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BI Program Business Mistake 4 - Dashboard Blindness

A favorite response to BI from exectuvies is "I Only Need A Dashboard"

Busy executives and business managers constantly demand quick feedback on corporate performance, and see dashboards as the quick hit wonder to provide that visibility.

Balanced Scorecard, which is in simple terms a dashboard enhanced by CPM methodology is commonly perceived by executives as taking too long and being too complex to manage. Hence, once they have their dashboards they become blinded to the real need for anything further. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

Yes, dashboards as the quickest, most effective means to provide visibility to performance on key indicators. However they provide little value, and at times lead to incorrect assumptions uness:

  1. they reflect the actual drivers of business performance, linked to key corporate objectives
  2. they are dynamic with drill-through to the underlying data for further analysis
  3. the insights gained can be fed back into these dashboards and acted on in a closedloop

With this capability, the dashboard becomes a true performance management system.


BI Business Solution

An effective performance management system is one where:

  • Consistent information is availalbe, and tailored to specific responsibilities
  • Definitions, targets, and thresholds are commonly shared and understood by everyone.
  • Dashboards and scorecards are connected to the underlying performance data and share consistently defined targets.
  • Strategy maps define strategic objectives and illustrate how key processes link, and metrics used.
  • People at any level of the organization can gain a clear understanding of where
    performance is on-target and where corrective action is needed.
  • Each metric has an assigned owner to ensure that poor performance is not overlooked or does not go unaddressed.
  • Guided analysis features place metrics in their proper context and lead users to the
    answers more quickly.
  • Embedded initiative tracking features help people inform or collaborate with others on a solution, or make the right decision on their own.
  • Executives can deploy dashboards, scorecards, strategy maps, and any related information consistently, across the organization to ensure people work from the same definitions and to the same targets.


BI IT Solution

If you have implemented a solid data warehouse infrastructure, then a performance dashboard or even a complex scorecard is relatively easy to create.

  1. Ensure that data and metrics required for strategy maps used in conjunction with scorecard or dashboard is available as a priority. If such mapping isn’t completed, the scorecard offers little more than a collection of unrelated metrics.
  2. Ensure ownership, accountability, consistency, and collaboration are adopted as key attributes of an effective performance management system. This requires that dashboards and scorecards are connected to the underlying performance data.

Next: BI Program Business Mistake 5 - KPI


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