Ask the Board – May 9, 2016 | SPENCER GRAHAM


What technology will be a game-changer for your business in 2016 and beyond?

I would have to say that, while neither are new technologies per se, we are seeing a significant uptick in demand for Walls of Honor/Donor Recognition Walls and also demand for serious wayfinding deployment at WVU. All of these require a good understanding of touchscreen technology, mapping coordinates and serious database management.

Believe it or not, the database portion tends to be the most daunting part of each of the equations. The important and reliable data displayed on any of those deployments is only as good as all the “bits” dropped into each associated database! Sometimes many different tables are required, and extra fields need to be planned in advance.

As soon as anyone on our campuses sees one of our deployments, they all want one. But when we explain that it will require a perfect database that requires periodic updates by someone in their department, the reality sinks in. “Someone” has a lot of data to input or an effort to clean up an existing database that contains the data we need to design around.

Imagine someone interacting with their wayfinding digital signage anxiously looking for Dr. Bob Smith’s office, and it directs them to Room 341 with a pretty map that plots their course, only upon arriving at the door to discover that Dr. Smith retired four years ago and the person in that office presently has absolutely no idea who he was or where his bones currently reside! That is NOT going to impress a visitor. The same goes for Walls of Honor/Donor Recognition Walls; the database has to be perfect. Honoring someone special cannot be taken lightly and must contain perfect information. Perfection is a function of time and a lot of effort.

Digital signage technology is constantly evolving and getting fancier and fancier every year. Most new technologies in our industry DO change the game; our job is to research and prepare for the work needed to accomplish the goal. Changing the game in a positive way requires some solid planning and a lot of Beta Testing.

About Author

Manager of Operations, Information Stations, Interactive Video, Network & Web Services
West Virginia University

End User Council

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