Off the shelf BI software

 

In simple corporate structures, or during initial stages of implementations where there is one or a limited number of  Balanced Scorecards in use simple representation and monitoring system like Microsoft Excel or related office software tools are usually preferred.  The simplest mechanism to use the BSC is to delegate these activities to an individual, and many Balanced Scorecards are reported via ad-hoc methods based around email, phone calls and office software.

 

However the processes of collecting, reporting, and distributing Balanced Scorecard information can become labor intensive and prone to procedural problems when it is decided to roll-out the BSC in the entire organization, during complex BSC implementations

 

In such complex organizations, where there are multiple Balanced Scorecards to report and/or a need for co-ordination of results between Balanced Scorecards (i.e. Balanced Scorecard reports from  an initial level relies on information collected and reported at a lower level) the use of individual Balanced Scorecard reporters is problematic. Where these conditions apply, Balanced Scorecard reporting software is today one of the most reliable solutions to automate the collection and analysis of data from these reports.

 

A recent survey released by 2GC (2009) found that roughly 1/3 of organizations use office software to report their Balanced Scorecard, 1/3 use bespoke software developed specifically for their own use, and 1/3 use one of the many commercial packages available.

 

A vast number of software solutions suitable for Balanced Scorecard data collection, reporting and analyzing are now available on the market. To help guide companies through the selection process, Bernard Marr of Cranfield University has led an extensive research. The research involved more than 80 companies, consultants with expertise in BSC implementation and software selection and members of companies specializes in providing balanced scorecard software.

 

Ten points were identified as mostly relevant when choosing the right software to use with as balanced scorecard among which:

  • Implementation and maintenance fees of the software
  • Scalability of the program – how the database work
  • Flexibility and customization of the software
  • Features and functions integration
  • Analysis functionality  and data visualization and communication (CIMA, 2005)

 

Among the benefits of the software solutions for Balanced Scorecard use in the organizations are:

  • integrate data and manage data and information,
  • analyze and visualize data in the most appropriate ways, and
  • facilitate communication and collaboration. They therefore support strategic performance management initiatives and facilitate better-informed decision-making and organizational learning.

 

Selecting the right application is critical for a successful implementation .However, the fact that there are many different vendors, who all offer quite diverse solutions, can make this a difficult  task. A report released by Gartner in collaboration with Cranfield proposes a list of more than 30 applications including products from Sap, Oracle, or Hyperion after an extensive evaluation of all major software applications. 

 

Company name

Product name

Internet address

Active Strategy

Active Strategy Enterprise

www.activestrategy.com

Aspireview

Aspiren

www.aspiren.com

Business Objects

Balanced Scorecard Analytic App.

www.businessobjects.com

Cognos

Metrics Manager

www.cognos.com

Corporater

Corporater Balanced Scorecard

www.corporater.com

CorVu

Cor Strategy / Cor Manage

www.corvu.com

EFM Software BV

Bizzscore

www.efmsoftware.com

Hyperion

Hyperion Performance Scorecard

www.hyperion.com

IC Community

Dolphin Navigator System

www.iccommunity.com

IFS

IFS Scorecard

www.ifsworld.com

Insightformation

Balanced Scorecard Framework

www.insightformation.com

Nexance

NeXancePM

www.nexance.com

Open Ratings

SPImact Balanced Scorecard

www.openrating.com

Oracle

Oracle Balanced Scorecard

www.oracle.com

Panorama Business Views

PB Views

www.pbviews.com

Peoplesoft

Enterprise Scorecard

www.peoplesoft.com

Procos A G

Strat & Go Balanced Scorecard

www.procos.com

ProDacapo

Prodacapo Balanced Scorecard

www.prodacapo.com

QPR Software

QPR ScoreCard

www.qpr.com

SAP

SEM Balanced Scorecard

www.sap.com

SAS Institute

Strategic Performance Management

www.sas.com

Strategy AB

Runyourcompany

www.runyourcompany.com

The Vision Web

Scorecard.nl

www.scorecard.nl

Vision Grupo Consultores

Strategos

www.visiongc.net

4GHI Solutions

Cockpit Communicator

www.4ghi.com

Source: CIMA, 2005 (from Marr, B. and Neely, A., 2003)

 

References

BSC system : Software

 

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