Keeping a scorecard isn’t just for weekend golfers or cricket aficionados; it’s also for tracking results in business. Keeping score, or grading performance, can be reviewed at a very high level for executive analysis or at a much more granular and detailed level for analysts and department managers. But regardless of the role, the primary object is the same — monitor and manage KPIs to make the most strategic and tactical decisions for the organization based on their findings.
Described in business terminology as a Balanced Scorecard, these analytical instruments are used for measuring performance by identifying top performers or areas for improvement with visual indicators. This management tool shows whether targets are being met and also provides a visual method for evaluating how your company’s strategic vision is being impacted. The scorecard is considered balanced because it measures the performance from four different perspectives — financial, customer, internal processes, and learning and growth.
So what does a scorecard look like?
Results for specific metrics, known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), are grouped together in strategic focus areas. The values are then measured against predefined thresholds to show how each activity is performing.
Examples of these thresholds can be:
- Percentage ranges:
- 0% to 25%
- 25% to 50%
- 50% to 75%
- > 75%
- Percentage of summarized group totals:
- Specific entries are evaluated by their “weight” or contribution within a group
- Predefined goals:
- These values can be percentages or totals as forecasted by company officials or members of the financial staff
Now that we have at least a general understanding of a balanced scorecard, you may be wondering — what does this have to do with SAP BusinessObjects?
Simply put, all the things you need to create drillable and highly formatted custom scorecards are sitting right inside of SAP BusinessObjects with the Web Intelligence application and waiting for you to put them into action.
Scorecards in Webi? Absolutely!
To build Scorecards in Web Intelligence you’ll need to familiarize yourself with just one key out-of-the-box feature — Conditional Formatting, known in earlier versions as “Alerters.”
The conditional formatting rule editor in Web Intelligence gives you the ability to dynamically apply formatting rules to rows and columns of data when certain thresholds are met or exceeded. A personal favorite of mine is to show trend icons as background images to indicate results against a predefined goal.
Web Intelligence really comes to life when you incorporate other dynamic features to your reports. You can add hierarchical filtering or dimensional grouping and a number of other key features to create customized and meaningful reports. Conditionally formatted values are dynamically updated when users interact with the report and drill into details.
Below are a few other ideas to consider when building reports:
- Contexts in formulas
- Breaks and/or sections
- Simple filters
- Input controls
- Block filtering
When these techniques are configured in a published Web Intelligence report, countless man hours can be saved that would have otherwise gone into manual reformatting monthly, weekly and daily reports.
Even if you’re more comfortable with filling out your Saturday afternoon golf scorecard or reading the scoresheet from your favorite World Cup cricket team, scoring performance on business data is very easy with SAP BusinessObjects and leads to better business decisions.