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3 Unusual, Free of Charge Approaches To Enrich Your Airline Operations Dashboard

Airline Operations KPI Dashboards are such great tools to create an enterprise-wide situational awareness. First and foremost, these dashboards are about visualizing KPIs. For example, on-time performance, regularity, or misconnex ratio. Secondly, it is about real-time information and details about upcoming flights, ground events, etc.

Most of the airlines I know focus on those aspects solely. But airline operations dashboards offer much broader possibilities to show relevant information beyond KPIs and flight information.

With this blog post, we focus on three very unconventional approaches to enrich your dashboard. Although probably unconventional, each of the three approaches offers many benefits to improve operations further and create an enhanced situational awareness.

And good news first: Each of the approaches is usually free of charge or can be implemented with very low financial effort.

Video Stream

No, I’m talking about showing the CNN news channel on your dashboard. Although this is also possible, I don’t consider this as a meaningful use case.

However, when talking to our clients, we’ve found out that live video streams of crucial airport areas play an important role in assessing operational situations.

Think about essential areas, for example:

  • Check-in counters
  • Security control
  • De-icing pads
  • Runways
  • etc.

Of course, this is something that has to be coordinated and arranged together with the airport operator. Nonetheless, especially at home bases, important hubs or bases, airlines are in a position to coordinate this with the airport operator.

Providing a real-time view on the above-mentioned sensitive areas help especially operations and hub controller to assess situations better and subsequently make decisions of a higher quality.

The picture below gives an idea about how video streams can be integrated into an airline operations dashboard.

Single Widget
Widget integrated into dashboard (bottom right)

Social Media Information

Social media information —especially Twitter and Facebook— reflect another relevant source that helps to broaden one’s situational horizon. When talking about social media in the context of airline operational situational awareness, we can distinguish between two strategies.

Accordingly, that means we are not talking about alternative use cases of a dashboard, but use cases the infrastructure —mainly a required data warehouse— brings with it.

Strategy 1 – Social Media Deep Dive

This strategy provides detailed, unfiltered, and raw information (single tweets, Facebook comments, etc.). Since this approach will generate a whole bunch of data and a continuous, never-ending news stream, you should carefully use it. Otherwise, you’ll be flooded with information that does not provide any substantial benefit at all.

From our experience, applying this strategy makes sense for your home base or important hubs again. That means using hashtags is critical to filter messages. The deep-dive strategy holds the potential to identify future problems proactively and to gather a complete situational picture.

And the cool thing: This strategy is not limited to your airline but can be extended to competitors easily.

Here’s a mockup how social media deep-dive information can look:

Strategy 2 – Aggregated Information

The second strategy is about aggregating and curating information. That means you don’t show single tweets or Facebook comments but take these data as an input stream to create KPIs and insightful information out of it.

This strategy helps to create a comprehensive, broader, and global picture of how your airline is currently performing — from your customers’ perspective.


Another approach is about using your operational dashboard to show important news, alerts, and information. But in contrary to social media information, you can utilize your internal data.

Many of our clients have started to deploy this functionality during the last year. That can be automatically triggered information. Just think about AOGs or 180 minutes delay. But also manually triggered alerts with a high relevance to other stakeholders/departments. However, to push information only to relevant departments/persons, it is necessary to utilize some kind of roles/rights concepts.

With our product, the aWall, for example, it is possible to create notification automatically but also to manually input important news.
In both cases, it can be selected/defined to which user (groups) the information shall be distributed.

And here’s the result how notifications can be visualized on your dashboard:

Single Widget
Integrated in dashboard (bottom left)

Accordingly, that means we are not talking about alternative use cases of a dashboard, but use cases the infrastructure —mainly a required data warehouse— brings with It.

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Benjamin Walther

CEO, Frankfurt

Benjamin is Information Design's CEO and a proven content-maniac. Besides running a successful business and developing pioneering ideas, he's dedicated to writing blog posts and creating content.

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