Dashboard Lights — Dickeson
Well, what’s a “Dashboard?” Some new computer gizmo you’ve gotta have that’ll solve all your problems and make you rich? No way. You know what the dashboard is in your car. It’s the place you look when you hear a siren behind you so you can tap the brakes.
Curley was proud of the genuine leather dashboard in his “Surrey With the Fringe on the Top” in the musical Oklahoma. But, like in the ancient maps of the unknown, “There be dragons here” in that “Dashboard” named software metaphor. We tend to think of a dashboard as it is in our car or in a Boeing 747: an array of instruments providing instant information that enables corrective course decisions.
That’s the “metaphor trap.” It doesn’t work that way in a business. There is no array of instruments providing instant information. There are no brakes you can tap.
That software may work for those global or nationwide companies that have a need to assemble a lot of disparate Internet information from far-flung companies quickly in order to make decisions. There you can say the software application is like a dashboard—a simile. But it isn’t a Dashboard like in my car giving me instant readouts of rpm, fuel, door ajar, mph and the like. A dashboard metaphor it ain’t.