“Digital dashboard,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 June 2006, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Digital_dashboard&oldid=56635922.
“Why Regulatory Compliance Remains Important,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 13 June 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/06/why_regulatory_.html.
“Globalization and Resilient Enterprises,” by Stephen DeAngelis, Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, 14 June 2006, http://enterpriseresilienceblog.typepad.com/enterprise_resilience_man/2006/06/globalization_a.html.
A post from Stephen F. DeAngelis yesterday brought back something from my days at USD:
Rasmussen is going to lead a teleconference discussion on “Monitoring Risk with Enterprise Risk Dashboards.” While I agree that dashboards are a great idea, Rasmussen doesn’t go far enough in fostering their use. Resilient Enterprises are going to have to monitor all critical business processes using dashboards, not just compliance. That’s why I’m such a great proponent of service-oriented architectures and business process layers that can be used to embed rule sets that drive business processes right in a company’s corporate DNA. In fact, that’s a subject I’m addressing today at the DC Area Service-Oriented Architecture Users Group.
As someone who has written a dashboard
I have some comments on this…
a business management tool used by managers to get a “bird’s eye view” of business health. It is a simple, yet powerful device to visually ascertain the status of a business enterprise. Used to monitor the status of key business indicators, Digital Dashboards use visual, at-a-glance displays of critical data pulled in from disparate business systems to provide warnings, action notices, next steps, and summaries of business conditions.
Digital Dashboards can be laid out to track the flows inherent in the business processes that they monitor. Graphically, users can see the high-level processes and then drill down into low level data. This level of detail is often buried deep within the corporate enterprise and otherwise unavailable to the senior executives.
While my dashboard (part of my graduate computer science thesis, A Computer Model of National Behavior) gave an easy-to-understand visualization of the health of nations, and a corporate one would give a similar representation of company health, the concepts are the same.
The big benefit of dashboards is they let you quickly understand quantified data. The huge drawback is they let you pretend that all quantified data is important, and all important data is quantified.
You can see this same division in a later post by DeAngelis:
What [IBM CEO Samuel] Palmisano calls “the globally integrated enterprise,” is what I have been calling the “Resilient Enterprise.” Whether you call it a globally integrated or a resilient enterprise, isn’t as important as the fact that what we are describing is a momentous shift in the global business paradigm — it’s not just a name change. Palmisano continues:
The key to this paradigm is the ability to “pull apart” business processes and “put them back together” as needs dictate. Of course, this kind of talk excites me because Enterra Solutions is in the business of enabling globally integrated corporations and turning them into Resilient Enterprises. Tom Barnett and I spend a great deal of our time addressing multinational corporations about this subject. We talk about the need for the next generation Enterprise Architecture, which pulls apart business processes and turns them into automated rules sets that can be recombined as required in the corporate DNA. Because it utilizes a service-oriented architecture and a standards-based business process layer, the next generation Enterprise Architecture enables integration across departments and, as Palmisano notes, across the globe..
Dashboards are a great help in building modularity — on the measurable side. It helps one combine core competencies and rule-sets together, rapidly respond to problems, and even measure employee performance. But one must always remember that dashboards are a partial picture of the world. Failure to do might led to a less-resilient enterprise, tearing apart what works because one believes an alternative would be better.
A similar partial picture, in a military context, was the satellite and computer imagery that allowed General Tommy Franks to see individual soldiers during the early stages of the Iraq War. History will tell if he did enough to remain skeptical of the power of dashboards.