Building a business intelligence (BI) dashboard for corporate governance is the primary support mechanism for a company's entire portfolio of enterprise and IT governance initiatives. Governance dashboard solutions are giving organizations improved visibility into areas of their business (IT, compliance, risk, etc.) that have been historically opaque and cloudy. As a byproduct of these dashboards, business strategy becomes better aligned with IT spending through the use of symbiotic metrics, balanced scorecards and complementary governance methodologies such as the CPR (conformance, performance and relating responsibility) framework.

The metrics used in dashboards are most commonly called key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure the enterprise's performance against consensual and well-defined goals and targets of excellence such as Six Sigma and Balanced Scorecard methodologies. KPIs will help drive the business in the desired strategic direction and serve as guideposts for quality and value innovation. They will aid in identification of excellent performance (strategic and tactical) and the correction of poor execution. Associated result thresholds built around KPIs can present management with "red alerts" and raise exception processing, better positioning management to be catalysts for organizational change. An executive will be able to easily tell if the company is underperforming or overperforming in critical areas and give immediate attention to the rectification of problems or capitalize on potential opportunities. The most common classifications of KPIs are leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators yardstick business processes and activities that will have an impact on future corporate performance; they can, more often that not, be thought of as qualitative benchmarks. Lagging indicators measure the end result of past activity such as financial actualization and other quantitative-oriented constructs.

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