Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) packages are quite ambitious. Basically they contain the entire data model for the company. The weak points have been the tremendous effort it takes to match the data model with the business processes (some companies find it easier to change their processes to match the package’s data models!) and the front ends. As of late, dashboards have become the favorite way for users to access their ERP data.
This sample sales dashboard comes from the Enterprise 21 ERP software package. The idea is that all the data captured by the ERP package can be translated into these types of charts. Each user can configure charts and set up their pages to contain the charts they want. Here we see a sales dashboard view with KPI metrics such as sales, gross margins, and product comparisons. The technology looks a little dated (client/server app, clunky graphics), but I bet the users still love it.
Homework: Joining an ERP project? Check out books on ERP packages. And if you are on an enterprise dashboard project, do yourself a favor and take a look at Enterprise Dashboards: Design and Best Practices for IT, the only book on actually implementing enterprise dashboards.
So what or who is The Dashboard Spy? As his about page states, The Dashboard Spy is just a guy interested in the design of enterprise dashboards. He could not find any executive dashboard design source books (or even screenshots of real business dashboards) and so set about creating his own. Finally convinced to post his extensive collection of dashboard screenshots online, he was amazed to find how popular it has become. If you have a nice screenshot of a digital dashboard, balanced scorecard, or any business intelligence graphic to share, please send an email to info _at_ dashboardspy.com. Also check out The Dashboard Spy’s favorite books on business dashboards.