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.
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:
Tells users what they are doing
|Tells users how well they are doing|
|Illustrates performance||Illustrates progress|