For a very long time companies’ CEOs have dreamed about a management computer tool that can provide them with up to date information about the current state of a business. Up until recently, these tools were very expensive and not effective at the same time. Nowadays, with the Internet and the new management technology – the dashboard, all these dreams are becoming reality.
Dashboard is a new management tool based on the Web. It provides managers with easy to read information fast and the information is obtained in real time from corporate software programs. The dashboard keeps the executives in touch with the business, displaying the financial data and sales, and helps them with the decision making process. Details to a business that will normally be kept away from managers, now is given to them.
These new programs offer so many possibilities that soon management as we know it- based on intuition will turn into mere science. They enable CE0s to notice important changes in their business almost immediately and give them the chance to act. Dashboards offer 300 metrics than can be inserted from broadband sales to wireless subscriber defections.
Small companies could not afford the sophisticated software of the dashboards up until five years ago, that is why this tool is particularly valuable to them.
Dashboards can be really useful when it comes to monitoring operations and checking whether the production lines are running smoothly. That technology also can be used to improve customer service and thus increase customer satisfaction. Moreover, dashboards can monitor purchase orders and inventory levels and the exact number of parts needed is ordered, and having everything under control – the shipping time of the items can be decreased.
There are many critics to this new technology used instead of manager’s intuition. One of them is that CEOs spend too much time in front of their computers and can lose perspective of the big picture, not spending enough time on creating business strategies that cannot be created by computer programs.
Another concern is that this new technology invades the privacy of the employees and puts too much pressure on them, can create tension in the company and lead workers to hoard information. Some companies use dashboards to monitor workers’ performance and make the results public, which can damage the working environment and cause embarrassment among workers. Even more, the privacy of the employees is violated and they are stressed to the limit, as their every step at work is being monitored and recorded.
No matter of the many critics of the new management technology of the dashboard, the majority of management experts consider that this tool is worth the risks. They warn executives to be careful when using dashboards and not to put too much pressure on employees by following their performance closely. Business leaders should not lose time following all the metrics, but choose the most important ones to track.
In my point of view, dashboards are not the perfect computer technology to monitor the current state of a business. There are many disadvantages concerning employees and management in the long term. However, dashboards are the best management tool so far and should be used wisely by executives. Using both science and intuition they will be able to come up with the best business strategy.
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