Use of Business Dashboards on the Rise

Fortune 1000 companies are increasing the use of dashboards and extending planning processes beyond finance to operational management, according to a survey conducted at Hyperion’s Solutions 2004 conference April 26-28 in Chicago.

The survey showed a sharp increase in the use of dashboards to improve monitoring, and scorecards to improve alignment between business goals and individual results.

According to the survey, 43% of respondents said they have extended the planning, budgeting and forecasting process out beyond their finance departments to integrate other key groups, including sales, marketing, operations, human resources and engineering.

“Dynamic planning is the key to managing uncertainty, rapid change and complexity,” said Jeffrey Rodek, chairman and CEO of Hyperion. “Dynamic planning requires that plans be owned by management, not just finance. The attendees at our Solutions conference reinforced that this is a real and growing trend.”

The survey also found that respondents are increasingly relying on dashboards for performance monitoring, and scorecards to help align business strategies and objectives with those of their departments, teams and individuals. According to the survey, 41% of respondents are adopting these measures to help drive performance broadly and deeply across their organizations.

Solutions 2004 also featured a dashboard workshop, sponsored by Hewlett-Packard, which allowed attendees to engage in a dashboard demonstration as well as complete a survey designed to uncover information about their dashboard needs.

The workshop alone recorded more than 1,200 respondents, of which 30% are live with dashboards today, and more than 45% are considering implementing a dashboarding solution. These numbers support the sampling of data taken from the annual survey.

“Dashboards enable an enterprise to make adjustments in real time so a company can hit and exceed performance targets,” said Vijay Menta, senior programmer analyst, administrative systems information technology services at Yale University, after attending the workshop. “These dashboards provide a finger on the pulse of key performance indicators for the business.”

The annual survey results also indicated that while nearly a third of respondents have adopted sophisticated modeling, planning and reporting software, some 46% are still looking to escape “spreadsheet hell.”

More than 1,500 attendees responded to the survey; the results indicated here are based on a tally of the first 500 surveys submitted. The Solutions 2004 conference, one of the world’s premier events for Business Performance Management, attracted nearly 4,000 customers and partners.

This article was compiled and edited by CIO Update staff. Please direct any
questions regarding its content to Allen Bernard, Managing Editor.