Saturday, July 17, 2010

Book Review: "Performance Dashboards and Analysis for Value Creation" by Jack Alexander

4 Stars (Out of 5)

The following is a book review of "Performance Dashboards and Analysis for Value Creation" by Jack Alexander. The book was first published in 2007 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

This book was written for individuals at all levels of the enterprise to show conceptual links between operating performance, financial measures, and shareholder value; and show how dashboards can be built to effectively track performance and manage the enterprise. The book is clearly written, uses clear examples and is written with an academic and systematic style.

"Performance Dashboards" has three parts which I will call introduction to finance, value driver dashboards, and practical matters. The intro to finance section summarizes the fundamentals of finance and valuation concepts for those without a financial background so they can follow parts two and three. The value driver dashboard section devotes a chapter to breaking down each of the drivers of shareholder value and showing how metric dashboards can be created to manage the drivers. The practical matters section discusses some of the issues that come along with introducing a new tool to an organization and how to make sure to be successful. The book also comes with a CD-ROM that is full of spreadsheets (dashboards) that were used as examples throughout the text.

The only criticism that I have of the book is that it is largely focused on metrics for businesses that produce physical products (or goods) and it would have been nice to see a chapter devoted metrics and dashboards for businesses that produce service products. With this said, the high-level business metrics are there and maybe it felt that managers of service companies should be able to drill down another level to create the dashboards and metrics that make the most sense for their particular business.

In Summary, "Performance Dashboards and Analysis for Value Creation" is a great book for individuals at all levels of the enterprise who want to see how the multitude of business metrics fit together and can be use to drive shareholder value.

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