BSC Designer Online - Balanced Scorecard Software

Use BSC Designer Online to create a Balanced Scorecard with KPIs, strategy maps, and dashboards.

Try BSC Designer Online during the 30-day trial period. No credit card is required. Free Balanced Scorecard examples and templates will demonstrate to you all of the features and benefits of BSC Designer Online.

Balanced Scorecard Template Step by stepGet start with a template. Use BSC Designer Online to follow the Balanced Scorecard approach using a real template with a strategic objectives and strategy map, not just with some KPIs. Read more...

Below is a review of the most important functions of the BSC Designer.

KPI ManagementKPI Management. BSC Designer Online provides all of the means necessary for the management of KPIs. Assign value, baseline, target, add measure units and initiatives. Read more...
Import business dataImport data for KPI. For the proper usage of the Balanced Scorecard one needs to fill it with fresh data regularly. Import your data from MS Excel or from SQL database. Read more...
Stategy mapStrategy map. Strategy maps give a big picture of where your business is moving. Create strategy maps, put on the strategy map your business objectives. Read more...
Reporting Reports. The visualized data gives more insights about possible improvement of the performance. Find a range of charts, diagrams and reports. Read more...
CascadingCascading. Your scorecard has grown? When you need to cascade your Balanced Scorecard, organize the team work with BSC Designer Online. Read more...
AlertsAlerts. Need to be informed when someone adds a new action plan, adds a report or when the KPI appears in the red area? Use the alerts function of BSC Designer. Read more...
Sharing Share Scorecard. Need to share your Balanced Scorecard with colleagues, partners or show it to the World? Find flexible opportunities to share a scorecard. Read more...

Account Setup in BSC Designer Online

Setup an account in BSC Designer Online, change logo, add currencies for the initiatives, backup and restore data.

Test Account

Before buying any subscription we do recommend for all potential users to test BSC Designer Online during the free 30-day trial period. For the trial period we don't ask for a credit card details.

Switching to the Paid Account

Once the product was carefully evaluated a user can get a quote and buy a required subscription plan using the online price calculator. The calculator will ask for the required number of power users and preferred billing cycle. Once the order is finalized you will have an activation code. Follow these steps to enter it into BSC Designer Online:

  1. Login into your account (you can use your trial account or create a new one)
  2. Click Settings on the top, select Subscription tab
  3. Copy into the text box the Credit ID that you have (it starts with "crd-" and ends with "-kpionline")
  4. Click Activate button

Any time in the Subscription section you can check out the subscription details.

Account Backup

A security copy of the BSC Designer Online database is created regularly. You might be required by the security regulations of your company to do additional backup copies of your data. Follow these steps to do a backup of your account:

  1. Login into BSC Designer Online
  2. Go to the Settings section
  3. Select Backup tab
  4. Select there Backup scorecards and groups to backup the data from your account, or Restore scorecards and groups to restore from a previously saved backup.

Please note: these additional backups need to be stored locally and are not saved on BSC Designer Online server. Additionally, you might want to turn on the log of user activity in your account.

Changing Account Logo

Among the first steps after the account was created, you might want to change an account logo to the logo of your company.

  1. Go to the Settings section
  2. Select Logo tab
  3. Click Choose file and then Save to apply changes

Click Browse to select a logo file and submit to finalize the process. Please note: you might want to resize your logo before uploading to fit 189x39 pixels rectangle, otherwise it might look too small/big.

Currencies

Planning strategy for different regions might involve local currencies. To setup local currencies:

  1. Go to the Settings section
  2. Select Currencies tab

In the Currency tab:

The new currencies will be available:

Getting Started with an Account

Here are some recommended steps to get started with an account:

Once you reviewed main features using example scorecards, try all the functionality on your own:

Get Started Using Free Balanced Scorecard Templates

Use free Balanced Scorecard templates available in BSC Designer as a starting point for a new scorecard with KPIs and strategy maps.

How to Use a Balanced Scorecard Template

Here are the steps to use a Balanced Scorecard template.

