In this assignment we've developed for our client—an industrial group in the FMCG business—a balanced scorecard dashboard to support better decision-making amongst management—and ultimately help improve performance.
The dashboard above shows 307 numbers—within a single eye span—summarizing the performance of 25 companies operating in 7 regions within 6 divisions. The spreadsheet for this display contains 5,000 values representing 100 different performance indicators.
Evidence indicates that—compared to other common presentation mediums, a.k.a. PowerPoint slides—dashboards are superior analytical tools for a broad range of problems where presenting numbers and images is required.
Also research tells us that PowerPoint data graphics show an average of 12 numbers per graph—that usually coincides with one graph per slide in compliance with the distinctly unscientific rule of “no more than one topic per slide”. This is extremely low when compared to respected publications such as the Wall Street Journal (112 numbers per graph), New York Times (120) and Science (>1,000)—Tufte, E. R. 2003. The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint. Cheshire, CN: Graphics Press.
If PowerPoint—instead of the above dashboard—is to be used for making decisions, the numbers suggest the construction of 26 (307÷12=26) separate slides to show the same data. Indeed, an interrupted visual reasoning that reduces the analytical quality of serious presentations of evidence—and consequently less conductive for business planning and corporate strategy.
The dashboard improved the ability of management to align strategies and organizational goals.
Increased productivity by measuring the organization’s inefficiencies and by easily identifying and correcting negative trends.
Provided a mean for sharing operational data that empowers employees to understand objectives and to thereby make the right decisions.