Metrics and strategic maps

Web Dashboard functionality to analyze strategic goals pursued by an organization. To perform this kind of analysis, you use several objects from Web Dashboard: Metric, Perspective, Strategic objective and Strategic map.

A strategic map is a diagram that you can use to display various performance measures in an organization. The strategic map uses shapes in a diagram to show the relationships between the objectives and metrics (or KPIs). It uses colors to highlight how each objective or metric is performing.

Strategic maps have their roots in the Balanced Scorecard framework, which defines organizational performance by using four perspectives described in the following table:

Perspective Description

Financial

The financial perspective usually includes metrics such as revenue, cost, and profit.

Customer

The customer perspective, which is also referred to as the customer satisfaction perspective, includes metrics such as customer counts, market share, and number of complaints.

Internal process

The internal process perspective, which is also referred to as the operations perspective, typically includes metrics such as time to market for new products, service error rates, and quality control measures.

Learning and growth

The learning and growth perspective, which is also referred to as the human resources perspective, includes metrics such as employee turnover rates, the number of new employees, and hiring data.

Although many organizations find the Balanced Scorecard framework useful, you do not have to follow it when you create your strategy map. You can create your strategy map using any combination of metrics and objectives.

In order to visualize a strategic map you should create several objects in Web Dashboard in the order presented below:

  1. Define a Perspective.
  2. Define a Strategic objective.
  3. Create a Metric.

About Perspectives

A Perspective is a category that helps you group and analyze your strategic objectives. For example, you can define perspectives like Finance, Customer, Internal processes, Learning and innovation, and so on.

The Strategic objectives (see About Strategic objectives) can be organized to form a strategic axis, named Perspective, which is displayed in the Strategic map (see Web Dashboard functionality to analyze strategic goals pursued by an organization. To perform this kind of analysis, you use several objects from Web Dashboard: Metric, Perspective, Strategic objective and Strategic map.).

Create a perspective

To create a perspective:

  1. On the Main menu, click Dashboard design > Perspective to access the list of existing perspectives.
  2. Click the New document button to create a new Perspective. A new document opens and the Description tab displays. A perspective is configured with the following properties:
Field Description

Name

A unique identifier for the perspective object.

Description

A user-friendly label for your Perspective to be displayed in the Strategy map. The description can be internationalized (translated into the language defined for each user) using Internationalization tab.

Caption font

This parameter configures the style (background color, size, font, and so on) of the perspective object to be displayed in the Strategic map. The style is also reflected in the PDF export of the Strategic map.

Sort order

This parameter specifies the order in which perspectives blocks are displayed in the Strategy map. The style is also reflected in the PDF export of the Strategic map.

About Strategic objectives

A Strategic objective is an element represented on the Strategy map as a bubble containing one or many Metrics (see About Metrics.) It groups metrics together in a coherent manner. A Strategic objective belongs to a single Perspective, in the same way that a Metric belongs to only one Strategic objective.

One or more Strategic objectives can be defined in each Perspective. This is useful, for example, to reflect the areas of development of your company. Strategic objectives can be: Maintain growth, Increase profitability, Product quality, Customer acquisition, and so on.

Create a strategic objective

To create a strategic objective:

  1. On the Main menu, click Dashboard design > Strategic objective to access the list of existing objectives.
  2. Click the New document button to create a new Strategic objective. A new document opens and the Description tab displays. A Strategic objective has the following properties:
Field Description

Name

A unique identifier for the strategic objective object.

Description

A friendly label of your strategic objective that will be displayed on the strategy map. The description can be internationalized (translated into the language defined for each user) using Internationalization tab.

Perspective

Link the strategic objective to the selected perspective.

Strategic Objective

This is the related strategic objective. It is an optional property that will be represented in the strategy map as an arrow to indicate a cause-and-effect relationship between the current strategic objective and another one that has already been configured.

