Purpose: Nearly 40 years since they first appeared, there is renewed interest in dashboards, engendered by the diffusion of business intelligence (BI) desktop software, such as Power BI, QlikView and Tableau, denoted collectively as “self-service” BI. Using these commodity software tools, the work to construct dashboards apparently becomes easier and more manageable and no longer requires the intervention of specialists. This paper aims to analyse the implementation of this kind of commodity dashboard in a university, exploring its role in performance management processes and investigating whether the dashboard affects the organisation (or not). Design/methodology/approach: This paper focusses on an action research project developed by the authors, where the objective was to design and implement a dynamic performance measurement tool fitting the needs of department directors. The three authors were all involved in the project, respectively, as project manager, dashboard implementation manager and accounting manager of the studied organisation. Findings: The results reveal a specific but complex change to the procedures and outcomes in the organisation studied, where the dashboard becomes a boundary infrastructure, thereby reviving technical and organisational problems that had been latent for years. Originality/value: In this paper, the authors contribute to the debate on the digital age and the role of accounting with their exploration into the “revolution” of self-service BI tools. The democratisation and flexibility of these instruments put into discussion two core and somewhat controversial functions of accounting: data integration and personalised reporting.

On the relevance of self-service business intelligence to university management

Arnaboldi M.;Robbiani A.;Carlucci P.
2021

Abstract

Purpose: Nearly 40 years since they first appeared, there is renewed interest in dashboards, engendered by the diffusion of business intelligence (BI) desktop software, such as Power BI, QlikView and Tableau, denoted collectively as “self-service” BI. Using these commodity software tools, the work to construct dashboards apparently becomes easier and more manageable and no longer requires the intervention of specialists. This paper aims to analyse the implementation of this kind of commodity dashboard in a university, exploring its role in performance management processes and investigating whether the dashboard affects the organisation (or not). Design/methodology/approach: This paper focusses on an action research project developed by the authors, where the objective was to design and implement a dynamic performance measurement tool fitting the needs of department directors. The three authors were all involved in the project, respectively, as project manager, dashboard implementation manager and accounting manager of the studied organisation. Findings: The results reveal a specific but complex change to the procedures and outcomes in the organisation studied, where the dashboard becomes a boundary infrastructure, thereby reviving technical and organisational problems that had been latent for years. Originality/value: In this paper, the authors contribute to the debate on the digital age and the role of accounting with their exploration into the “revolution” of self-service BI tools. The democratisation and flexibility of these instruments put into discussion two core and somewhat controversial functions of accounting: data integration and personalised reporting.
Boundary object
Business intelligence
Dashboard
Performance management
Performance management
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1209304
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