Scorecards vs dashboards — a false dichotomy

I received an email from Hyperion today announcing a webcast entitled: “Scorecards vs Dashboards — When to Use Which?” The relationship between scorecards and dashboards suggested in this title is misleading. Scorecards and dashboards are entirely different animals, not two things that you choose between. The balanced scorecard, as defined by its inventors Kaplan and Norton in the early 1990s, is a methodology for measuring and managing a business, which examines the business from the following perspectives:

  • Financial
  • Customers
  • Business processes

A dashboard is a particular means of displaying information for the purpose of monitoring what’s going on in the business. Dashboards are a popular means to display balanced scorecard information, but they can display other information as well.

Business intelligence and performance management are confusing enough as it is without software vendors—supposed experts in these fields—adding to the confusion. How can we achieve business intelligence or manage a business if we can’t even keep our terms straight? Clear communication is essential to success in both of these important and intimately related efforts.

Take care,


One Comment on “Scorecards vs dashboards — a false dichotomy”

By Marie. February 11th, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Very well said
True, I see a lot of confusion between these terms.