Posted by: pen2bit | February 15, 2009

DASHBOARD!

A personal thought on an article published by b-logo.

Dashboards – luxury DSS available for midsized and small companies.

You are to reach a goal on a map, driving your car, you keep your eyes on instrument panel behind the wheel. Each sign gives you information to decide whether to stop for gas, accelerate or decelerate and simply inform you of your car running fine. A CEO who drives a company needs to have that instrument panel or what we call a dashboard to run the company and touch the milestones and keep the company on track. Although it had been too expensive (the expense could run into the millions of dollars- the Article) for midsized and small businesses to have that fancy tool, but it has fallen in to a more affordable area in last decade.

s_dashboard-mix

An excerpt for Article:

“Since the advent of the mainframe in the 1950s, companies have dreamed of using computers to manage their businesses. But early efforts came up short, with technology that was too costly or too clunky. Now, thanks to the Net and dashboards, those dreams are starting to come true. Forrester Research Inc. (FORR ) analyst Keith Gile estimates that 40% of the 2,000 largest companies use the technology. Some of the most prominent chief executives in the world are believers, from Steven A. Ballmer at Microsoft (MSFT ) and Ivan G. Seidenberg at Verizon Communications (VZ ) to Robert L. Nardelli at Home Depot (HD ). “The dashboard puts me and more and more of our executives in real-time touch with the business,” says Seidenberg. “The more eyes that see the results we’re obtaining every day, the higher the quality of the decisions we can make.”

The dashboard is the CEO’s killer app, making the gritty details of a business that are often buried deep within a large organization accessible at a glance to senior executives. So powerful are the programs that they’re beginning to change the nature of management, from an intuitive art into more of a science. Managers can see key changes in their businesses almost instantaneously — when salespeople falter or quality slides — and take quick, corrective action. At Verizon, Seidenberg and other executives can choose from among 300 metrics to put on their dashboards, from broadband sales to wireless subscriber defections. At General Electric Co. (GE ), James P. Campbell, chief of the Consumer & Industrial division, which makes appliances and lighting products, tracks the number of orders coming in from each customer every day and compares that with targets. “I look at the digital dashboard the first thing in the morning so I have a quick global view of sales and service levels across the organization,” says Campbell. “It’s a key operational tool in our business.””

With the cost of $1,000 to $2,000 a year per user, almost most of the businesses can apply a dashboard into their tools. Some pioneer companies to provide such really cheap quality dashboards are NETSUITE, Salesforce.com, Hyperion Solutions.

Like all human made technologies there are two side for the dashboard benefits and damages, but I am agree with the author of the article which says: But that’s a question of how to use the technology, not whether to implement it. Some of the discomforts with the dashboards are; Privacy concerns, firm level personification of BIG BROTHER, triggering some behavioral issues (like to spread a negative feedback on a salesperson’s performance).

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