Showing posts from December, 2006

A Framework of Business and Technology Architecture Supporting Performance Management

Over the last several years, my colleagues and I at the National Center for State Courts have recommended that courts design, develop and implement automated performance measurement systems. Such a system is supported by multiple interlocking layers of technology and business architecture that translates a court’s mission and strategies into clear performance metrics. We agree with Wayne W. Eckerson, the director of research and services for the Data Warehousing Institute and the author of the 2006 book, Performance Dashboards: Measuring, Monitoring, and Managing Your Business (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) that the system should be built on a multilayered business intelligence and data integration architecture including the processes, tools, and technologies required to turn data into information and knowledge. Further, we’ve recommended that the performance information needs to be communicated quickly and concisely in the form of performance dashboards, scorecards or other computer-s…

Rensis Likert: The Master of Cool

Just when you thought you had the bean counters, spreadsheet guys, and stat boys on the run comes Wired Magazine to remind us that measurement is downright cool. “Human beings measure things,” writes Lucas Graves (“Disparate Measures,” December 2006). “It makes us feel smart and helps us to understand our surroundings.” Graves’ evidence is some of the scales we use to parse, codify, and compartmentalize the world.

The most familiar among the “six of the coolest scales” cited by Graves is the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. The five categories meteorologists talk about represent the probable damage to man-made structures caused by a hurricane based on wind speed and storm surge. There’s the Mohs Hardness Scale developed in 1812 by Friedrich Moh to gauge the strength of a mineral. His method rates hardness by staging a catfight between minerals. A rock that can scratch another rock ranks higher than the one it scratched. My favorite is the Glasgow Coma Score to measure level of consci…