  1. Log into your account. If you don't have one, create a free test account
  2. Click the New Scorecard button
  3. Select a template from the More templates... list
  4. Create a scorecard from template

  5. Click the Create button

Review and Customize a Template

The template is now in your account. Now it's time to review what you have and customize it according to your needs.

  1. Go to My Scorecards section and click on the scorecard to open it, wait until BSC Designer Online loads all the data
  2. You will see the interface of BSC Designer Online and its main toolbar:
  3. Save BSC template to my account

  4. Click on the KPIs tab to review the KPIs that exist in the scorecard; with this tab you can:
  5. Finally, switch to the Strategy map tab, here:

The scorecard is ready, feel free to add more KPIs, business goals, build your own dashboard, or set up alerts. Check out "Get Started" in the user manual for more information.

Organize Your Scorecards into the Folder Structure

Organize scorecards using folders, create a new scorecard, change its description, share it with colleagues.

“Organize

In the organization structure one can:

Manage Power and View-Only Users in BSC Designer Online

Involve members of your team in strategy planning and execution. Learn the difference between Power and View-only users.

Adding Users

To add additional users to an account:

  1. Go to the Users section
  2. “Access
  3. Click the Add user button
  4. Enter required details:
  5. Managing users in BSC Designer Online

  6. Press Save button

Power and View-only Users

An administrator can add additional Power or View-Only users to the BSC Designer account:

The number of power users depends on the subscription that was bought. Check out the number of power users allowed in your account in Subscription section.

User Rights

Account administrator can adjust access rights of the power users using additional options:

Access rights can be further customized using "Sharing" function.

User Logs

Security regulations in some companies require the software to log the activity of all users. BSC Designer Online allows the administrator to turn logging function on:

  1. Go to the Users section
  2. Click the Logs button
  3. Click the Settings button
  4. Select events that you need to log and click Enable logs.
  5. The logs will be displayed in the Logs section.

Giving Access Permissions to the Scorecards and KPIs

Share scorecards with your team. Give access to the selected groups, whole scorecards, or specific indicators.

Adding Access Rights

Follow these steps to give a user a new access rights.

  1. Go to the My Scorecards
  2. Select the group or the scorecard that you want to work with
  3. Click on the Share button on the toolbar:
  4. Share button on the toolbar

  5. On the Share page select the rights that you want to assign to the user and click on the Next button.
  6. Select rights to assign to a scorecard or an indicator
  7. Find the user that you want to work with. Next to the user's name find the type of access that you want to give to the user and click on the Grant button.

Users who have access to this scorecard will now see it in their account in an organizational structure.

Revoke Access Rights

To revoke access rights follow the steps 1-3 as described above.

  1. Go to the Active permissions tab
  2. Next to the user's name press the Revoke button

Public Access

With BSC Designer Online you can make a public scorecard. To give public access on the step 5 find Public user and give that user required rights.

Access by Email

In some cases you might want to give an access to the person who is registered with BSC Designer Online, but is not linked to your account. In this case on the step 5 use section Grant rights for email, and specify the email of the person.

Scorecards Cascading or Alignment in BSC Designer Online

Connect goals and KPIs from different scorecards. Learn how to align goals with each other.

  1. Make sure you have two scorecards (Parent and Child) in your account and those scorecards have some KPIs
  2. Open Parent scorecard
  3. Go to the KPIs tab
  4. Click Add... button and select New Imported Indicator option
  5. In the Source document drop list select Child document:
  6. Align by KPIs

  7. In the Item for Import drop list select a KPI that you want to link to
  8. Click OK to close the dialog
  9. A new KPI will appear, the value of that KPI will be linked to the value of the Child scorecard

Managing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in BSC Designer

Create new KPIs, adjust their settings, input KPI data, specify measurement scale, and optimization function.

Creating a New KPI

Add new KPI button

Select an indicator that will be a container for a new KPI. Use Add... button on the toolbar to create a new indicator. The software will show several options:

Manual Data Entry

To enter data manually follow these steps:

Alternatively, you can select any indicator and click onto the Values Editor button on the toolbar.

