Understanding the CIO Dashboard
A CIO dashboard is nothing more than a collection of data, presented typically in the form of reports, charts and other interactive elements like radial dials and temperature gauges, all designed to provide a 'heads up display' style of presentation typically associated with qualitative data. The CIO dashboard is therefore designed to allow a CIO to quickly gauge performance at a glance. The performance data might be related to actual systems and software performance, or it may be more goal-oriented in scope along the lines of a balanced scorecard approach.
The Performance CIO dashboard
The performance-based CIO dashboard is one that is designed to provide a quick glance of systems and software performance. This form of CIO dashboard might track the up-time of servers and network equipment, it might provide information on network traffic load or other systems and software-based performance data. This type of CIO dashboard is designed to give the CIO a quick glance to identify problem areas within the IT infrastructure. This style of CIO dashboard is typically built into systems the company already uses, like network monitoring and management software.
The Goal-based CIO dashboard
A goal-based CIO dashboard on the other hand is more 'qualitative' in scope and is designed to help the CIO understand how the IT department is performing against pre-determined goals and expectations. This CIO dashboard is typically based on data associated with projects and project status information and may provide information on the performance of subordinates. This type of CIO dashboard is often part of a larger dashboard approach that helps organizations identify risks and areas of opportunity before they become critical.
Benefits of a CIO dashboard
The key benefits of the CIO dashboard can be associated with timely access to opportunity and risk data. The CIO dashboard provides information on where specific projects or systems are and measures that information against pre-determined values and parameters. The benefit of the CIO dashboard is access to critical information to help decision making. For example, a CIO dashboard might highlight a project that is at risk of failure due to lack of staffing. Understanding this before the project becomes critical is a key benefit of the CIO dashboard.
Perils of a CIO dashboard
While the CIO dashboard has a number of benefits there are also perils associated. The key risk is that like any dashboard, the CIO dashboard is not capable of identifying "bad" data. In that sense the old saying of "garbage in, garbage out" could never be truer than it is with the CIO dashboard. Bad information or inaccurate data can lead to bad decision-making through the use of the CIO dashboard. For this reason, data quality is a key issue to understand and manage when working with a CIO dashboard.