Monday, October 24, 2005

The difference between a "Scorecard" and a "Dashboard"

With the release of Hyperion System 9, we've provided a single workspace environment for any user to engage in Performance Management activities, including working with both dashboards and scorecards. Unfortunately, I frequently hear our customers and prospects get confused on the difference between them, so I thought I would take a moment to clarify the difference.

When running any business, it is important to understand the historical and current drivers of success. A dashboard provides a window into the historical and current drivers of success by providing a navigable, interactive environment in which KPIs can be explored to uncover the detailed root causes of the existing business situation. Furthermore, dashboards provide a link to other operational information for further insight.

A Dashboard in Hyperion System 9

In Hyperion System 9, our dashboards provide:

  • Associations. Allows authorized end-users associate objectives, metrics, targets, and initiatives with each other.
  • Multiple Targets. Allows users apply two or more targets and associated thresholds to each metric, including forecasts, budgets, prior actuals, and external benchmarks, among others.
  • Groupings. Allows authorized end-users categorize objectives, metrics, and initiatives by different perspectives.
  • Guided Navigation. Uses steps to guide less experienced users through the data or analysis by limiting the drill down/across paths and providing context-sensitive recommendations for next steps (i.e. reports to see or actions to take).
  • Dynamic Views. Allows users to define and subscribe to new views of “right-time” data coming from one or more operational systems.
  • Advanced Analysis. Allows users perform “what if” analysis to model scenarios and perform regressions to improve the accuracy of forecasts, among other things.

Of course, any well-run business will not be focused on the past, but also care deeply about the future. What should the business goals be? What strategies should we use to achieve those goals? What metrics should we use to help us indicate whether we are on the right track? A scorecard is a framework for aligning corporate goals, the strategy used to achieve those goals, and the measurement of those goals. In other words, it is a forward-looking vehicle that can be used to drive the performance of the business.

A Scorecard in Hyperion System 9

In Hyperion System 9, our scorecards provide:

  • Support for Kaplan and Norton's Balanced Scorecard Methodology, Stern Stewart's Integrated EVA Scorecard, and the Malcolm Baldridge frameworks
  • Strategy, Cause-and-Effect, and Accountability Mapping
  • Alerting when KPIs exceed established thresholds
  • Initiative Tracking
  • Performance Reporting

A scorecard or dashboard implementation can be very valuable to a business, but as you can surmise from the above, they are particularly powerful when used together. Having a window into the past, present, and future performance of your business is a clear strategic advantage, which is why Performance Management technologies are at the top of every executives mind these days.

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