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Achieving Business KPIs: How Do Dashboards and Scorecards Drive Business Excellence and Strategic Success?

Employee Ownership

Achieving Business KPIs: How Do Dashboards and Scorecards Drive Business Excellence and Strategic Success?

By , June 14, 2024

Dashboards and scorecards are valuable tools used in business for monitoring, analysing, and visualising performance metrics, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other data points. These tools help businesses track their performance against strategic goals and align KPIs with business goals to improve progress.

Key performance indicators are not just used to track business performance – they can also measure the performance of teams, individuals, and projects – all of which contribute to the business growth and achieving key strategic goals.

Our business owner clients who get key performance indicators KPIs right are better able to manage business strategy, target value improvements, and identify areas that need focus to achieve business goals and monitor progress of specific metrics for greater success.

Why do we use dashboards and scorecards?

Many of our clients are looking to improve business performance and measure progress against business goals – a business dashboard is a clear and concise way to measure the company’s progress but also individuals, teams, projects, departments or offices within the business. Strategic dashboards can be one page and compiled from various data sources and reporting tools. Dashboards and scorecards enable data-driven decisions by providing clear and concise data visualisation.

Many of our clients have now integrated key performance indicators into annual performance reviews for staff ( linked to salary discussions ). Often they are a mechanism to determine the contribution to our employee ownership plans and to allocate equity amongst key employees. at a higher level they are an easy way to consolidate data sources and measure the company’s progress as part of a strategic planning cycle.


  • Business dashboards are real-time data visualisation tools that provide an at-a-glance overview of business performance through real-time analytics.
  • They display various metrics and KPIs through graphical interfaces like charts, graphs, and gauges.
  • Dashboards are typically used to track performance for operational monitoring and are often customisable to suit user needs.

Examples of Use for Strategic Objectives

  1. Sales Dashboard: Displays real-time data on sales performance, including metrics like daily sales, monthly revenue growth, and conversion rates. Sales managers use it to track progress toward sales targets and to identify trends or issues in the sales process.
  2. Marketing Dashboard: Shows data related to marketing campaigns, such as website traffic, social media engagement, lead generation statistics, and campaign ROI. This helps marketing teams assess the effectiveness of their strategies. By measuring the performance of multi-channel marketing campaigns, teams can use scorecards and dashboards to track key metrics, visualse goals, and aggregate the performance of all marketing channels over time. This allows for necessary adjustments and improvements to be made to optimise customer acquisition channels within a marketing campaign.
  3. Financial Dashboard: Provides a snapshot of a company’s financial health, showcasing data like cash flow, profit margins, expenses, and revenue trends. It assists executives and financial managers in making informed financial decisions. Additionally, it helps in improving operational efficiency by providing a comprehensive view of financial data.
  4. HR Dashboard: Tracks human resource-related metrics such as employee turnover rate, recruitment metrics, employee satisfaction scores, and training costs. Useful for HR managers to monitor workforce performance and needs.

Scorecards and Key Performance Indicators

Scorecards, particularly the Balanced Scorecard developed by Kaplan and Norton, are strategic planning and management tools used for performance measurement.

They help businesses translate vision and strategy into actionable objectives and measure progress across financial, customer, internal process, and learning & growth perspectives.

Unlike dashboards, scorecards are typically used for tracking performance against strategic objectives over time rather than operational monitoring. They provide valuable insights by extracting meaningful and actionable information from raw business data.

Examples of Use for Strategic Objectives

  1. Corporate Balanced Scorecard: Incorporates financial measures such as ROI and revenue growth, customer-focused metrics like customer satisfaction, internal process metrics like operational efficiency, and learning and growth indicators like employee training effectiveness. It’s used to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organisation, ensuring strategic alignment and that company objectives are met through measurable actions and KPIs.
  2. Departmental Scorecards: Specific departments like sales, marketing, or production can have their scorecards reflecting objectives relevant to their functions. For example, a sales department scorecard might focus on targets like new customer acquisition rates and average deal size.
  3. Project Scorecard: Used for monitoring the progress and performance of specific projects. It can include objectives like project completion timelines, budget adherence, and quality benchmarks.

Best Practices for Using Dashboards and Scorecards in Business Intelligence

  1. Relevance: Ensure that the key metrics and KPIs displayed are relevant to the specific needs of the users and aligned with business objectives.
  2. Clarity and Simplicity: Design for ease of understanding. Effective data visualisation is crucial; overly complex dashboards or scorecards can be counterproductive.
  3. Regular Updates: Keep the data refreshed and relevant. Dashboards should provide real-time or near-real-time data, while scorecards should be updated according to the strategic review schedule.
  4. Actionable Insights: Both tools should provide insights through business intelligence that lead to actionable decisions. It’s not just about presenting data but also about enabling informed actions.
  5. Business Intelligence Tools: Utilise business intelligence tools for tracking and analysing business data, squeezing valuable insights, and differentiating between dashboards and scorecards.
  6. Business Owner Training: Educate business owners on interpreting and using these tools effectively for their decision-making processes.

In summary, dashboards and scorecards are powerful business tools that aid in operational efficiency and strategic alignment. While dashboards provide a real-time functional view, scorecards offer a structured approach to measuring strategic performance. Both are essential for informed decision-making and steering the business towards its goals.

At Succession Plus, we specialise in helping businesses like yours identify and implement the right KPIs, dashboards, and scorecards to ensure sustainable success. Our expert team can guide you through the process of determining where your business stands and how to improve performance effectively. Let us help you on your path to success. Connect with us today to learn how we can assist in optimising your business performance and achieving your strategic goals.

Craig West

Craig West

Executive Chairman | Succession Plus

Craig West is a strategic accountant with over 20 years of experience advising business owners. His background as a CPA in public practice has provided invaluable experience in the key issues of concern to business owners.

In March 2014, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of the SME Association of Australia, Australia’s largest small business organisation representing over 300,000 business owners.

In October 2014, he was awarded the Exit Planner of the Year at the Exit Planning Institute Annual Conference in Texas, USA, due to his innovative development of an exit planning process to help business owners maximise business value and achieve a successful exit.

Craig’s proprietary structure - a Peak Performance Trust - has won the Australia-wide award for the Employee Share Ownership Plan of the year twice in four years.

In November 2018, Craig launched SME Experts in partnership with Mark Bouris’ Mentored on Podcast One and quickly grew the monthly podcast audience to over 26,500 downloads; in October 2019, he released a new podcast focused on medium-sized businesses - Mid-Market Matters.

In July 2021, Craig joined the NSW Committee for STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) – focusing on advising families across generations.

Craig has also launched a SaaS platform, Capitaliz (which captures the 21-step process), to assist other advisers internationally deliver advisory services at scale.

In November 2021, Craig was appointed Executive Chairman of NSW Leaders, a business mentoring group for leading NSW businesses.

In July 2022, Craig West received the award of Doctor of Business Administration for his research thesis titled “Examination of the key factors driving business exit options in Australian Small and Medium Enterprises.”

Craig is passionate about encouraging business owners to think strategically, maximise the value of their business and achieve a successful exit.

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