
In comparison to dashboards, cockpits are more complex in that they provide options for interaction. They go beyond the visualisation of data. The user can choose certain settings, which will generate specific data outputs and information. The underlying structure, i.e the underlying databases, are similar to dashboards.
When users add personal information to cockpits, they can turn into an online tool for communication and cooperation between different users. This feature can be used to speed up the search and dissemination of relevant information. Using a filter, the user only gets information displayed that is relevant to him or her. Large data sets can be scanned for keywords and filtered accordingly. Because of their useful functions (searching, decision-making, matchmaking), cockpits have become. increasingly popular tools for public administrations. As an example, a cockpit might help a public administration to understand how a new development project resulting in an increased number of residents will affect the existing social infrastructure. Based on the information provided in the cockpit, the administration can decide in which area to build a new school or kindergarten.
The following features are characteristic of a cockpit:
- use of real-time information
- offer well-guided procedures for interaction
In the MICADO project, researchers are investigating how dashboards and cockpits that facilitate the integration process of migrants should look like. This includes questions regarding the functionalities of the cockpits/dashboards, the requirements for data sets to be included in the dashboard, and the design of interfaces.
Dashboards, cockpits, data visualization, migration, integration