Sure, you can track your balanced scorecards on paper, but at some point you’re probably going to want to go digital. Here’s our simple advice for selecting modern balanced scorecard software:
- Go web-based. If you’re rolling out scorecards to a lot of people, you want to be able to use your software anywhere. This also means no browser plugin requirements like Java or Flash. Your software needs to work on your iPad.
- Judge a book by its cover. If the company’s website is a pain to navigate and they don’t have screenshots, there’s a good chance their software is ugly and hard to use.
Unfortunately, the rest of the process is a little more nuanced. You’re just going to have to get dirty and see what software is best for you. The good news is that while there are over a hundred companies out there claiming to make balanced scorecard software, there are actually fewer than a couple dozen even worth mentioning.
If you have used software that you think should be added or removed from this page, please let us know.
Popular Balanced Scorecard Software
Sometimes the best tool to use is the one you already have. You can track scorecards in Excel and use PowerPoint to create strategy maps. Sure, having all of the files on one person’s desktop prevents you from doing a large roll-out, but when you’re just getting started and you’re still figuring out what you want to track, it’s hard to beat standard Office apps.
Spider Strategies has been growing in popularity the last few years, and they post an impressive list of customers on their website. Their cutting-edge web app is designed around the balanced scorecard, and its canvas-based dashboards (think PowerPoint) are just plain neat.
Cognos has been the 800lb gorilla in the balanced scorecard software arena since its purchase by IBM a few years ago. Formerly called Metrics Manager, IBM Cognos Business Intelligence Scorecarding is part of IBM’s larger BI software offering. There’s nothing particularly flashy about Cognos and it can be a little expensive, but the software is stable and it works well.
There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles in ActiveStrategy Enterprise software, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It was among the first web-based balanced scorecard software to hit the market, and over the years it has matured into a stable product with a large user base.
Actuate Performance Scorecard started its life many years ago as the first popular balanced scorecard software, PBviews. Over the years the company changed its name to PerformanceSoft, and then was acquired by Actuate. Although Actuate still sells Performance Scorecard, the software is showing its age and has been eclipsed by Actuate’s more modern BI reporting software, BIRT.
Other Balanced Scorecard Software
Abrige (not web-based)
BSC Designer (not web-based)
CorVu / Rocket Software (not web-based)
Oracle Performance Scorecard (was Hyperion)
SAP (was BusinessObjects)