Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
The Indicators screen is used to define the key performance indicators (KPI) used within the dashboard features of eXpressTransit. These indicators are used to measure the performance of specific areas within your agency's operations and allow you to make better decisions to improve those areas. With the indicators screen, KPIs can be setup for both internal and external data which will let you to construct dashboards that reflect the interactions between your transit operation and external factors. Developing, implementing and monitoring KPIs can be expensive, difficult and time consuming. The Indicators screen within eXpressTransit attempts to alleviate those issues with an approach that breaks down the components of an indicator for you to adjust and then lets you see the immediate results of those adjustments.
Some indicators are measured daily but when their values are viewed a month at a time, you would like to see the average value instead of the sum, such as tire pressure. This component of an indicator is its summary type and must be identified on the Indicators screen. Another component to adjust is when an indicator is considered to be performing good. Some indicators are considered to be performing well when their value is high, such as ridership. These are considered high-good indicators. Other indicators are performing well when their value is low, such as missed trips, moving violations or wheelchair denials. These are low-good indicators. And finally, some indicators are performing well when their value is near a specific target - such as tire pressure. These are considered to be close-good indicators. Setting whether an indicator is a high-good, low-good or close-good indicator is easy with the Indicators screen and critical to how that indicator is represented on your dashboards. Below is a screen capture of the Indicators screen where you can adjust each indicator's individual components (click for a larger view).
Indicators and Thresholds
An optional component of the indicators you setup in eXpressTransit are its thresholds. Thresholds let you define ranges of the KPIs value that indicate how well it is performing. For a specific route you may set a target of transporting 180 passengers per day. If you reach 95% of that target, that route is considered to be performing acceptably, 50% would be less than acceptable and anything less than that is unacceptable. These ranges can be represented on a chart with color bands that appear behind the indicator's value line and makes it easy to quickly see the performance of that route over a given time frame:
On the second tab of the Indicators screen you can select custom graphics that will reflect the trend of a KPI when shown in a pivot grid:
When the pivot grid is included in a dashboard you can optionally include the trend graphic:
Supporting Indicators - Unlimited Drilldown
Once an indicator is defined on the Indicators screen you can use the Supporting Indicators tab to identify other indicators that may contribute to its performance. An example of such a scenario would be a fuel efficiency KPI for a specific bus with a set of supporting indicators including tire pressure, fuel octane rating and stops per day. When this KPI is included on a dashboard, these supporting indicators will display in a tree-like structure on the side where you can select any of them to view their performance on the same dashboard. The benefit to this is that you can immediately see what factors may be contributing to the poor performance of a particular KPI. As an example, the following image shows a dashboard with a specific route (Route 1) showing in the top chart. On the left is the tree structure showing the supporting indicators for the Route 1 Daily Ridership KPI:
By selecting one of the supporting indicators, the top chart instantly switches to display that supporting indicator's performance. Notice that it's last value represented on the chart is in the range of unacceptable values and appears with a reddish marker. That same status is displayed in the tree structure along with its value and the date of the value. Click for a larger view.
Some indicators you setup may be based on a calculation (sum or average) of other indicators. This is performed by using the Calculations tab on the Indicators screen where you can select the type of calculation to be performed and the KPIs to include:
The Indicators screen also includes a tab that shows all the data for the selected indicator in read-only format. This is extremely useful if you ever need to view sums or averages for a KPI or export its data to file:
Finally, the Indicators screen also includes a chart on the final tab that lets you quickly view the performance of any KPI without having to build a dashboard for it. Below is a sample chart showing the chart on the final tab along with the controls to adjust the timespan. Click for a larger view:
You can also completely customize any of the charts in eXpressTransit with the built-in charting wizard: