As more and more companies start to build web enabled dashboards there are a lot of considerations in just how they look. It's not just about color anymore. Concerns range from how far from how high off the ground will the screen be, will it be accessible on a phone, and do you need to have a print version are all important considerations.
We are probably going to make a lot of IT departments mad by publishing this but we think it's an important subject to discuss. "Shadow-IT" often has a very negative connotation and with all the press on vendors doing really stupid things that ultimately exposed companies like Target to cyber attacks we understand why. However, Shadow-IT does not have to be dangerous and in many cases it's needed to get the job done at large organizations. If you follow a few simple guidelines you can have security and a successful project without the hassles many IT projects face.
The largest challenge with building dashboards and custom reporting is not getting the information. It's about taking the wealth of information and making it meaningful. Find out why miles per gallon, megabytes, and calories are completely irrelevant to your life.
Atul Gawande's book The Checklist Manifesto has quickly become a business classic. If you haven't read it an oversimplification of the book is that using a checklist massively increases quality and accuracy and prevents errors. He works through how checklists allow skyscrapers to be built in months with a failure rate of nearly zero. How pilots used checklists to make routine tasks like takeoffs become safer, and ultimately how they help in his industry, medicine.
If you’re running a successful business you’re probably looking at some important numbers on a weekly or monthly basis. While there are a number of names for these number reporting systems (Scorecard, Critical Numbers, KPI’s) most of our clients call them a Dashboard. We’ve helped a lot of clients automate these over the years so we wanted to share a few common problems that clients develop when they use a company dashboard along with a few quick ideas to make them easier and more beneficial to use.
Switchbox is excited to announce the launch on Skinny Ohio. We had a great time modernizing this site for the Auditor of State in collaboration with Conrad Phillips Vutech. The new Skinny Ohio boasts a slick user interface, responsive design, and custom CMS built on Dot Net Nuke framework.
One of the big buzzwords that everyone has probably heard of when working with, or working as, developers is Agile Development. A large sect of this methodology does not directly impact a client and is more how developers work, as such we will gloss over those for now. Agile, as it relates to clients, be they big businesses, mom and pop shops, or single-person operations, is excellent when it comes to getting client involvement, engagement, and most importantly getting a client what they want and need, whether or not they can articulate it without seeing progress as it goes on.
People Seem to enjoy using their Fitbit; It Magically makes staying in shape fun. I hear people talking about how they won X competition or are ahead in Y group almost daily in our office. Yet, the Fitbit itself does absolutely nothing to help you exercise. It doesn't weigh anything, it doesn't suck fat out of your blood stream and it doesn't increase your heart rate. You just slap it on your wrist and go about your day like normal. What it does do is measure progress against a goal with regular updates. This helps achieve a bigger result. Per this famous quote from Peter Drucker, "What gets measured gets done".
We all know that people have bad habits. Some people may bite their nails, swear, stress eat or drink too much coffee. We’ve all had our fair share of forming and continuing bad habits within our own lives. While we aren’t really sure why or how a bad habit is formed, it is clear that […]
When we talk about user experience, or UX, we tend to think about wire framing. This is for obvious reasons: it is simple, cheap, and does a good job of conveying what we will provide to our clients. Even still, wire framing cannot provide the details clients need to make informed decisions and fully appreciate […]
Here at Switchbox, we have two development teams, focusing on different languages and technologies. On one side, we have a .NET team focusing on Microsoft technologies – Windows, SQL Server, and C#/ASP.NET. On the other, we have an open-source team primarily working with Linux, MySql, and Ruby on Rails. All of our developers are great […]
One of Switchbox’s client, AppRiver, headquartered in Gulf Breeze Florida, specializes in email and web security and protects their users with the latest spam and virus protection possible. They offer web security, email encryption, and Office 365 backed by 24 hour customer support. Attention to detail can be found throughout AppRiver.com and their 404 page […]
One of the most difficult things a developer faces is choice- which language, framework, method etc. and when to use something or when not to use something. The stress for most developers is palpable, and the choices are a crippling part of this anxiety. Enter ‘convention over configuration’. At its core, the concept of applying […]
Company culture has become a huge topic within organizations. Understanding what brings in good employees and keeps them around is an added advantage to an employer. While most companies, at one point, may have never even considered the idea, it seems like an unavoidable topic in today’s businesses as more and more potential candidates ask […]
Switchbox is currently in the discovery phase with a new client, Farber Specialty Vehicles. Farber is a Custom Coach company located in Columbus, Ohio that has been building custom coaches for over 80 years. A large portion of their customers are in the health care field and their custom coaches are used as mobile health […]
Recently we were engaged by a client in financial services to help find a better way to track participants at their events. The problem was one we see a lot, this organization offered continued education for their clientele and they were concerned people were registering for events but not attending and then still requesting credit. […]
A few years ago, a good friend of mine bought me a new automated coffee machine. It had a built-in coffee grinder making an easy prep at night for fresh brewed coffee in the morning. The only problem was that this particular coffee maker came with a 30 page manual and training DVD. The machine […]
Farber is a family owned business located in Columbus who specializes in the design and development of manufacturing custom specialty vehicles. Starting in the early 1970s, Farber has grown from a van-to-camper converter business to a well-adapted company that now meets the demands of creating medical vehicles and various other in demand vehicles. Brothers Nick, […]
This is the type of question you hope you never have to ask your children but I promise, it’s not as bad as it sounds. Let me explain. Switchbox solves unique business problems. We do this in almost every industry: medical, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, etc. We even work in a few unique industries like prisons, […]
We recently had a client that encountered a problem that was typical for several organizations…lots of information spread out across several shared drives or networks with no easy access or even awareness of what was out there. Administration, storing and accessing information is a critical process for a company’s behind the scenes success and a […]