Indicators, Dashboards, Benchmarks, and Scorecards in Regional Economic Development: Lessons Learned by George A. Erickcek at the W.E. Upjohn Institute offers great advice on how to create a successful dashboard for Ashtabuka County.
Erickcek says five pitfalls should be avoided:
1. Don’t create a stand alone dashboard. Tie it to community priorities and a future development vision.
2. Don’t believe more data is better. Focus on key measures and indicators that inform and explain.
3. Don’t use the dashboard indicators and performance measures to organizational efforts or impact. Development organizations have at best a marginal impact on economic and community performance. They guide but don’t control.
4. Don’t fixate on one indicator. Too many economic development groups over focus on a single job creation number. Indicators simply indicate what’s happening and whether the community is moving in the right direction.
5. Don’t mistake outputs or inputs for outcomes. For example, don’t use program dollars spent as an outcome.
Growth Partnership is beginning work in a community and economic dashboard for the county. Stay tuned.