Use Digital Signage Dashboards to Engage and Educate

Many organizations, especially those in the higher education market, have taken to using digital signage dashboards to display real-time information about energy consumption. A lot of this boom was inspired by a December 2009 article in Scientific American that showed that, when building inhabitants are kept up to date on energy use on a daily basis, energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 15%.  It’s not just about informing people, but getting them to change their behavior so as to conserve whenever possible. Display your energy dashboard data on your digital signage system to reach the maximum number of people for the maximum positive impact.

Energy dashboards grab info about your building’s energy usage and display this data as graphs that are easy to quickly understand. But since your goal is to get people to change their behavior, displaying those visualizations of your screens, along with reminders (such as “Turn off the lights when you leave” or “Unplug chargers when not in use”) will remind people what they can do to conserve power. And they can see the result of their efforts on your screens, because the data is pulled in real time.

And the information is right there, in the hallways, outside elevator banks, in the library – not buried in a website somewhere – so people are constantly reminded to be a bit greener in the day-to-day activities.

Using gamification principles can get people even more active in their conservation efforts. Have different departments, floors, student groups or dorm areas compete with one another to see who can save the most in a set period of time. Give a tangible reward of some kind to the winners, and repeat the contests frequently, giving others a chance to “win” by doing what you want them to.

Dashboards can be about more than just energy consumption. Adding transportation data like real-time shuttle mapping to your digital signage displays can not only make it easier for people to catch the bus they need, but let them know, for example, that they could spend a bit more time in the coffee shop, making purchases, because their bus has been delayed.

If you track some sort of performance indicators, such as call center KPI data, digital signs showing metrics can be used to get people answering more calls, answering them faster, or getting higher feedback approval ratings. Again, making it a game and introducing a friendly competition with a tangible reward will get the results you are after, while making people feel like what they’re doing is fun and worthwhile, instead of just another directive issued from on high.

Really, just about anything that can be measured can be displayed as a dashboard. If you are having a healthy lifestyle campaign, show FitBit data from different groups. If you are trying to more people to open their emails faster, show that data.

And carefully consider how you want to present the information – use creative digital signage to be the most effective you can be. First off, think about whose behavior you are trying to change. Then choose a dashboard style that will be most effective – do you want to show daily or weekly data, or real-time operational information (like energy dashboards use)? Think about how often you will want to refresh the information you share.

When choosing a design, consider how it looks and where the eye naturally goes when looking at the display. Make sure your key information is obvious and clear. And use space well – don’t overcrowd your message with too much data. Just enough to get the job done. Using charts and graphs lets you show a lot of information in an easy-to-digest visual.

By showing your dashboard data on digital signage displays, you’ll get more people doing what you want them to, and, if you do it right, they won’t feel like they’re being made to do anything. They’ll change their behavior all on their own.