The Properties of an Indicator

Select any indicator in the list of KPIs. The software will display properties of the indicator below.

General Tab

KPI in BSC Designer Online

Data Tab

Performance Tab

Performance and progress in BSC Designer

Respectively to the max/min pair the performance of the KPI is calculated using the formula: Performance = (Value - mn) / (mx - mn). Respectively to the baselines/target pair the progress of the KPI is calculated: Progress = (Value - Baseline) / (Target - Baseline).

Context Tab

Stop-Lights

Stop-lights are cycles of different colors that are displayed next to the performance and progress values. The stop-lights help to quickly identify the state of the indicators. Stop-light colors can be customized for an indicator:

  1. Open a scorecard in BSC Designer Online
  2. Go to the KPIs tab and select an indicator
  3. Select Stop-lights settings in Tools menu
  4. Enter new values for the stop-lights, check the Enabled checkbox and click OK:
  5. Custom stop-lights in BSC Designer

Managing Goals or Containers for KPIs in BSC Designer Online

Create business goals (or containers for the KPIs), adjust their settings, quantify them with leading and lagging indicators.

Creating Containers

To create a container:

Container Settings

Choose any container indicator to display its properties. Most of the settings will be exactly the same as for the KPI, but there are two properties specific for a container:

KPI container performance setting in BSC Designer Online

KPI container value setting in BSC Designer Online

The following options are available for the "Performance:"

The following options are available for the "Value":

Initiatives for the KPIs and Business Goals

Learn how to align initiatives (action plans), persons responsible, budgets with KPIs and business goals in BSC Designer Online.

Initiatives

Initiatives in BSC Designer

In the list of KPIs, there is a column Initiatives. Click on the button in this column to access initiatives for the KPI.

Initiatives for the KPIs have the following properties:

Advanced KPIs Properties in BSC Designer Online

Use advanced functions for KPIs: specify update interval, define values grouping, change value inheritance and stop-lights properties.

Customize Columns of KPI Table

Customize Columns setting in KPI table

Use the Columns setting in BSC Designer to customize columns of the KPI table according to your needs.

  1. Open any scorecard
  2. Select the Columns command in the Tools menu
  3. Select columns to display

Update Interval

For any KPI on the scorecard an update interval can be adjusted:

  1. Select a KPI
  2. Click Values Editor
  3. Find Update interval type settings:
  4. Select required update interval and click OK

Practical tips:

Value Inheritance

Value inheritance defines whether the software will use previous values for the new dates, or if it will use only entered values.

For example: there is a value of 21% for a KPI for September 1. Then user selects September 5th in the calendar.

To adjust inheritance settings:

Data Grouping

BSC Designer allows grouping data by time periods.

The way the software groups the data is defined individually for each indicator via the Group by option. To adjust the Group by option:

  1. Select an indicator
  2. Click onto the Values Editor button on the toolbar
  3. Use the Group by drop list.

Importing Data into the Scorecard from Excel Spreadsheet

Learn how to import into a scorecard the performance data for KPIs. Learn to use importing profiles.

Import from MS Excel Spreadsheet

1. Go to your account in BSC Designer Online. Open a scorecard where you want to import some data.

2. Go to the KPIs tab.

3. Click on the Tools menu, select Import Indicator Values option.

4. Select Import from MS Excel document. Optional: reuse previously saved import profiles from the Load settings from profile: drop list.

5. Click the Next button.

Data import wizard in BSC Designer Online

6. Upload MS Excel file. You can use this example Excel project.

7. BSC Designer reads the file and shows the list of available spreadsheets. Choose a spreadsheet from the list and click the Next button.

BSC Designer Online loaded data from Excel Spreadsheet

8. On the next step mark the column that contains values, the column that contains dates, the column that contains target values (if any), and so on.

BSC Designer Online loaded data from Excel Spreadsheet

9. Click the Next button to preview the results.

10. To reuse this import profile later check the Save settings as ... check box. Click the Finish button to finalize data import.

Troubleshooting

Using SQL Database as a Data Source for the Indicators

Use an external database as a data source for your KPIs. Setup SQL Indicators to access remote database.