Caption font

This parameter configures the style (background color, size, font, etc.) of the strategic objective displayed in the strategic map.

Metrics font

This parameter configures the style (background color, size, font, etc.) of the metrics displayed in the strategic map.

Comment

Add a comment to your strategic objective.

About Metrics

You can use a metric to monitor a value representing the result or status of a process over a certain period of time. For each metric, the application extracts and aggregates the data at specified intervals and calculates the trend.

This process scans a specified number of lines in a report and determines a value, known as a metric, by applying a particular rule (for example, sum, average, minimum, maximum, and so on) to the data in one of the report's columns.

This metric is then recorded in a history log. A certain trend can be observed as this value changes over time.

Metrics are calculated globally for all or selected entities.

The result of the process can be represented in two ways:

  • As a tree, accessible from Dashboard design > Metric.
  • As a graphic displayed on Dashboard design > Strategic map, showing cause-and-effect relationships.

Create a metric

To create a metric:

  1. On the Main menu, click Strategy map > Metric. A list of existing metric displays.
  2. Click the New document button to create a new Metric. A new document opens and the Description tab displays.
  3. On the Description tab, enter values for the following fields:
  4. Field Description

    Name  

    A unique identifier for the metric object. This field is mandatory.

    Description  

    A user-friendly label for your metric to be displayed across the GUI. The description can be internationalized (translated into the language defined for each user) using Internationalization tab. This field is mandatory. 

    Entity

    Owning entity (see User access managment). This will impact the access rights for this Metric.

    Strategic Objective

    The strategic objective to which the metric is related. In the strategic map, the metric will be included in the strategic objective selected at this step.

    Report

    The report on which to monitor the values of a certain column. The email is sent based on these values. 

    Only reports with interactive execution mode can be used (not snapshot mode).

    Field name

    The name of the column in the report used as the condition to trigger the email. This must be a numeric field.

    Calculation mode

    The metric is determined by applying a calculation mode (sum, average, minimum or maximum) to the data in one of the report's columns.

    Number of lines

    The number of line to be scanned to obtain the metric.

    Target

    The value of the desired target. In the strategic map or in the metric panel, the target will be compared with the metric value generated by applying the calculation mode.

    Color

    This color is applied when the metric is displayed in the strategic map.

    Format

    The format of values from the column to be analyzed.

    Storage duration

    The storage duration of calculated values of the metric. This values are used to build the historic graph of the metric that can be accessed in the strategic map.

    Time unit

    The unit of measure for the Storage duration. One of the following time units can be associated to the frequency: day, hour, minute, month, week.

    Trend calculation

    The period of calculation of the trend (comparison between the actual value and the old one). The trend is the arrow displayed beside the metric in the metric panel.

    Time unit

    The unit of measure for the execution of Trend calculation. One of the following time units can be associated to the frequency: day, hour, minute, month, week

    Analysis report

    This report can be attached to the mail in PDF or Excel format to highlight the calculated value of the metric.

    Comment

    Add a comment to your metric.

    Version

    Version number of the object. Sentinel increments this number when the object is saved. Sentinel increments the correction number when the object is saved. This version number is used during XML export and import. See Import Excel files.

  5. On the Schedule tab, specify whether the task associated with the metric execution is a Master task or a Child task.
    • Master task - Has an execution defined (CRON or frequency).
    • Child task - The execution of a Child task depends on another task. In the task manager, the Child task is displayed under the Master task.
  6. For a Child task, two fields must be completed:
    • Parent task: The reference task.
    • Run when: Use the selection list to choose the execution condition from the following:
      • Parent Task OK
      • Parent Task Ok/Warning
      • Parent Task Ok/Warning/Error
      • Parent Task Warning
      • Parent Task Warning/Error
      • Parent Task Error.
  7. Fill in the fields to establish a schedule for when the metric is executed:
  8. Field Description

    Task group

    Chose a task group for this metric object. If you don't have any, you can create one in the Task group section in Main menu > Task

    Cron expression

    You can use a standard cron expression to specify the schedule for this metric. Cron is an operating system utility used to execute commands at scheduled times. For example, the cron expression can be 0 30 1 * * ? and it means launch at 1h30 every day. 
    Available for a master task only.

