Scorecards allow users to compare strategic targets with actual results and compare performance to targets over time. Having a scorecard allows business users to take corrective actions to ensure targets are achieved. Green, Yellow and Red indicators quickly draw a user’s eye to items that need attention or are at risk of missing targets.

 IBM Planning Analytics provides organizations with the ability to quickly define metrics and create scorecards. Users are provided with an intuitive interface that allows them to quickly find the metrics they want and then create compelling and visually efficient scorecards.

 In the scorecard example below is a strategy map, a geographic visualization of metrics, and a historical chart. All of these are interactive and users can drill to detail and understand metric relationships enabling root cause analysis.

IBM planning analytics - graphical visualizations of metrics

Scorecards are driven by metrics. Metrics can be any item that an organization would like to track such as: Profit, Revenue, Product Releases, Customer Count, etc., these metrics can be financial, statistical, or qualitative.

A Metrics Cube in Planning Analytics is created first and is the basis for end users creating scorecards. An example of a Metrics Cube is in the image below. This Metrics Cube has 2 special dimensions: 1) a Metrics Dimension; and 2) a Metrics Indicator Dimension. A time dimension is also required in any Metrics Cube. In addition to these dimensions, this example cube has an optional dimension of Sales Reps.

IBM planning analytics metrics cube

A Metric dimension contains the metrics items the organization wants to track. To create a Metric dimension, in Performance Modeler right-click on the server tree and select New > Dimension. Enter a name for the dimension and for Dimension Type select: Metric.

Next, you can populate the Metrics dimension by importing from an existing source, cutting and pasting, or typing them in.

Importing a metric dimension in IBM Planning Analytics

The next required dimension is a Metrics Indicator dimension. To create this dimension in Performance Modeler, right-click on the server tree and select New > Dimension. Enter a name for the dimension and for dimension type select: Metrics Indicators.

The Metrics Indicator dimension pre-populates the Status and Trend indicators along with a number of other elements usually required in any analysis of metrics, such as: Actual, Target, Tolerance, Variance, etc.

The last required dimension in a Metrics Cube is a Time dimension.

After the 3 required dimensions have been created, you can add as many additional dimensions as you like. In this example we will be adding an optional dimension for Sales Reps, since we would like to track these metrics down to the Sales Rep level.

After the dimensions have been created, the next step is creating the Metrics Cube. To do this in Performance Modeler, right-click on the server tree and select New > Metrics Cube.

Drag and drop the dimensions you just created onto the Metrics Cube palette and position them to achieve the default view you want and click save.

Notice the Status and Trend Indicators and already populated. As soon as you test it with some data in the Actual and Target fields you will see the indicators activate. Trend will require at least 2 periods of data in order to calculate a Trend.

Metrics cubes include a History Chart and an Impact Diagram plus providing you the ability to create as many custom diagrams as you would like.

Impact Diagrams can be customized to accurately reflect the relationships of metrics within any organization.

As the Impacts of Metrics are mapped a preview of the diagram is provided to assist the modeler to accurately construct the diagram.

Strategy maps and Balanced Scorecards can also be created. Metric relationships of any complexity can be defined and can allow end users to drill down the strategy map to perform root cause analysis.

Connection logic can be defined among metrics and strategies. This allows overall strategic goals to be tracked against metrics that will drive their success.

In the example below, a simple strategy of Growing Revenue is driven by a strategy to Increase Customer Calls.

Custom visualizations of metrics can be created by overlaying metrics on any image you would like. Images of products, production lines, maps, etc. can all have metrics overlaid to create valuable visualizations.

Once I select my image visualization, I then drag whatever dimension items I would like represented onto the image. Zones are defined to allow drilling down into the image and metrics.

The custom visualizations can then be previewed and fine-tuned until the final visualization is achieved.

Once the Metrics Cube is created and the custom visualizations have been defined, the content is available to IBM Planning Analytics Workspace users. This will allow them to design Scorecards (and Dashboards) that use this content.

Opening a view of the Metrics Cube, you are presented with the default view of the cube that was created in Performance Modeler. These dimension can always be re-oriented to the end-users satisfaction.

Changes to the visualization can be made by clicking on the blue context menu and choosing the visualization palette. Note that since this is a Metrics Cube, Planning Analytics will present additional visualization options like the Impact Diagram, History chart and any custom visualizations that were created with this cube.

All this content and these visualizations allows end users to create scorecards that provide the information they need to effectively track actual performance to strategic targets.