Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dashboard Vs Scorecard

If scorecards are supposed to be balanced, are dashboards innately unbalanced? What is the difference between scorecards and dashboards?

The popular concept seems to be that there is no difference. The terms are used
interchangeably in most of the marketing collaterals and performance articles. Perhaps there should be a distinction as a scorecard for a college semester feels like it’s addressing a different problem than a dashboard for an automobile.

What is Scorecard?
A scorecard is an application or custom user interface that helps you manage your
organization's performance by understanding, optimizing, and aligning organizational units, business processes, and individuals. It should also provide internal and industry benchmarks, goals, and targets that help individuals understand their contributions to the organization. This performance management should span the operational, tactical, and strategic aspects of the business and its decisions. You can use a methodology derived from internal best practices or an external industry methodology. (For example, the term "Balanced Scorecard" is a specific reference to the Kaplan & Norton methodology.)

What is Dashboard?
A dashboard is an application or custom user interface that helps you measure your
organization's performance to understand organizational units, business processes, and individuals. Conceptually a subset of a scorecard, it focuses on communicating performance information. Just like an automobile dashboard, it has meters and gauges that represent underlying information. A dashboard may also have some basic controls or knobs that provide feedback and collaboration abilities.

Industry Conceptions
Although many people use the terms "dashboard" and "scorecard" synonymously, there is a subtle distinction that is worth understanding.

Dashboards Monitor and Measure Processes.
The common industry perception is that a dashboard is more real-time in nature, like an automobile dashboard that lets drivers check their current speed, fuel level, and engine temperature at a glance. It follows that a dashboard is linked directly to systems that capture events as they happen and it warns users through alerts or exception notifications when performance against any number of metrics deviates from the norm.

Scorecards Chart Progress Toward Objectives.
The common perception of a scorecard, on the other hand, is that it displays periodic snapshots of performance associated with an organization's strategic objectives and plans. It measures business activity at a summary level against predefined targets to see if performance is within acceptable ranges. Its selection of key performance indicators helps executives communicate strategy and focuses users on the highest priority tasks required to execute plans.

Whereas a dashboard informs users what they are doing, a scorecard tells them how well they are doing. In other words, a dashboard records performance while a scorecard charts progress. In short, a dashboard is a performance monitoring system, whereas a scorecard is a performance management system.

Scorecard can access the quality of execution whereas dashboards provide tacticalguidance. Scorecards inherently measure against goals dashboards need not.

Industry Perceptions

Bringing Balanced Scorecards & Dashboards Together
Customer relationship dashboards use lots of measures that give you data about how your team is operating, but provide little insight into progress towards your goal of reaching maximum resolutions. Its measuring/monitoring, but not managing. Like wise, customer relationship scorecards presents a quick picture of which strategy you need to concentrate to improve customer satisfaction but lacks any detail as to why are you struggling in bringing up maximum resolutions.

However, there are ways to ensure that Dashboards include the critical connections to strategy. Once you have identified the troublesome measure on the scorecard, you can drill down into maximum resolutions dashboard that contained detailed measures like average call resolution time, call queues and hold time.


  1. Hello Manish, what do you think about bringing dashboard and scorecard together on the ... strategy map? I'm referring to the strategy map from the BSC concept? I've formulated my thoughts on this topic in the article:

    Let me know what do you think.

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  3. Great insight here, thanks for sharing. Check out this great piece on predictive analytics for financial services. I think you'll definitely find the Model Factory solution from Modern Analytics very interesting.