    Time zone

    Choose the timezone for the Start date and End date fields.

    Start date

    The date and hour when a master task will start.

    End date

    The date and hour when a master task will end.

    Frequency

    The periodicity of metric execution. This is an alternative to the Cron expression. Available for a master task only.

    Time unit

    The unit of measure for the execution of this metric. One of the following time units can be associated with the frequency: day, hour, minute, month, week.

  9. Click the Message tab and compose the message to be sent and specify the users to receive the message. Specify values for the following fields:
  10. Field Description

    Send to users with access to this control

    Only the users with access to this metric will receive the message

    Send to additional users

    Define message recipients other than those who have access to this metric object.

    Subject

    The text you enter here will appear as the subject of your email or sms.

    Message

    The body of the email or sms. This information can be contextualized.

    Attachment

    The Report selected in Description tab can be attached as PDF or Excel file.

    Message sending policy

    Use this matrix to set the conditions under which your message will be sent. If you select a check box, your message will be sent if that condition is met. Each condition evaluates both the initial and the final state of the report. If you do not select any check boxes, no message will be sent. If you select all the check boxes, a message will be sent each time the metric is executed.

Execute Metrics

In order to be able to send and receive messages, there are several more items you must configure:

  • Add the metric to the desired workspace (User management > Workspace > Metric tab).
  • Create a Message type in the Administration folder to specify the message provider: email or sms.
  • In User management > User, check the option, Allow messaging access, and complete the Message type you have created with an email address or phone number (for sms) of the destination user.
  • Execute the Metric in the Task manager.

The workspace Metric tab allows you specify the access level for each metric.
Metrics can have the following access levels:

  • None: The metric will never be calculated for users in this workspace.
  • Read only: The metric will be calculated but will not be customizable by users in this workspace.
  • Total: The metric will be calculated and will be customizable by users in this workspace.

Visualize metrics

You can visualize metric by including them in dashboards (for more details about dashboard see the section Setup Dashboards).

In a dashboard, the metric is shown as a counter. The border around the metric is shown in red, yellow and green, representing the thresholds specified in the setup. The black arrow represents the target value and the red arrow shows the actual value. Clicking the arrows will display the exact value.

To view the history, you must click on the Metric history.

Metric Panel

The metrics panel allows you to visualize the alert levels of all the metrics, arranged in preset groups. It also shows how they have changed since the last time the dashboard was executed.

A summary of the alert levels of the metrics is displayed for the various metric groups.

Double-clicking on a metric name opens a popup. The metric detail window displays the alert level and the threshold values for the metric.

When clicking on a metric, many icons in the toolbar become enabled:

  • Metric history- a link to the metric history
  • Report – a link to the analysis report used in the task
  • Customize – displays the _Customize this metric _window. Change values for thresholds and click OK.
  • Delete customization – deletes the last customization.

Strategic map

Like the Metric panel, the Strategy map shows all the metrics that you can access, organized by Perspective and by Strategic objective. The Strategy map also shows the cause-and-effect links between objectives.

The Strategic map can be visualized on the main menu on Dashboard design > Strategic map.

Clicking on the name of a metric opens the a popup with the following options:

Button Description

Refresh

Reloads the strategic map.

Customize

Use the Customization dialog box to setup a New Goal and a Threshold for the selected metric object.

Delete customization

Deletes the customization already applied. This button is enabled only if the metric has already been customized.

PDF export

Generates a PDF file with the strategic map that you can either save or open directly.

Report

It displays the analysis report on which the metric is based. See Set up reports.

Metric history

The metric history is available when displaying the metric.

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