I was recently interviewed for a podcast on transforming executive leadership through well-defined KPIs. I address some of the challenges in developing powerful key performance indicators for the executive suite - along with a handful of warnings on typical challenges to building KPIs successfully.
The challenge of designing a CEO dashboard is the challenge of getting to simple.
This 30 minute webinar is targeted at CEOs, executives, managers – and the knowledge workers who are charged with designing and developing dashboards for their organization's chief executive.
Whether you're building the structure and key performance indicators for your CEO's dashboard - or simply need help working through the design on a data visualization, we can help.
Come check out sample data visualizations from our portfolio and see if there's an area where we can support you.
Photo credit: Jon Raimes, illustrator, 30-SECOND THEORIES
To KPI Everything Is to KPI Nothing
As the familiar axiom goes, to measure everything is to measure nothing.
Mark Twain once said he it would take him 30 minutes to prepare a one hour talk, a day to speak for twenty minutes, and a week to prepare a five minute talk.
Getting to simple is one of the great challenges to working with information and to guiding actionable inquiry. The simpler you want to get, the more work it is to reduce. Someone once described this challenge as the journey to "simplexity," an appealing term for the challenge of simplifying a complex context.
So how do you get to simple? What questions should be satisfied during the design phase? What framework can we evaluate a potential KPI with?
Here are six problem areas to address before designing an executive dashboard or selecting KPIs. (And they are pretty helpful for every other kind of dashboard, too.)
Twenty Years of Watching Dashboards Fail
It may help to start with what a CEO dashboard - or any other dashboard for that matter - is not. Twenty years of working on dashboard initiatives has revealed a pattern of early warning signs that can be addressed - but first need to be recognized.
Have your dashboard initiatives had any of the following 9 characteristics?
Top Level KPIs Create Strategic Stability
When a small set of key organizational metrics are established and shared within an organization, there is a stabilizing effect on a CEO's intent and strategic plan.
We sat down recently with Param Ghangas, the Director of Analytics at HBO, to talk through our 7 Questions.
Param has been working in analytics and marketing for over a decade, designing KPIs, building web analytics solutions, managing teams, and communicating actionable insights to a wide variety of stakeholders.
Her experience spans the business and technical sides of creating ROI in complex enterprise environments. With a keen eye for maximizing the decision-making impact of a data strategy, she had a great deal to share on how companies can work effectively to leverage information assets.
Her answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
The most important dashboard in an organization is the one on the CEO's mobile phone or desktop. Other dashboards may provide insight into critical issues: financial health, marketing spend, operational efficiency, customer satisfaction and much more.
The CEO’s dashboard tells the story of the company’s business model .
The key performance indicators here are vital signs that indicate how well the business model itself is functioning - and they provide predictive and actionable insights into future challenges and growth.
This article provides a five-point sanity check for your own CEO dashboard. Lock the door, hold your calls, and open up your current dashboard.
CEO Dashboards Fail. And Often.
Probably too often.
They fail because they don’t generate new, actionable insights. They fail because they are hard to use, ugly to look at, slow to load, and because the metrics are flat out wrong. But more troubling, they often fail because the CEO isn't strategically prepared to leverage one.
Here's the bottom line: dashboard KPIs are your leadership story quantified. For a CEO's KPIs to be effective, they need to be your organization's vital signs. They need to represent the shared understanding of "what matters" that you have already created within the culture of your business.
The following seven questions test how successful you have been in building, evangelizing, and creating alignment on your vision. Your answers to these questions will be strong leading indicators of whether your KPI and CEO dashboard will help drive your organization.