Business Intelligence/Create Dashboard prototype

  • Purpose: this step produces a dashboard for the frame. The dashboard serves as the central report for the frame. In this sense the reporting system works like a hub and spoke system. The hub is the dashboard. Each spoke emanates from a KPI in order to provide detailed information.
  • Input: KPI's, dimensions and budgets
  • Activities: Create dashboard prototype
  • Outputs: Dashboard prototype
  • Documentation: Dashboard prototype documentation

Why Dashboard?

It is worth repeating that the purpose of businesses is to generate superior profitability over time (Porter 2000). Companies remain profitable by engaging in activities designed at strategic positioning, meaning performing different activities from rivals' or performing similar activities in a different way. These activities provide goods or services with greater value or at a lower cost (Porter 2000).

Decision makers must therefore focus on the activities designed to generate profits. However, overseeing activities is not possible. Instead, the decision maker focuses on measures of the effectiveness of activities. Specifically, are the activities meeting the strategic or core objectives. The metrics identified by the Chatterjee and Strategy Maps measure how effectively operational activities are meeting the strategic/core objectives.

Finally, remember that we are assuming that the theories behind the strategy were verified by testing the links in the causal link map. We are therefore assuming that achieving measures is an indication of effective execution that will sustain profitability. Since we assume that X-->Y then we want to monitor X. Note that we monitor X by identifying KPI's and developing measures.

This stage assumes that KPI's are a measure of how effectively companies are executing on important activities. Key Performance Indicators KPI ’s are financial and non-financial measures or metrics used to help an organization define and evaluate how successful it is, typically in terms of making progress towards its long-term organizational goals (see F. John Reh). We focus on leading indicators since we want quick feedback regarding operational performance and profitability. Decision makers should therefore focus their attention on KPI's in order to guide the business.

The best tool for focusing on KPI's is the dashboard. Dashboards “A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives; consolidated and arranged on a single screen so the information can be monitored at a glance.” This section assumes that dashboards are the most important report for decision makers to monitoring the business. This is due to the alignment between dashboard measures, KPI's and strategic execution. However, the most effective BI system allows the decision maker to dig deeper by look at other reports.

Example Dashboards

Dashboard Media

There are seven items that constitute a dashboard (See Few ):

  1. Graphs
  2. Images
  3. Icons
  4. Drawing objects
  5. Text
  6. Organizers
  7. Command tools (buttons, sliders, etc.)