Performance Dashboards, Second Edition by Wayne Eckerson

Performance Dashboards by Wayne Eckerson second edition

Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business by Wayne Eckerson is quite possibly my favorite business intelligence book (Wiley, 2nd edition, 2010, ISBN 978-0470589830). I reviewed the first edition several years ago and recommended it to my clients, regardless of whether they were business users or IT professionals (see my earlier review of the first edition, Performance Dashboards). So I was delighted when a review copy of the second edition arrived at my doorstep. As I began reading, I had two primary questions. First, would it still be the first book I’d recommend? And second, should owners of the first edition purchase the second edition?

I’m happy to say that the answer to both questions is “yes”. Although the book covers the same themes as its predecessor, the book’s contents have been reorganized and over 50% of the material is new. The 308-page book is organized into three parts and 15 chapters. There’s even electronic editions for Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble Nook, and Google Books.

The first part, The Landscape for Performance Dashboards, provides a solid foundation of concepts. Business professionals will want to read the chapter entitled Assessing Your Organizational Readiness.  And technical professionals will want to read the chapter entitled Assessing Your Technical Readiness. But both chapters should be read by all readers, as many dashboard projects fail because one side fails to understand the challenges of the other. Which is why part one concludes with a chapter entitled How to Align Business and IT. The chapter on technical readiness presents Eckerson’s BI Maturity Model, which can help technical teams assess not only where they are but also have a productive dialog with their business sponsors about how to get to the next stage in the model.

The second part, Performance Dashboards in Actions, provides brand new case studies for each of the three types of dashboards: operational, tactical and strategic. There are two case studies for each type so readers can compare and contrast the different approaches.

The final part, Critical Success Factors: Tips from the Trenches contains six chapters, each titled “How to…”. These chapters provide helpful checklists that will help organizations structure their requirements and project plans. They’ll also help frame questions to vet potential outsourcing partners.

If you’re looking for your first book on business intelligence, dashboards and performance management, this is it. And if you own the first edition, you’ll appreciate the new chapters, case studies, and reorganization of the material. I’ve seen many dashboard projects fail because either the business sponsors, the IT department, or sometimes both think that they can continue business as usual. There is a third way and Performance Dashboards is a useful guide that can help you find it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Dallas Marks

Dallas Marks

I am an analytics and cloud architect, author, and trainer. An AWS certified blogger, SAP Mentor Alumni and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting.