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SAP Analytics
Thought Leadership

EPM Dashboards & Scorecards: Why You Need Both

Posted by Gary Hawton on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 @ 08:02 AM

A lot of people use the terms dashboard and scorecard interchangeably, believing that the two are really one and the same. The reality is that they are quite different and are used for different Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) purposes. When discussing the differences, it is easy to make an analogy with two things that we are very familiar with: the dashboards in our cars, and the scorecards or report cards we all received in school. Like the dashboard in your car--which monitors speed, fuel level, and distance traveled.    epm dashboard

An EPM dashboard serves as a way to monitor metrics about how your company is performing. Scorecards, on the other hand, measure your progress against a goal, just as your school report cards measured your progress in each class. Notice the two key words in the example above: monitor and measure. A number of people believe that by pulling together certain key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics and putting them on a dashboard, this visibility will help improve company performance. Sure, the visibility is helpful--but it does not show how you are performing against your overall strategic goals. It may look slick and even provide a lot of useful data, but it isn't necessarily a demonstration of the company's alignment toward its overall goals. A scorecard brings on the next level, taking the raw data presented in a dashboard and making it useful to manage progress toward reaching your goals. Objectives or goals are grouped into strategic areas, and then measures or KPIs are reflected against each of those objectives. Usually using stoplight-type indicators, you can see at a glance how the company is progressing against those objectives. The objectives should span the operational, tactical and strategic aspects of the business in order to drive decisions.

A quick synopsis:

Dashboard Scorecard
Monitor Measure

Tells users what they are doing

Tells users how well they are doing
Illustrates performance Illustrates progress
So which should your company implement? Both! Used together, they can help you can achieve a higher level of EPM by monitoring your objectives against overall company goals. If a decision maker requires more details or access to more granular data, they can drill down from the scorecard to a dashboard containing all of the data measurements used to provide the measurement on the scorecard. Contact us to discuss how these "assess" and "strategize" functions are part of the overall EPM business process and can be added to your company's EPM initiative.

Topics: Process Improvement, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)


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