Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Establish the User Requirements
The topic of creating effective KPIs for your organization is worthy of its own book and
outside the scope for this endeavor. For a detailed guide on KPI development strategies,
pick up David Parmenter’s book, Key Performance Indicators: Developing, Implementing,
and Using Winning KPIs, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This book provides an
excellent step-by-step approach to developing and implementing KPIs.
The measures that you use on a dashboard should support the initial goal of that dashboard. For
example, if you create a dashboard that focuses on supply chain processes, it may not make sense to
have HR head count data included. It’s generally good to avoid nice-to-know data in your dashboards
simply to fill white space or because the data is available. If the data doesn’t support the core goal of
the dashboard, leave it out.
Here’s another tip. When gathering the measures required for the dashboard, we find that it often
helps to write out a sentence to describe the measure needed. For example, instead of simply writing
the word “Revenue” into our user requirements, we write what we call a component question such as
“What is the overall revenue trend for the last two years?” We call it a component question because
we will ultimately task a single component, such as a chart or a table, to answer the question. For
instance, if the component question is “What is the overall revenue trend for the last two years?” you
can imagine a chart component answering that question by showing the two-year revenue trend.
We sometimes take this a step further and actually incorporate the component questions into a
mock layout of the dashboard to get a high-level sense of what data the dashboard will require.
Figure 1-3 illustrates an example.
Each box in this dashboard layout mockup represents a component on the dashboard and its
approximate position. The questions within each box provide a sense of the types of data required to
create the measures for the dashboard.
Figure 1-3: Each box in this dashboard layout mockup represents a component and the type of data required to
create the measures.