Dashboards themselves don’t do complicated number crunching, but they do offer quick and easy access to tons of real-time data generated by other software. As a result, they are changing financial planning and employee oversight at many businesses. About half of 470 financial and information-technology executives surveyed recently by Hyperion Solutions — a software company that makes dashboards — had them, and another 30% expect to be using them within the next 12 months.
Not everyone is happy about this latest corporate tool. Some see the dashboard as just one more device that keeps people focused on only this minute, overreacting to short-term realities while ignoring the big picture of productivity and innovation. It also has the potential to spread a “gotcha” culture by closely monitoring managers. In turn, managers under increasing pressure could become so obsessed with the bottom line that they ignore product quality or customer service.