Setting benchmarks and evaluating balanced scorecards with data envelopment analysis
Balanced scorecards are having a major impact on executives' strategic decision making by encouraging their use of future-oriented, non-monetary success indicators. This article explains how to create a balanced scorecard with a reasonable number of indicators, set appropriate benchmarks
for them, and evaluate overall management performance against those benchmarks. In doing so, it relies heavily on a controlling tool that is new to the business sector: data envelopment analysis. After discussing the theoretical foundations of this nonparametric optimization procedure and
defining several key terms, the article presents a practical example. The example assesses management's performance from several perspectives, paying particular attention to implications of the analytic results for a firm's strategic and operational controlling. The article also offers an
overview of various models for data envelopment analysis, describes limits to its use, and concludes with a summary of key findings.