Corporate intranets are morphing from portals to dashboards, according to industry analysts at IDC. Like the dashboard on your car, the interactive and collaborative nature of a dashboard intranet can show where your company is headed and how you’re doing. The purpose, in part, is to speed up information flow. Combined with new data visualization software, a dashboard intranet can let an organization receive immediate feedback in the form of visual displays. You can collect, combine and integrate numerical data from individuals, departments or groups, then integrate all that with information from external sources, such as customers, to show a true big picture of what is occurring within an organization. In some cases, status lights will appear on the desktop screen of an executive, indicating normal operating conditions. Red, green and yellow lights can indicate how well certain performance measures compare to competitive or historic benchmarks. Raw data and graphs can help team members see why certain lights have changed shape and color. “Many workers only see their piece of the puzzle, and fail to comprehend the connections between what they do and the company’s objectives,” says D. Keith Denton, author of Empowering Intranets. “Now everyone can see the big picture. (It) gives executives a way to create improved teamwork in groups, departments or whole companies. It can help manage change and even implement strategy.”

Darwin April 2003