EAM Reporting v. Performance Management Dashboards: What's the difference?

Posted by Matt Midas on March 17, 2020


I was recently asked what the difference was between BIRT reports in Maximo and Performance Management Dashboards. My answer essentially applies to any other Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) reporting tool.

EAM Reporting

A few (or more than that) years ago I was working with a home-grown CMMS.  I was only allowed to have 10 registered reports which never made sense to me and was a nightmare to manage. Every time I wanted to see my data in a different format, I would need to choose one of the other reports and delete it. If someone else wanted to create a report, I had no choice in which one was deleted.  These were basic reports, lists of data, i.e. Work Orders for a specific building with hours and cost of materials. There were no calculations available, so I spent a lot of time working with the data.  I got really good at it, wasting my time I mean!  I could only print them, so it was static data once I ran the report.  

After struggling with the home-grown system, I was able to convince the powers that be that we needed something more mature.  When we replaced our home-grown CMMS with Maximo (v3.0a), it came with it’s own reporting tool and was quite an improvement over what we had.  We could do so much more with Maximo, but it needed to be fed with good quality data.  More on that in another article.

With this new reporting tool and Maximo, I now had an unlimited number of reports that could be created against any table, or multiple tables, and you could even sort, group, count and total the information.  It was great!  I could also view the reports on screen, print them out, or export the data to view in a spreadsheet which is what a lot of folks are still doing.  Obviously, we were not part of the digital transformation, but we were starting to see the true power of the data locked in our CMMS and what could be done with it.  But they were still basically lists of data.

With EAM reporting, data driven decision making is missing

With all the different options we have at our fingertips for reporting on data and all the data that is out there, we need a more powerful tool to help us understand what our data is telling us:

  • How reliable are our assets? 
  • What is our percentage of rework? 
  • What is our PM Completion rate? 
  • Do we know our inventory turn rate and what it means? 
  • Can we easily identify bad actors across our entire fleet of operations? 
  • Are we on target, below target or still struggling with the data? 

These are all questions we should be thinking about; but all too often, I have heard that we don’t have enough time to make improvements, or that our data is not all that great and we end up spending a significant amount of time preparing management reports. 

If this strikes a nerve with you, then you know there is an opportunity for some level of improvement.  Think about the Maintenance Maturity Pyramid.  Where are you on that pyramid?  If you are to the bottom (Reactive) there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  If you are to the top (Reliable State) congrats, but don’t stop there.  Keep looking for further improvements.  If you feel you are underneath the pyramid, you have the best opportunities to improve! (Learn more about the Maintenance Maturity Pyramid and Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) here.)

Bridging the Gap with Performance Management Dashboards

What are Performance Management Dashboards and why are they different that standard EAM reports?  Simply put, they are dashboards showing metrics and KPIs that are in line with our goals and objectives allowing us to see where we stand at any given point against our goals. They provide a visual representation of our data, allow us to align what our people are doing with our processes and finally, allow us to identify a condition and take the appropriate action to rectify that condition quickly.

As a report is a list of data that we can use to show the way something is, a Performance Management Dashboard is a tool that allows us to not only see that information, but it also allows us to place context around it and baseline it against a goal or a target.  The example would be PM Compliance.  It’s great to show that our compliance is at 93.7%.  Is it time to celebrate?  I’d be more inclined to know How the number compares against our target or goal, and is that aligned with our overall objectives? How about what that number means at the various sites I manage, or against different classes of assets, or even against critical vs non-critical assets. What about a 12-week rolling compliance number, how do we look week after week?   Can we see anything that jumps out at us?

Dashboards are meant to put the information you need in front of you and are based on defined processes and methodologies for tracking the data.  How many of you spend hours or even days pulling the data you need from various systems and standardizing it so you can create a pivot table in excel to summarize and report back to management?  Performance Management Dashboards provide this capability without the manual effort and manipulation of the data.

Visualize, Align, Act!

In summary, reports are great for information and numbers, while Performance Management Dashboards help you align your people with the goals and objectives of the business. They create and support a culture of continuous improvement and allow us to better manage and maintain the data we have in our systems.  You now have better visibility of where you are on your journey and react sooner to situations that may pop up. You also have the information at your fingertips to make better decisions based on what is actually happening, not a gut feeling. Performance Management Dashboards enables you to continuously achieve success.

In the age of Industrial Internet of Things, viability of data and the alignment of people and processes are even more important.  A powerful performance management tool will help guide you on your journey and prevent stalled efforts. 


Our mission is to enable asset intensive organizations to implement, optimize, and continuously improve their asset management programs. The ability to understand what data is saying enables our customer to achieve success in continuous improvement, bridging the gap between strategy and action.

Access a Self Service Demo of our  Maintenance Performance Management tool >>

Remember what W. Edwards Deming said, “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” 

Visualize, Align, Act!


Topics: KPI, performance management for asset management, Reports, Dashboards

Written by Matt Midas

Find me on:

Subscribe to Email Updates

Lists by Topic

see all

Posts by Topic

see all

Recent Posts