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receives summary information about his entire department’s
performance. Division managers receive extensive information
about the performance of each department. But their group
manager typically doesn’t care about department-level detail.
“Typically” is the key word, however. Typically, a mechanic can look
at the dashboard of his own car and know that everything is running
as expected. But at times, a well-designed dashboard can signal
that it’s time to look under the hood.
For managers, “looking under the hood” typically involves meetings
and more-detailed reports. But when the problems are under
control, the detailed reports can be set aside.
Reporting pyramids typically
operate at many levels in an
organization. People at each
level need summary
information about their own
areas of responsibility.
That is to say that dashboard
reports should not be limited
to senior managers and above.
Excel Reports Offer Infinite Scope
One of the advantages of a magazine is that it offers virtually
infinite scope. An article about employment trends in Vancouver
easily could compare those trends to the price of tea in China. The
next article could discuss personnel policies in Perth.
A wide scope offers two significant benefits. First, it makes the
publication more interesting to read. Second, it allows readers
easily to compare various areas of performance.
Similarly, Excel offers infinite scope and similar benefits.