Setup SQL Indicator

1. Open a scorecard, go to the KPIs tab.

2. Select New WebSQL Indicator in Add... menu.

3. Enter server name. For a locally installed BSC Designer the server name will most likely be localhost

4. Enter port number. For a locally installed MySQL database the default port number is 3306.

Setting up SQL indicator in BSC Designer Online

5. Enter database name, access login, and password. Click the Next button.

6. Formulate required SQL query (see some examples below).

7. Click on the Next button to preview the results. Click on the Finish button.

Examples of SQL Queries

BSC Designer expects to receive one value as a response to the SQL query. The received data will be used for the Value field of the indicator.

Supported parameters:

Case 1: Indicator is updated daily. There is one value for each date.

select value from datatable where date = %%date%%

Case 2 (most used): Indicator is updated monthly. There are several values for this period in the database that need to be summarized.

select sum(value) from datatable where date between %%UpdatePeriodStart%% and %%UpdatePeriodEnd%%

Updating Data

There are several ways to update data for SQL indicators:

Automate Expert Surveys with Data Series Function

Learn how to power indicators with data from surveys and expert interviews using Data Series function.

For example, it's hard to say if a proposed innovation idea is good enough, and how it compares to the alternatives. In those cases, a solution is to survey several experts and use the average of their opinions as an estimated value for the indicator. Data Series function in BSC Designer will help to keep track of such surveys.

Data series in BSC Designer Online

Enable Data Series

To enable data series in BSC Designer Online:

  1. Open any scorecard
  2. Select indicator that you want to use in the data series
  3. Select Enable series command in the Tools menu

A new tab Data series will appear.

Groups of Data Series

Data series can be organized into groups.

For example: use "Innovation analysis" as a group name.

Adding Evaluation Parameters

Survey questions or evaluation parameters are the indicators from a scorecard. Follow these steps to add a new indicator to the data series group:

  1. Select required group in the Active group drop list
  2. Click on Add KPI button (a blue button located on the right)
  3. Select some of the indicators from your scorecard and click OK

A new indicator will appear as a new column name.

Adding Data Series

Data series can be the name of experts that will participate in the survey. To add a new data series:

  1. Select required group in the Active group drop list
  2. Click on Add series button
  3. Enter a new series name (for example, expert's name)

A new data series will appear as a new row name.

Entering Data

Use the data series table to enter performance data.

  1. Locate a required data series raw (a required expert name)
  2. Locate a required KPI (a question that you ask the expert)
  3. Enter the value into the cell (the value is an expert's opinion about the asked question)

Another way to enter data:

  1. Make data series active (as described below)
  2. Go to the KPIs tab and select appropriate indicator
  3. Enter the data in this indicator

Go back to the Data Series tab to make sure that the data was entered properly.

Time Points are Supported

Indicators used in the Data Series are normal indicators of BSC Designer with all of their properties, including time points.

For example: It is possible to capture the survey results for different days and later analyze how the survey score was changing over time.

Calculating Group Results

The group results for all KPIs will be displayed in the last raw.

The data for the group results is calculated using the KPIs' values and their grouping type. You can use KPIs with different grouping type (e.g. average, sum, min, max).

Data Shown in the Value Field

The last column of the Data Series table contains several buttons with caption Active.

The value for the active data series will be visualized:

Automate KPIs Data Entry with RESTFul API

Automate data reading and writing for KPIs with RESTFull API. Automate access to your data for 3rd party business tools.

General Information

Getting Started

Find below some instructions that will help to get started.

Authorization Token

Before submitting API calls an authorization token need to be obtained. Send the following data to the login endpoint:

POST /rest/login HTTP/1.1

Host: https://www.webbsc.com

Content-Type: application/json

{

"email" : "replace_with_access_email_here",

"password" : "replace_with_access_password_here"

}

the response in JSON format will contain errorMessage and token parameters:

{

"email": "string",

"errorMessage": "string",

"success": true,

"token": "string"

}

Use obtained token parameter in the headers of all other calls to the API:

POST /rest/login HTTP/1.1

Host: https://www.webbsc.com

Content-Type: application/json

Token: replace_with_obtained_token

Getting IDs for Scorecard and KPI

API calls related to the KPI require the ID of the scorecard and the GUID of the KPI.

