Passive Report or Active Positioning Device?

Business intelligence tools offer countless ways to slice and dice data.  Enamored by yet another way to collect data, many organizations today have built the proverbial “hidden factories” of generating what are merely “Passive Reports”. Emailed to countless individuals, posted on antiquated bulletin boards, and taking valuable time to build and distribute, these passive reports are simply not “Driving the business forward.” Whether it is too much data, too complex data, or most often, the lack of acute business acumen to process the data, most companies today are drowning in useless reports.

At CSI, we believe that business data must take the form of an “Active Positioning Device.” The most successful organizations today view data as a process, not a report. These organizations recognize that points are not given for colorful bulletin boards and fancy email attachments, but rather a simple and concise system that allows every team within the organization to utilize their performance data to “drive their business forward.” These organizations create a weekly cadence where the organizational scorecards truly educate, facilitate, and motivate every employee toward demonstrative conversations and actions.  This view of data as an “Active Positioning Device” allows organizations to recalibrate and eventually eliminate many non-value added reporting functions, thus streamlining and simplifying the data that truly allows the business to understand “winning and losing.”

Reflection Questions – Passive Report or Active Positioning Device…?

  1. Do you receive email attachments of data that you don’t bother to open because you already know it is irrelevant?
  2. Do you pass by bulletin boards of dashboards and scorecards without a second glance because you don’t believe what is posted really moves the business forward?
  3. Do you have your own set of business indicators that you track for yourself because the other reports are convoluted or simply of no value?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, please feel free to reach out to the team of Competitive Solutions to learn more about how to move from passive reports to Active Positioning Devices.

We also have a free resource available to you. Click here to receive The Guide to Business Scorecard Fundamentals!

Balanced Scorecard Example

Looking for scorecard examples for your industry and job function? Download free scorecard templates here!

4 Truths of Business Scorecards

Whether you use Microsoft Excel or a highly complex and complicated business intelligence tool, most organizations spend too much of their time gathering data, correcting out-of-date information, finding and fixing errors due to lack of audit controls and only see the data part of the equation. It is essential for a good business process management tool to be highly functional yet easy to use, quick to implement yet expandable, and allow for variations while keeping to the core values of the organization’s strategy.

Truth #1 | It’s similar to a “full body scan” for your business

A well-executed Business Process Software (BPS) tool should be able to give users a detailed look at their entire business from top to bottom. Instead of clicking through multiple tabs on a spreadsheet or drilling though five reports, BPS dashboards can aggregate data quickly and show where issues might be or where cost- savings can be found.

Truth #2 | Provide your business with a single source of the truth

Understanding how one set of data affects the other is one of the primary benefits of an effective BPS tool.

Truth #3 | Achieve data consistency and efficiency

According to several studies, 94% of spreadsheets contain errors. An effective BPS tool can produce the results in seconds, where manual work is time consuming and error prone. Why deal with hundreds of complex spreadsheets each month?

Truth #4 | Critical information shared with the right people at the right time

Reports, dashboards, and advanced visualizations can be shared via one URL – perhaps first thing in the morning, mid- day and again after closing. Instead of team members accessing file servers on a dedicated network, multiple spreadsheets or nothing at all, a BPS tool provides the ability for content distribution to mobile, tablets, and desktop PCs, regardless of operating system.

Want to learn more about business scorecards? Click here to receive our Guide to Business Scorecard Fundamentals. You can also visit our Visuant Business Performance Software page and request a free demo.

View our 4 Truths Infographic Here 

Top Three Issues with Business Scorecards

Top Three Issues with Business Scorecards

“Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it .”   – H. James Harrington  

An estimated 85% of organizations have adopted a performance measurement system in one form or another.  Although performance measurement systems are useful, one should be aware of the common issues faced with most scorecards today. 

Top Three Issues with Scorecards: 

  1. Improperly Defined Metrics– With poorly defined objectives and/or targets, employees can claim confusion and avoid accountability for results.
  2. Inefficient Data Collection– With weekly or monthly deadlines, most scorecards have incomplete data.  Organizations struggle to keep scorecards current by assigning an Administrator to drive data collection and reporting, which is costly and ineffective.
  3. Lack of Standards for Scorecard Usage -As soon as a scorecard is updated, it begins to age.  Without an established, formal review process, organizations can’t rely on the scorecard’s usefulness for timely, relevant decision making. 

These issues are real, but can be overcome.  To view and download industry specific scorecard examples, visit our website here.

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Measuring Performance: Why Use a Scorecard

Measuring Performance: Why Use a Scorecard

“Scorecards make the meaning of success tangible for your organization.”

Scorecards are the performance management tool that compares strategic goals with results. This tool allows management to implement its strategy by aligning performance with goals. Similar to a grade school report card, the scorecard measures periodic results (weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually) against a predetermined goal, allowing users to gauge how their performance stacks up against expectations.

Scorecards drive better performance.   The evidence is clear that solid feedback enhances performance—at all levels and across all organizational units. When people and groups throughout an enterprise know how they are doing and what needs improving, they do better.

Scorecards implement strategy.  Scorecards translate your strategy into concrete terms and help you track its implementation.  Scorecards also reflect operational issues, they are developed in a way that specifically directs attention to your strategy and future direction.

Scorecards help ensure that you have the right measures.   A group of measures implemented without a well-thought-out performance model in mind or, worse yet, imposed from the outside, seldom bring new focus or drive desired actions. Effective scorecards are, by nature, consciously and purposefully constructed. In building one, you develop a logical structure that helps everyone know what should be measured, what belongs on the scorecard and what does not belong.

Looking for a free scorecard example for your industry? Click here to download 

Does your organization need help in building your scorecard?  Contact us here for more information. 


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