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Balanced Scorecard Spreadsheets Represents KPI

Oct 19, 2007
Perhaps the greatest gift of the unified GUI of the more recent versions of Windows® is that transforming data into a format which is pleasing to the aesthetic tastes [eye and mind] of the individual viewing it is quite easy. It is so easy to manipulate final presentation mode that most software for Balanced Scoreboard Management programs includes various presentation formats as default options.

One of the more popular, and often one of the easiest to understand formats for presentation is the spreadsheet. Over the years, almost all management types have become used to seeing and using spreadsheets in the many various [computer] applications that use the spreadsheet format as the final presentation format. Many, even high-level managers are so conversant with the spreadsheet format that they are even comfortable converting spreadsheets into charts and other diagrams for their own presentations.

The versatility of spreadsheet format is what makes it so acceptable as a presentation or intermediate tool. The thought of presenting what might otherwise be complicated reporting data from various sub-operations and using various perspectives and metrics, fairly screams out for the spreadsheet as a delivery medium.

The dashboards that are offered are sort of interesting for the person who wants to be a voyeur while the enterprise chugs along, but the ability to take intermediate results on spreadsheets, and compare yesterday's production with today's or this morning's with this afternoon's is truly what spreadsheeting is extremely good at.

Not all of the various off-the-shelf Balanced Scorecard software packages come with spreadsheet output designed into them, but you don't have be in the Forbes' 500 to have an IT person who can automate the population of a spreadsheet with the raw data from any Balanced Scorecard management system, including the home-brew type.

One idea that seems to be universal in the field of management training is that every organization is unique. While, in truth, nobody has the exact same measurements as the next person, most of us can still buy ready-to-wear clothing and have a decent fit, even if it requires a little alteration. Most of the off-the-shelf Balanced Scorecard software packages allow for just such minor alterations to make the product "fit" your specific, "unique" enterprise. The more expensive software packages often come with some amount of training included in the package price and some small amount of individualization, built into the price.

Even if that individualization includes something as simple as the design of the spreadsheet presentation, remember to be careful to have your implementation team make the decisions, and allow the software company's person to follow their lead only. The more expensive route is the custom tailor job, and here we are approaching the scale of governmental departments and other large corporate entities with sprawling interests, before these become cost effective. These operations would ordinarily be on the order of business management consulting and the consulting firm would have the software built especially for your enterprise, although they are often using their own off the shelf parts, and only making the smallest modifications.
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