Getting Scorecard ID

Scorecard ID can be found using API call or manually. To find Scorecard ID manually:

  1. Go to the My scorecards section
  2. Open the target scorecard
  3. The URL of the scorecard will be something like this: https://www.webbsc.com/s/123456
  4. The number at the end is the ID of the scorecard

Getting KPI GUID

KPI GUID can be found using API call or manually. To find GUID manually:

  1. Open scorecard
  2. Select Tools > Export indicator values
  3. Follow the steps to get to the Preview export results page
  4. GUID column in the preview table will contain the GUID of the KPI

Writing and Reading Value Using API

Use KPI Value Controller to write and read data for the KPIs.

Check out the php example of using API.

Create Professional Strategy Maps Automatically

Create strategy maps using data from KPIs tab. Display perspectives, strategic themes, business goals, and KPIs.

Manage Strategy Maps

To view or edit a strategy map you need to open an existing scorecard or create a new one, and then go to the Strategy Map tab.

On the toolbar there is a drop list with all of the strategy maps available in your scorecard:

Select a strategy map in BSC Designer Online

Next to the drop list there are some buttons that allow adding, renaming or deleting a strategy map.

Generate Strategy Map Automatically

BSC Designer Online can generate a strategy map automatically using information about business goals, aligned KPIs, and cause-and-effect connections between them. To generate a map automatically, create a new map and click the Strategy map placement button:

Generate strategy map automatically

BSC Designer will suggest for you to select a type of the map that you want to create, and will also allow you to customize map settings.

Customize map settings

The interface of the map wizard is divided into several tabs.

Style

Select from several supported visualization styles

To use Map with KPIs map follow these steps:

  1. Create a Map with KPIs using one of the predefined templates (* note, in BSC Designer PRO you can create more templates)
  2. Go to the KPIs tab and select an indicator that you need to align with a region on the map
  3. Select Link item to the map in the Tools
  4. Go back to the Strategy map tab and update your Map with KPIs

Display Themes

A business goal in BSC Designer can belong to various strategic themes. On Display themes tab one can choose the themes that need to be visualized on the current map.

Responsible Persons

Choose if you want to show all goals, or goals for the selected person responsible only.

Map Display Properties

Various controls on this tab allow the user to customize the appearance of the business goals and aligned items on the strategy map.

Customize the Way Objects Look

BSC Designer uses certain color styles for business goals and KPIs. It is possible to adjust some color settings. Select any object on the strategy map and click Formatting button on the toolbar:

Click on the Formatting button

Once you finish editing make sure to click Lock button on the toolbar to let the software know that this object should not be changed when map will be rebuilt:

Click on the Lock button

Another mean to customize the way how the business goals are displayed on strategy map is by customizing color scheme of the strategic themes. To do this go to the KPIs tab, select any business goal, go to the Context tab, find "Strategic theme" drop list, and click Edit button next to the drop list:

Customize strategic themes

Drawing on the Strategy Map

BSC Designer Online provides a wide range of objects that you can put on the map. Click on the Custom objects drop list to see what options you have:

Drawing function in BSC Designer

Select an object from the list and click on the strategy map in a place where you want to place this new object.

Text on the Strategy Map

With the Text element you can put a text note anywhere on the strategy map.

Add and edit text on Strategy Map

To customize text properties such as font size and color, select an element and click the Text Properties button on the toolbar.

Links

You can link two objects using different link types. Select a link type that you need:

Add links in BSC Designer online

move a cursor over a source object, click and don't release a mouse button, move the cursor to the other object, select destination point and release the mouse button.

Send to Back, Bring to Front

Two buttons will help you to organize objects on the strategy map. Use them when you need to move some object to the front or bring it to the back.

Send to back bring to front object on strategy map in BSC Designer Online

Adding Business Objects

You can add business objectives and KPIs to the strategy map.

