BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - June 10, 2009) - In the newly released report, "Executive Dashboards: The Key to Unlocking Double Digit Profit Growth," Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), found that leading organizations were able to produce an average 8.4% improvement in sales performance, more than 4 times the increase of all other companies, by leveraging a comprehensive and pervasive strategy for dashboard use. This study collected data from 285 end-user organizations globally and found that these companies are combining a tactical approach to business visualization with a strategic forward-looking vision in order to achieve substantial improvements in customer service and service performance.

Many companies today suffer from a lack of visibility into the key metrics that drive business for the organization. With most organizations tightening their belts and focusing inward, some are finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of "not knowing what they don't know." In other words, the performance indicators that truly dictate business efficiency are constantly changing and fluctuating. Prior Aberdeen research revealed that many organizations had turned to business intelligence (BI) dashboard tools in order to help discover and improve those key areas of their operations. Aberdeen's data demonstrates a multitude of applications for dashboard tools. Performance reporting dashboards and other strategic tools can be instrumental in anticipating changes in the market and preparing for long-term changes that can affect the business. On the other hand, dashboards have also proven to be useful from an operational standpoint in order to determine what is happening on a real-time basis and make decisions on the fly. A key notion uncovered in this research is that the top performing companies are not choosing between a strategic or tactical approach to dashboard implementation but rather are combining the two approaches to generate a comprehensive strategy for data visualization. Perhaps just as important, these Best-in-Class companies have made efforts to deliver dashboard visualization capability to a wider set of users within their organization. Once upon a time, dashboards were used primarily as a tool for executive management to understand the highest level metrics like revenue growth and general profitability. Now, these tools have expanded in scope to help operational managers understand changes in inventory levels, supply chain efficiency, human resources metrics, and a wide variety of other business factors. Data from this report shows that Best-in-Class companies are delivering dashboard visibility not just to more departments within the company, but also to more roles within each department. By spreading this dashboard capability to more users within the organization, the Best-in-Class were able to drive considerable improvements in operating profit, customer service, and sales performance.

"In the entire universe of business intelligence -- from data warehousing through ETL and integration to analytics and visual reporting -- dashboards are perhaps more palatable to non-technical users than any other element of that stack," explains Michael Lock, Research Analyst for Business Intelligence at Aberdeen Group. "However, that does nothing to mitigate the fact that the solutions need to be easy to understand and use, as well as truly improve an employee's ability to perform at his or her job. Best-in-Class companies report user satisfaction that far eclipses all other companies across a wide range of different metrics, including ease-of-use, and response time to information requests."

The report is aimed at educating the end-user community as to how Best-in-Class organizations are combining a comprehensive base of organizational capabilities with a strategic and tactical approach to dashboard visualization in order to achieve a higher degree of business visibility and ultimately bring about major improvements to key business metrics. The report recommends clear actions for Industry Average and Laggard compannies to achieve these types of performance improvements and draw closer to the Best-in-Class.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Dundas Data Visualization and Niteo Partners. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=5874.

For additional access to complimentary Information Technology Research, please visit http://research.aberdeen.com/index.php/-information-technology

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen provides fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having queried more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen or call (617) 854-5200, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748.

© 2009 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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Contact Information: Media Contact: Michael Lock Aberdeen Harte-Hanks (617) 854-5365 michael.lock@aberdeen.com