Creating a dashboard to prevent airline disruptions

UI · UX · Front End Development

The challenge

For customers, travelling with British Airways is a smooth experience. However, behind the scenes, hundreds of operations must work seamlessly to ensure planes depart, fly and arrive at their destinations on time. From snow and ice, to resource shortages and knock-on delays, unforeseen complications can cause major disruptions to any airline.

We worked with British Airways to develop an operational dashboard. The tool needed to be data-driven to enable BA's staff to predict and manage disruptions, and provide a high-level view of the airline’s entire operations. The goal was to provide a one-stop source of information for every department across the Heathrow operation.

The approach

We started the project by spending the first two weeks learning. We listened in on some meetings, we wrote down all the acronyms that we didn't understand and we read the FT and many academic papers.

The development of the dashboard was user-focused and user-driven. We began by questioning the people who would be using it in order to understand their needs. We worked across five departments and numerous stakeholders, running workshops to identify the requirements of the dashboard. As ideas emerged, we began sketching and wireframing to demonstrate how this tool would work.

The outcome

The result was a data-driven dashboard displaying information from across BA’s operations. The dashboard shows high-level, operational information – almost in real-time – and presents complex data in an intuitive way. Users can then go deeper in each department, accessing detailed information on airline performance.

The dashboard is now used by a variety of people in different contexts, from big screens in the control tower to customer attendants' iPads as they travel between terminals. It was built responsively, ensuring all data displays perfectly whatever device it’s viewed on.

BA’s staff can easily access the data they need at any time on the dashboard. This allows them to act fast and address disruptions as they arise, ensuring the smooth running of BA’s operations and provision of the highest level of service to their customers.

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