Add business object to a strategy map

You can double-click on the KPI item or business objective, BSC Designer will find this object on KPIs tab so that you can manage it.

Create Performance Dashboards for the Most Important KPIs

Display performance data on a dashboard in BSC Designer. Add new charts, create several dashboards, filter data that you need to see.

To access the dashboards follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account at BSC Designer Online
  2. Open any scorecard
  3. Go to the Dashboard tab

Creating a New Dashboard

Any scorecard in BSC Designer Online can include several performance dashboards. Using the toolbar on the Dashboard tab you can:

Adding a New Chart to a Dashboard

To add a new chart to a dashboard follow these steps:

  1. Open any scorecard, go to the Dashboard tab
  2. Click the Add... button on the toolbar and select Chart option.
  3. Choose an indicator that will be used as a source of the chart data. Pay attention to the Display for item selected on KPIs tab checkbox:
  4. Select chart type from the drop list
  5. Select if you want to visualize on the dashboard Value, Performance, or Progress
  6. Click OK to finalize the process

With the Add... menu it is also possible to visualize on the dashboard other objects from the scorecard:

Adjusting Chart Properties

In BSC Designer Online it is possible to move and resize charts according to your needs.

To delete a chart:

  1. Hover over the chart
  2. Click on the red cross icon that will appear

To resize a chart:

  1. Move mouse pointer to the edge of the chart
  2. Press mouse button, resize chart as needed
  3. Release mouse button

Some charts (for example, a Time chart) can be customized additionally.

  1. Move mouse pointer over the chart
  2. Additional control will appear
  3. Add new chart to a dashboard

  4. User "gear" button to customize chart, for example to change the period of time visualized on the chart

Performance Analysis and Forecast for KPIs

Find the best performing indicators, biggest gain or loss, predict indicator value, and detect indicators that were not updated on time.

How-to use Analysis Function

Here is a general approach to using the analysis functions in BSC Designer Online:

  1. Open a scorecard in BSC Designer Online and go to the Analysis tab
  2. Choose the analysis type that you want to use:
  3. Select analysis type

  4. In the list of indicators some columns will support order sorting, click on them to change sorting order:
  5. Choose sorting order

  6. Options below allow to adjust time interval for the analysis as well as other settings

Analysis Types

Here are the supported analysis types in BSC Designer Online:

Performance Reports for KPIs, Goals, and Initiatives

Generate reports with various views on scorecard performance: overview, action plans, costs of strategy.

Generate a Report for the Scorecard

To generate a report please follow these steps:

1. Open a scorecard

2. Select Report menu and select one of the options:

Generate Reports with BSC Designer Online

3. Follow the link to open a generated report.

HTML report in BSC Designer

Any HTML report can be converted into an Adobe PDF document using any of free PDF printers available.

Charts in BSC Designer Online

To access charts and diagrams in BSC Designer Online open a scorecard, go to the KPIs tab and select any container or indicator. The chart element is displayed on the right.

Besides having a chart you have several drop lists.

Charts in BSC Designer

Details about Charts and Diagrams

BSC Designer Online supports several types of chart.

Setup Email Notifications and Webhooks for KPIs

Setup alerts and notifications to keep your team informed about important changes of KPIs. Use webhooks to integrate with 3rd party systems.

Access Alerts in BSC Designer Online

To access alerts in BSC Designer Online:

  1. Open any scorecard
  2. Go to the Alerts tab
  3. Alerts and notifications for the Balanced Scorecard in BSC Designer

  4. Click the Add alert button
  5. Select required settings for an alert and click OK

Alert Settings

Change alert settings according to your needs:

Alerts dialog in BSC Designer

Webhooks

Alerts in BSC Designer can be configured to send out notifications as a webhook in JSON format.

To create a webhook URL:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Go to Settings > Webhooks
  3. Click Add to add Webhook URL

To use a webhook:

  1. Open any scorecard
  2. Go to the Alerts tab
  3. Create a new alert
  4. Select the name of webhook for the Who will receive an alert option