Business Dashboards: A Visual Catalog For Design and Deployment

Dashboard Spy readers have been asking me to refresh my list of recommended books about Business Intelligence Dashboards. I’ve got a couple of new book reviews coming out soon, but wanted to quickly mention a favorite one. Titled “Business Dashboards: A Visual Catalog For Design and Deployment”, this book is a collection of over 120 screenshots of various dashboard examples.

It’s very much like a field guide to dashboard design. Gee, that kind of sounds like the various Dashboard Spy blogs, doesn’t it?

It retails at many book seller for about $90 but is available at amazon for $60. Use this link:

Here’s info from the publisher:

Focusing on designing the right dashboards for use in an organization, this timely, full color book reveals how to successfully deploy dashboards by building the optimal software architecture and dashboard design. In addition, it describes the value of this popular technology to a business and how it can have a significant impact on performance improvement. A unique collection of more than 120 dashboard images are organized by category. One of the chapters provides a step-by-step description of the key performance indicator (KPIs) design process. One of the appendices contains more than 1,000 examples of KPIs to help design the content of dashboards. The book also describes all the steps in a dashboard implementation and offers related advice.

Nils Rasmussen (West Hollywood, CA) is cofounder and Principal of Solver, Inc. Claire Y. Chen (Long Beach, CA) is a Senior Business Intelligence Architect at Solver, Inc. Manish Bansal (Irvine, CA) is Vice President of Sales at Solver, Inc.

Here is the table of contents:

Book Summary.

Part 1. Introduction to Dashboards.

Chapter 1. Dashboards Definition.

Chapter 2. Dashboards’ Role in a Business Intelligence Solution.

Chapter 3. Why Dashboards Have Become so Popular.

Chapter 4. Types of Dashboards.

Chapter 5. Designing Metrics and Key Performance Indicators.

Chapter 6. Dashboard Scenario: Use Case.

Chapter 7. Getting Ready for the Implementation.

Part 2. Summary and Readiness Checklist.

Part 2. Creating the Right Business Intelligence Architecture for Dashboards.

Chapter 8. Why a Good Architecture Is Important.

Chapter 9. Data Warehouse Techniques.

Chapter 10. Data Replication and Delivery.

Chapter 11. Query Language and Interactivity.

Chapter 12. Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence Dashboard Paradigm.

Chapter 13. Mobile Business Intelligence.

Part Two. Summary and Readiness Checklist.

Part 3. Dashboard Design.

Chapter 14. Design Tips.

Chapter 15. Dashboard Examples.

Part Three. Summary and Readiness Checklist.

Part 4. Managing a Dashboard Project.

Chapter 16. Planning the Project.

Chapter 17. Engaging the Users.

Chapter 18. Project Tips.

Chapter 19. Training and Deployment.

Part Four. Summary and Readiness Checklist.

Appendix A. Software Selection Tips.

Appendix B. Installation.

Appendix C. Hardware Recommendations.

Appendix D. Security Authentication Techniques.

Appendix E. Metrics and Key Performance Indicator Examples.

About the Authors.


Difference between Balanced Scorecard and Enterprise Dashboard

Update: The topic of “dashboard” vs. “scorecard” is still alive and kicking about in business intelligence circles. Take a look at this recent post:

What is the difference between a scorecard and a dashboard?

A Dashboard Spy reader who is getting involved in a balanced scorecard reporting project asked me the difference between enterprise dashboards and balanced scorecards. He was getting confused between all the different approaches that his team could take. We had an interesting conversation with a couple of interesting screenshots that we passed back and forth. I thought it valuable enough to share with you today.

An interesting webpage on the difference between balanced scorecards and enterprise dashboards can be found here: Dashboards vs. Scorecards.  The page states correctly that the difference lies in the degree of “balanced scorecard formality”, that is, the balance scorecard approach has strict elements:

Components of a True Balanced Scorecard: While both Balanced Scorecards and Dashboards display performance information, a Balanced Scorecard is a more prescriptive format; a true Balanced Scorecard should always include these components: Perspectives (groupings of high-level strategic areas), Objectives (verb-noun phrases pulled from a strategic plan), Measures (also called Metrics or Key Performance Indicators/KPIs), and Stoplight Indicators (red, yellow, or green symbols that provide an at-a-glance view of a Measure’s performance). These specific components help ensure that a Balanced Scorecard is inherently tied to the organization’s critical strategic needs.

They provide the following example of a balanced scorecard dashboard:

Balanced Scorecard Dashboard

This is contrasted against the more loosely defined standard of an enterprise dashboard:

Dashboards – More Loosely Defined. The design of Dashboards, on the other hand, is much more open to interpretation. Most Dashboards are simply a series of graphs, charts, gauges, or other visual indicators that a user has chosen to monitor, some of which may be strategically important, but others of which may not. Even if a strategic link exists, it may not be clear to the person monitoring the Dashboard, since the Objective statements, which explain what achievement is desired, are typically not present on Dashboards.

As an example of a dashboard, the company took a subset of the above balanced scorecard and presented it as a more high-level KPI dashboard. It focuses on presenting a manufacturer’s sales KPIs.

Manufacturing sales KPI dashboard

Tags: Balanced Scorecard vs. Enterprise Dashboard, Manufacturing KPIs and Metrics, Enterprise Dashboard Design, Balanced Scorecard Methodology, Difference between scorecards and dashboards

Dashboard Spy Reader bonus link: Download article from the Harvard Business Review – The Balanced Scorecard – Measures That Drive Performance

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