Sunday, June 29, 2008

Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business

Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business - Wayne W. Eckerson

In the preface of the book, Wayne Eckerson wrote his original focus to write this book was Performance Management, but in his initial research he realizes PM meant different things to different people. Just as well that he decided to write about performance dashboards, because he did a great job and wrote an exceptional book.

The book is well defined, he divides into three sections. In the part one, "The Landscape for Performance Dashboards", he explains in details what are performance dashboards, the role of Performance Management and Business Intelligence, and also the architecture and the framework to implement a Performance Management.

He shows performance dashboards is more than just a screen with fancy performance graphics and also shows why is very different from plain dashboards or scorecards.

A performance dashboard is a multilayered application built on a business intelligence and data integration infrastructure that enables organizations to measure, monitor, and manage business performance more effectively. Performance dashboard is a powerful agent of organizational change. The performance dashboard is considered the new face of BI, because can transform BI from a set of tools used by business analysts and power users into information available to everyone in a company.

He defines performance dashboards as three applications in one, woven and working together:
- monitoring application: convey information at a glance
- analysis application: let users analyze exception conditions
- management application: improve alignment, coordination and collaboration

He also shows performance dashboards have three layers or views of information:
- summarized graphical view
- multidimensional view
- detailed reporting view

He defines three types of Performance Dashboard: strategic, tactical and operational. Each applies the three applications and layers described above in slightly different ways.

In the Part two, "Performance Dashboard in action", he explains in details the three types of Performance Dashboard: strategic, tactical and operational, and how to implement which one, with cases study detailed, using real-world examples.

In the Part Three, called "Critical Success Factors: Tips from the Trenches", there are recommendations and guidance from dozens of performance dashboards projects that the author has researched, and define how to start the project, how to create effective metrics, how to design effective dashboard screens, how to link and integrate performance dashboards, how to align business and IT, and the strategies to ensure adoption and manage performance.

There is an useful appendix with the criteria for evaluating performance dashboards.

This is an exceptional book, that defines and explains which the role of Performance Dashboards as factor of success to focus business people to drive to a well managed performance of their business.

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