Scorecard overview

In PerformancePoint Dashboard Designer, a scorecard displays a collection of key performance indicators (KPIs).

Scorecards provide a way to track results through simple visual summaries. You can use a scorecard to assess the performance of your organization by viewing the status of key metrics. In addition, you can create different scorecards to track different performance metrics that measure different aspects of your organization, such as financial, operations, customer satisfaction, and so on. For example, in a business environment, you can use scorecards to track profit margins, employee-retention data, customer satisfaction, sales per product per store, and so forth. In a public sector environment, you might track attendance at informational meetings, the number of visits to museums, or the time that is required to process a benefit claim.

What do you want to learn more about?

Choosing effective KPIs

Scorecard elements and key performance questions

More about scorecard organization

Balanced scorecards

Next Steps

Choosing effective KPIs

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a combination of a performance factor and the measured performance of that factor. The best KPIs reflect performance factors that are critical to the success of a strategic goal.

Use the following keywords to help choose effective KPIs:

  • Specific     Choose KPIs that are clear and focused to avoid misinterpretation.

  • Measurable     Choose KPIs that can be quantified and compared to specific goals.

  • Attainable     Choose KPIs that are achievable, reasonable, and credible under the conditions expected.

  • Realistic     Choose KPIs that fit into the organization's constraints.

  • Timely     Choose KPIs that can be measured and reported in time to be useful to the organization.

The following tables show examples of KPIs that represent performance for a chemical plant from two distinct perspectives, strategic and organizational.

Important   Notice that the KPIs and Objectives provide information about each measurement as well as a picture of the strategic and operational goals of the organization.

This table shows the company objectives. The KPIs in this table represent a strategic perspective:


Reduce operating costs and risks

Preserve plant and asset integrity

Minimize corrective work

Strategic KPIs

  • Plant availability

  • Time operating outside deterioration limits

  • Plant uptime

  • Production target compliance

  • Plant availability

  • Proactive work orders

  • Emergency work orders

  • Inspection compliance

  • Maintenance compliance

  • Planning compliance

  • Work orders complete within planned costs

  • Scheduling compliance

  • Work order assessments

This table shows the same company objectives. However, in this table, the KPIs represent an operational perspective:


Reduce operating costs and risks

Preserve plant and asset integrity

e corrective work

Operational KPIs

  • Process availability variance

  • Startup indicators

  • Shutdown indicators

  • Mean time to failure (MTF) by equipment type and area

  • Unscheduled maintenance events

  • Completed records on significant failures

  • Emergency work orders

  • Backlog work orders

  • Overtime hours

  • Average direct cost per maintenance event

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Scorecard elements and key performance questions

A scorecard is a collection of KPIs. Typically, the KPIs in a scorecards form a hierarchy that organizes the KPIs from general to specific. At the topmost level of the hierarchy are the KPIs that specify general performance goals. These high-level KPIs are called objective KPIs, or just objectives. Under each objective, the scorecard contains a collection of KPIs that show the performance of a critical aspect of that objective against a predefined target.

The following table shows how core scorecard elements relate to key performance questions.

Scorecard element

Key performance question



What is the strategy trying to achieve?

Increase customer confidence in our advice.


How will performance be measured?

% of customers who rate us as a top source of advice.


What performance level is required?

65% of customers rate us as Number 1.

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More about scorecard organization

The highest level of a scorecard hierarchy contains a collection of objectives. Objectives are special KPIs that identify overall performance goals and provide a visual way to group related KPIs in a scorecard.

Note    An objective always shows the status of a performance goal, but does not display a performance score.

Each objective KPI forms a heading for a collection of other KPIs at lower levels. Lower-level KPIs represent critical performance markers on the way to the goal that the objective KPI represents.

If a scorecard has several objective KPIs, or many KPIs, a designer might also create intermediate-level KPIs that act as sub-objectives and form subcategories of a more general objective. A KPI that forms an intermediate heading in this manner is called a non-leaf KPI. A non-leaf KPI can aggregate the values of other KPIs, or be mapped directly to data.

At the lowest level of the scorecard hierarchy, the KPIs are called leaf-level KPIs. By default, leaf-level KPIs show a performance score that compares the actual KPI measurement to a target value.

For example, if you had an objective KPI called Increase Book Sales, you could create non-leaf KPIs that represent different categories of books. Then, individual KPIs might report the performance of elements for each category. The following table shows a possible hierarchy for the objective, and suggests possible non-leaf KPIs and related leaf-level KPIs.

Primary objective

Non-leaf KPIs

Related leaf-level KPIs

Increase Book Sales


  • Science fiction and fantasy

  • Bestsellers

  • Literary fiction



  • Newspapers

  • Magazines

  • Other periodicals



  • Dictionaries

  • Technical references

  • Geographical reference and maps


Other non-fiction

  • Business and technology

  • Home and garden

  • History and politics

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Balanced scorecards

Balanced scorecards strive to present an immediately comprehensible picture of a complete organizational strategy. This approach recognizes that the different aspects of a business all influence each other. A Balanced Scorecard examines performance from several critical perspectives. Typically, a Balanced Scorecard depicts four different perspectives:

  • Financial perspective     Financial metrics portray the economic results of previous business decisions and actions. Financial metrics generally lag behind actions, and therefore might not necessarily reflect the business as it is run today. However, financial metrics often determine whether a particular strategy is successful.

  • Internal Process perspective     The operational perspective reflects the internal business processes that support the strategy. They might include processes related to financial collections, safety in manufacturing, or product development. Typically, customers might not notice these processes directly, but business must excel at these processes to succeed.

  • Customer perspective     The customer perspective includes sales, because sales focuses on how the customers perceive the business. Because customer perception is affected by many business activities, this perspective is often a good general performance indicator. For example, it is affected by such things a product quality, delivery reliability, help-desk responsiveness and competency, and how the customer perceives the company. If your customers perceive your performance negatively, you might have to make adjustments in other perspectives.

  • Learning and Growth perspective     The learning and growth perspective covers the human infrastructure of the organization. It addresses performance indicators that concern employees, systems, and organizational procedures. Metrics in this perspective frequently highlight topics such as employee skills, work satisfaction, systems that employees use to perform their jobs, and organizational procedures.

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Next Steps

How do I build a scorecard?

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