What is the difference between a dashboard and a scorecard?

Many people use the terms "dashboard" and "scorecard" interchangeably, but there is a significant difference between them. A scorecard is a type of report that displays a collection of key performance indicators (KPIs) together with performance targets for each KPI. A dashboard, on the other hand, is a container for a related group of scorecard and report views that are organized together in a SharePoint site. In other words, a dashboard contains a collection of other items such as scorecards, reports, and filters.

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What are reports?

A report is the presentation of data transformed into formatted and organized information according to specific business requirements. Examples of the types of reports you can expect to see on a dashboard include analytic charts and grids, Excel Services reports, Web Page reports, and ProClarity Analytics reports. Reports can be simple static images or highly interactive displays of data. You can sort, filter, and drill up, down, or through data in some types of reports.

What is a scorecard?

A scorecard measures performance against goals. Typically, a scorecard displays graphic indicators that visually convey the overall success or failure of an organization in its efforts to achieve a particular goal. The scorecard is based on a collection of key performance indicators (KPIs), each of which represents an aspect of organizational performance. Taken together, these KPIs provide a snapshot of organization performance at a particular point in time. The following screenshot shows a typical scorecard.

Scorecard that shows two types of indicators--one reflecting overall performance, and one showing current trends. Green, yellow, and red colors provide visual clues about performance against target.

What are KPIs?

A KPI is a metric that is tied to a target. The KPI usually represents how far away a metric is from its pre-determined target. The KPI score and its indicator are designed to let a business user know at a glance if results are on target or off target. For example, one commonly-used measure of retail success is same-store sales. If sales in a particular store increase each year, management views it as a solid performer. If the store performs less well than it did in previous years, management is likely to be concerned. A reasonable goal might be a 10% increase in sales each year for each store, and the KPI would be set accordingly.

What are indicators?

Indicators, sometimes called icons, are graphical elements that give visual cues about performance. Traffic light symbols are used—red to indicate a problem, yellow to indicate a potential concern, and green to show that performance is meeting or exceeding its goal. However, other types of indicators, such as check marks or smiley faces, are available, depending on the program that is used to create the scorecard.

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What is a dashboard?

A dashboard is a container for various types of reports, including scorecards. It might consist of one or more pages, and it might have more than one module on each page. The modules are called Web Parts. A typical dashboard might contain a scorecard, an analytic report, and an analytic chart, but many variations are possible. Some dashboards provide users with a high level of interactivity, and others display static images. The degree and kind of interactivity depend on the program that is used to create the dashboard.

Each Web Part maintains a connection to its data source. The Web Parts can function independently of one another, or they can be linked together, so that what you click in one determines what you can see in the others. Together, the reports provide a clear picture of current organization performance.

PerformancePoint dashboard showing a scorecard and 3 reports

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Applies to:
SharePoint Server