Real Time System Performance feedback examples

I am looking for good examples of UI’s that rate the efficiency of a system and score it accordingly, providing the feedback to the operator. The challenge being, since the score is based on real time data analysis, the 100% goal line can increase upwards as the system gets more data, learns the breadth of possibilities and recalculates the best efficiency goal.

For example, a water treatment plant. The operators of the plant are monitoring the pumps. On their monitors they see a percentage score of how well the pumps are running in relation to the optimal 100% score which the real time data analysis has calculated.
The operator glances at the screen from across the room and sees that pumps are at 80 % efficiency based on the settings the operator has chosen. The operator is interrupted for two minutes by a phone call and when they look again at the screen the score has dropped from 80% to 60%. The operator is puzzled as to why the score dropped because they did not make any changes to pump pressure, flow etc.
Why?
Because in that two minutes the system had gathered more real time analysis and had recalculated the optimal 100% goal line. What was an 80% efficient plant operation is now considered only 60% of optimal.
I am finding this idea of a moving goal line a very challenging concept to explain without a status bar, or help text.
If there are ideas or examples out there I would love to hear or see them. Right now I am thinking this is falling into what Jared Spool calls the Magic Escalator of Acquired Knowledge.

Things that pop into my head:

  • Would some kind of error bar help — can we show he confidence of the prediction somehow?
  • Is flattening the factors into an single number helpful? How does the operator know what to do when efficiency drops?

Hi Adrian,

This is a system that the more you change your parameters that control your operations the more the system learns the boundaries of the operating ecosystem. It recalculates the optimal efficiency goal and suggests parameters to change to improve operations to reach that goal. The operators are free to reject or accept the system guidance.
In early stage prototype testing we have found that this is a concept we have to explain in training sessions to the operators. Once you explain that the performance score is relative to the optimal score, and the optimal score is a moving target based on real time data analysis then the operators understand why the score is changing. But having some sort of simple UI to explain this concept when it goes into production would be nice. The problem is I am unaware of any such concept that is similar that our customers could relate it to.
For example, we did not go to school and find an A kept getting harder to attain because the instructor kept increasing what you had to do to achieve 100% as he realized how much more you could achieve. I do not believe that fitness apps have this concept -you set a goal and you strive for it.
I agree an error bar or status bar will be needed. I was trying to challenge myself and see if I could find a solution that did not need text. Glance time does not include reading text.
I do agree that showing simply the current percentage score is better than my earlier designs where I was trying to show you were last at 80% but that has now dropped to 60%. I had an arrow to the right of 80% hoping that would indicate the 100% goal line had moved but after discussions with the team, that is pure crap and confusing. One number in a bar showing current percentage is what I have changed it to.