Back the early Internet age, I was a consultant helping build marketing data warehouses. There were a number of great spokes-persons of our niche industry, notably Ralph Kimball and Bill Inmon. Both published a lot of books and both educated many of us on critical data management issues. A rising star from those days was Wayne Eckerson, who became the Business Intelligence guru. Wayne published a great book, Peformance Dashboards, which really leverage the 1990’s wave in data warehousing with the web analytics of this decade, blending the metrics to deploy business performance dashboards.
The key summary of this book is that dashboards, scorecards, metrics, monitoring, and analytics all get munged into one screen of information. Keeping the key things simple to understand makes it easier for the entire company to focus their efforts and work to making things better for the customer. The dashboard translates strategy into objectives, metrics, and initatives for each team to achieve.
My favorite dashboard that combines the world of the web, data warehouse, and basic business systems is that from the Indiana Musuem of Art.
They have combined all the great metrics to run their business on published it on the web. Just think how you could transform your web site infrastructure and make this your Intranet. All the employees (and even customers!) can see what is important to the company. Clicking on a KPI gives you the trends over time and they even have “cross-selling” references on the left of the page. Totally a wonderful example.