Tools to manoeuvre

Dashboard management

Running a business soon becomes second nature, like driving a car. But being able to see all the information you need (the dashboard) undoubtedly gives greater control.

by BusinessWeek, February 13 2006
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

This is the theory behind  ‘dashboard’ software, a new web-based management tool that is changing the nature of management from an intuitive art into more of a science.

Net Suite Inc, the company behind the scheme, has created software that presents key information assembled from corporate software programmes in colourful easy-to-read graphics on a PC. Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison, who co-founded Net Suite eight years ago, uses his dashboard to track sales activity each quarter, the ratio of sales divided by customer service requests and the number of hours technicians spend on the phone solving problems.

Ellison is not the only dashboard fan: an estimated 40% of the 2,000 largest companies use the technology, which has become increasingly affordable ($1,000 to $2,000 a year to run per user), over the past five years. Information once buried within a large organisation is now accessible at a glance. This allows managers to take corrective action when sales people falter or quality dips.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive of Microsoft, asks his managers to bring their dashboards to meetings so he can focus on sales and the status of key products under development. Meanwhile, James Campbell, chief of the consumer and industrial division at General Electric, uses his to track the number of orders coming in each day and compares that with targets.

But dashboard critics warn that leaders can miss the bigger picture if they are glued to their computer screen. Plus, they argue the big brother approach stifles performance, creates divisions and leads workers to hoard information. Nevertheless, most management experts believe the rewards are well worth the risks. Why not give it a test drive and find out?

Source: Giving the boss the big picture: a 'dashboard' pulls up everything the CEO needs to run the show
Spencer E Ante
BusinessWeek, February 13 2006

Review by Abi Newman

BusinessWeek, February 13 2006 recommends

Click here to read the full article

Read more

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...