Staff and operators in control rooms, command centers and NOCs are in charge of overseeing company infrastructure, security, operations, telecommunications, safety and more. They rely heavily on accurate and timely (mostly real time) data that helps them make informed decisions about their business operations.
For example, a communications service provider—providing TV, internet and phone service to a large population—has a wide variety of variables to carefully look at, in order to minimize downtime, anticipate problems before they happen, reduce business impact of any issues that do occur and ensure a reliable service. They will be monitoring and studying:
- Weather patterns - to prepare, or act upon, any weather-related failures.
- TV channel ratings - to make informed business decisions on media distribution contracts.
- Bandwidth and connectivity - to make sure there aren’t any interruptions or slow service.
- Social media interaction - to improve customer engagement and communication and provide a better customer service.
- And many more data sources relevant to their specific needs.
A similar broad set of data inputs is needed for a control room in just about every field from oil and gas to security to transportation or banking.
No matter the industry, teams making decisions, monitoring vital infrastructure or supporting core business functionalities need data and they need to be able to visualize it and work on it together to make collaborative decisions based on that data.
In the example above of the communications provider, it’s easy now to imagine the vast and diverse stream of data pouring in every second. How can the control room staff make sense of all of it? They need to use various simultaneous dashboards to display data in a sensible way and then they need a video wall to display those dashboards and allow operators and staff to switch among them as needed based on the challenges of the day.
Dashboards in Control Rooms
Dashboards provide at-a-glance views of KPIs (key performance indicators) relevant to a particular objective or business process (e.g. sales, marketing, human resources, or production). They help people visualize data and key metrics, which is a control room or command center are then used to make more informed decisions.
The data in a dashboard is usually organized into graphs, charts or maps with key metrics based on time of the day, day of the week or even stretching across the years. A dashboard allows staff to quickly pull the data they need, and filter it by any criteria they need, focusing only on the relevant data.
There are plenty solutions out there that allow you to organize all the data into dashboards, but whatever tool you choose, every control room needs a video wall to display those dashboards and juggle among them in real time.
Video walls really are the ideal solution for control rooms, command centers and NOCs
Video walls are the perfect platform for displaying multiple input sources and allowing operators to change those input sources, or resize them as needed on a large bank of synchronized displays. Video walls do this by allowing administrators to display different sources simultaneously using zones or multi-windows.
Without a video wall, each team member in the control room may be isolated in a silo, it’s hard to ensure everyone is using the same, complete information when making decisions or recommendations. By having a video wall, all the necessary information is shared and seen by everyone, and of course team members can easily reference it during discussions and decision making.
Whether you have web-based dashboards, spreadsheets, video, or image, real-time video streams, live web streams, you need a video wall that can support as many types of content sources as possible. You also need a video wall that gives you the flexibility to change content sources and zone layouts on the fly.
Userful turns a standard PC into a high-performance video wall controller or video wall processor. It uses the network to connect to displays ensuring ease of use and set up and a cost-effective price point. Userful gives operators flexibility on the content they are able to display. For example, it allows you to have as many multiple independent web browsers as your processor can handle displayed simultaneously on multiple zones (or multi-windows) on your video wall. You can also pull in RTP and RTSP content, or local content through HDMI or SDI capture. There’s just about no content you can’t put on a video wall and Userful makes it easy to switch the content you’re displaying on the fly or interact with it controlling the mouse and keyboard from your own desktop.
Control Room Case Study.
Learn how a network operations center chose Userful after looking at alternatives that were as much as five times more expensive.
“We use it as a credibility piece with our prospects... to show our capability”
VP of Operations at Lightbound