Day 2 of FFSC (Session 3)

Published on: 11:47AM Aug 03, 2011

Dr. Barry Dunn, Dean of AG/BIO, South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD gave a presentation on the untapped power of information systems in decision making.

Dr. Dunn shared several humorous examples of data overload.  He indicated the most powerful tool that he has seen for agriculture is the use of management dashboards for farmers.  A management dashboard takes all of the accounting, production and other data that a farm generates and places it into a simple a few page overview of the farm operation.

The performance dashboard serves like a magnifying device to spotlight the most important information in a readily readable format.

Content should:

  • Be Informative
  • Help improve performance
  • Possibly serve as a lever to change culture
  • Be based on causal links necessary to achieve objectives
  • Use metrics derived by scientific process


Dashboard Reporting should:

  • Refine and communicate strategy
  • Provide a consistent view of an organization
  • Deliver actionable information in a timely manner (instant feedback)
  • Promotes coordination between departments
  • Brings transparency to an organization
  • Motivate and empowers employees
  • Reduce costs and redundancy


Dashboard reports should streamline the process from data to action.