Open Dashboards

Social sector organizations use dashboards with varying degrees of success.  Some enterprises produce an active dashboard that is the first document that goes to the board and staff at predetermined interval.  Other organizations use a summarizing document to track strategic initiatives.  Another grouping of causes finds dashboards to be distracting and irrelevant to their work.

I have always approached dashboards as an inside/out method.  The data is generated inside the organization and then communicated out to a small group of individuals closest to the organization.  A blog post from Beth Kanter got me thinking about possible paradigm shifts.  

  • What if the dashboard was distributed to a larger audience, say your entire membership base?
  • What if the data on the dashboard was reflective of input provided from the outside (customers, donors, volunteers, community members, partnerships)?
  • What if the dashboard was assembled by a different partner or peer organization?

What information would you choose to include in these scenarios?  What data would be meaningful?  What would be valuable to track if the audience became your entire membership?  What if the dashboard was an outside/in proposition?

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