single pane of glass

What is a single pane of glass?

A single pane of glass is a management console that presents data from multiple sources in a unified display. The glass, in this case, is a computer monitor or mobile device screen. The phrase single pane of glass is often used as a synonym for dashboard.

An effective single-pane-of-glass view serves as a starting point from which a corporate executive or system administrator can get a sense of the big picture. For example, a data center software product that offers a single pane of glass might obtain data from building facility systems and integrate that information with data from information technology systems. The purpose of a unified display is to present operational data in a way that's easier to read and interpret.

Features of an effective single-pane-of-glass dashboard include the following:

  • An intuitive graphical user interface, or GUI, that is thoughtfully laid out and easy to navigate.
  • A logical structure behind the display that makes accessing current data easy and fast.
  • A display that can be customized and categorized to meet the end user's specific needs.
This was last updated in April 2024

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