How Scorecards and Dashboards Provide Clarity for Better Decision-Making

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Click to learn more about author Manish Godha

Scorecards provide historical, current, and predictive views and reports of business operations and resources on easy-to-understand visual dashboards. They compare performance against forecasted benchmarks and targets. And they do so with the intent of tracking, managing, and improving an organization’s performance.

By aggregating data from various enterprise sources, you can use scorecards and dashboards to transform, visualize, and analyze all of your data via a unified interface. Bringing the multiple and relevant perspectives and aspects of the business together improves the speed and quality of decision-making across functions and levels.

Tools and platforms such as Microsoft Power BI, with the right data infrastructure solutions, make this possible and viable for all organizations. Thus, your team can get empowered to view reports and dashboards to obtain the most current insights at any time from any location. The dashboards can be designed to schedule a refresh, coupled with an automatic notification, to keep everyone informed on changes and updates as they unfold.

As with any digital initiative, it is important that the design of such dashboards and scorecards be purposeful. That is, the appropriate visibility, control, and decision-making needs must be identified and met. One useful way is a standard that we have been adhering to and what we call “3T coverage.” In other words, a purposeful visualization should include thresholds, targets, and trends. An intelligent implementation of these measures ensures that the right information is looked at and acted upon. Further, the right Data Modeling and data infrastructure can also mean that getting into actionable details via drill down and drill through is enabled.

Simply put, scoreboards and dashboards can support visibility and decision-making across functional areas within an organization. Let’s look at a few examples.

  • Executive Management: Balanced scorecards that cover multiple business aspects in a comprehensive manner are hugely effective. Key numbers (with trends and targets) from across the business functions surfaced in one view with the ability to drill down can be a powerful tool for CxOs, SBU Heads, Divisional Managers, etc.
  • Finance: With dashboards, budget, and fund summary reports, you can make better financial decisions. For example, you can better assess your past and current financial performance to stay current to improve cash flow and income. Financial dashboards help track key financial indicators in real-time such as revenues, profitability, and operational and financial costs, along with providing the ability to drill down through segments based on region, customer, and product.
  • Human Resources: You can assess individual and team KPIs and metrics and gain a realistic view of employee performance in line with the company’s vision. You can also measure which HR campaigns are most successful for recruiting or other HR issues, such as the performance of the company’s healthcare program. 
  • Manufacturing: With reports and dashboards, operations management can get a single, consolidated picture to better manage manufacturing and production. ​This helps management, engineering, and business users in manufacturing view the overall performance of a project or production line to identify roadblocks and bottlenecks to adjust and improve planning. ​
  • Project Management: Dashboards support project managers by helping them understand and comprehend project schedules, costs, and status. From this visualization, business analytics are made available to show the project health concerning budget, risks, progress, and resources in real-time.
  • Sales: Organizations can use interactive dashboards to assess engaging insights for sales effectiveness. With dashboards in place, businesses can deliver insights throughout the entire buyer journey, from the pipeline to customer acquisition to retention. Using this intelligence helps an organization rapidly adjust and improve its sales and supportive marketing strategies to strengthen its sales campaigns.
  • Digital Marketing: Digital marketing dashboards can assess the performance of marketing campaigns to help organizations understand their effectiveness so that they can make better investment decisions early on. You can more easily measure various marketing metrics such as social data, website activity, content marketing, online advertising, and campaign response and performance factors.
  • Customer Service: Having a unified view of information, such as open tickets, backlogs, or response/resolution time, can offer you a regular track on company-to-customer performance to identify improvement areas needed for customer interaction and support.

The Bottom Line

With scorecards and dashboards, and by leveraging the power of visualization, insights become much more meaningful, accurate, and timely, enabling you and your staff to more quickly and more easily enhance and strengthen decision-making throughout your organization. ​ You can find out much more about scorecards and dashboards. You will find several live examples of reports being used in the field by users from different functional business departments. The reports were accomplished by using Power BI.  

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