What is it about?
The strength and flexibility of the Balanced Scorecard (BS) framework has made it immensely popular in a wide variety of industries. The BS combines an enterprise's financial measures with non-financial, operational measures in order to visualise an enterprise's strategic and operational goals and drive future financial success. Several vendors have developed software solutions to implement and support a BS. Software solutions range from well-known, pre-packaged spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel, to lesser-known, custom made solutions specifically aligned to an enterprise's requirements. A number of BS software solutions make use of visualisation techniques such as graphs and diagrams, including visual “strategy maps”. The use of visualisation techniques can provide several benefits to users. These benefits include allowing users to more easily comprehend large amounts of processed data, enabling users to perceive problems with data more easily and facilitating the understanding of large and small scale features of data with greater ease. Some software solutions do little more than provide window dressing for Microsoft Excel data. Others provide a wide array of features, making them complex, difficult to use and expensive. This paper identifies several criteria for evaluating a BS software solution, and reports on a usability study of two existing BS software solutions. Identified criteria are evaluated by means of a usability study. The usability study includes an analysis of the preferences of users regarding the various visualisation techniques provided by these tools.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Brenda Scholtz and Brenda Scholtz