The Smartbus Dashboard - Background and Methodology
The Smartbus Dashboard is an interactive poster and online tool developed by the project working group, aimed at promoting:
- The importance of soft, hard and sustainable skills, competencies and knowledge of job applicants for businesses.
- The absence of soft, hard and sustainable skills, competencies and knowledge among job applicants.
- Requirements for an ideal employee.
- Characteristics of current graduates according to the employers.
The dashboard offers visualisations of relevant data collected from tourism businesses (accommodation facilities, catering facilities, destination management organisations and travel agencies) in:
- Slovakia (74)
- Poland (59)
- Czech Republic (50)
- Hungary (18)
Furthermore, it allows the comparison of expectations of employers on the graduates with their skills, competencies and knowledge.
The obtained results indicate the need for changes in teaching syllabi in order to better prepare graduates for the needs of the labour market. All those interested who want to improve graduates' applicability in the labour market can use the results.
The current public version of the dashboard is the result of a development, consultation process and survey initiated in 2022 under the Project Smart Business Skills of Tourism University Students Applicable on International Labour Market (SMARTBUS), Number 2021-1-SK01-KA220-HED-000023160 of Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
The dashboard is composed of two main components: content and interface. The content is all data, statistics, indicators and text that are stored in the project database. In contrast, the interface includes technical web solutions enabling users to visualise the content interactively. The interface is two-fold. On the one hand, the Web User Interface is accessible through a web browser. On the other hand, it contains visualisation solutions to allow users to explore the data and compare indicator values across countries and types of tourism businesses. The interactive dashboard provides for data exchange between the countries, universities, companies, students and all those interested.
Importance and absence of smart business skills
The results indicate that the soft skills, competencies and knowledge are of the greatest importance to tourism businesses (communication, customer orientation, proactive approach to work), followed by hard (office software skills, the ability to use different hardware, services, online marketing) and sustainability skills (deal with host-guest interactions and communities, skills related to awareness of local customs, ability to work with local producers).
The employers indicated that what graduates lack the most is a proactive approach to work, creative problem solving, critical thinking and innovativeness (soft skills, competencies and knowledge), big data analytics, robotic engineering, content development and applying digital hardware (hard skills, competencies and knowledge) and ability to make and implement a sustainability mission statement, policy and action plan.
There are differences observed according to different countries (Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary) and types of businesses (accommodation facilities, catering facilities, destination management organisations and travel agencies).
Requirements and characteristics
According to the word cloud, the most important requirement for an ideal employee is flexibility, followed by communicativeness, he or she should be further multilingual, hardworking, able to learn and customer-oriented.
The employers characterise the university graduate as a person with high expectations, who can work with information and communication technologies, knows a foreign language, is professionally educated, but live in the virtual world, is non-communicative and without interest.
There are observed differences according to different countries (Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary) and types of businesses (accommodation facilities, catering facilities, destination management organisations and travel agencies).