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Displaying Management Data

The manner in which management data is displayed is entirely application-specific. However, there are several ways to do it.

The first method is to list data in its raw form, as illustrated in Figure 1. This approach is useful up to a point; the problem is when the amount of data grows beyond the level where it’s easy to discern patterns. A few screenfuls of data such as that in Figure 1 can be enough to overload the IT manager.

Another approach is to display the data in a tabular fashion similar to a spreadsheet or a database table query. In this technique, each item of data appears under a separate column that is part of a row.

A third method is to try to use graphics; that is, to create some type of drawing and then superimpose the data on top. This approach is generally the most difficult, but it is also generally the most intuitive approach because we tend to think in terms of pictures.

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