Balanced scorecard software is usually the best way to implement the methodology across an organization. You can look into a standalone solution or use the functionality built into a business intelligence software system. Some vendors will call this dashboarding or data visualization software.
Several companies offer dedicated solution packages. This would be a
way to get a quick and dirty implementation going. The advantages of
using a dedicated system are that the vendor is very focused and
experienced with the methodology. They may have more detailed industry
experience. Since BSC usually go to executives or at least high-level
managers, it’s typically a high visibility application. The tradeoff is
that the system would need to connect into another BI or data structure
to populate the metrics. This type of standalone system is usually
more focused on the visualization rather than the data aggregration
piece. More systems mean more maintenance and potentially different
versions of the truth. Here are some of the bigger BSC only vendors.
QuickScore – This is the Balanced Scorecard Institute official software
Corvu – more of a dashboarding technology
Corporater – Similar to Corvu
Clearview – they bill themselves as a “web 2.0” experience. Web-based, and cheap per user, but they are focused on project management.
Other vendors like Qlikview and Tableau offer visualization technology, but aren’t as focused on solely balanced scorecards. They are worth considering.
For the big BI vendors, they normally offer a balanced scorecard as a functionality or dashboarding component. It’s usually offered as one of the 5 styles of BI. Most of the demos and workups will be based on the main components of the methodology: financial, customer, internal, and growth.
In Cognos 8, this was often built as part of the Metric Studio, where the KPIs, or metrics, would be created and laid out. Microstrategy uses their Report Services module to construct scoreboards, dashboards, and other visualizations.
The advantage of creating a BSC within a bigger business intelligence ecosystem is that you can then get the leverage of using previously created KPIs and metrics. You’ll also know that the data in your scorecard will match your enterprise reports.
Either approach can work. The biggest issue is making sure that the scorecard itself fits the strategy, and it works with the rest of your IT.
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