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Dashboard tool allows snapshot of organizational status

By Staff Sgt. C. Todd Lopez

WASHINGTON (Jan. 18, 2007) -- Air Force officials are rolling out a Web-based financial management tool this summer designed to help commanders and other Air Force decision makers.

By summer 2007, the Air Force's Financial Management Dashboard will be available online through the Air Force Portal.

This is a Web-based "dashboard" application that gathers financial information from multiple authoritative sources and then presents that information back to users in usable formats, said Richard P. Gustafson, an Air Force financial management chief information officer.

"The FM Dashboard is a way to present data and information to decision makers in a meaningful format," he said. "The secretary's vision is actionable information presented consistently throughout the management chain."

The new tool will be available for users from base-level all the way up to Headquarters Air Force level, Mr. Gustafson said. Each user's experience with the tool will be different, because at each level of resource management, a user has different levels of responsibility.

When users log into the system, they will have access to any number of metrics, designed at headquarters level, that are unique to their level of management. These preprogrammed metrics could show, at a glance, the status of funds in a commander's budget, other account balances, unit flying hour costs or the status of contract execution.

"This allows decision makers to see their information and to make better management decisions," Mr. Gustafson said. "And this will get better over time. The real power will come when it is mixed with other things, like personnel and logistics. Then it can provide everything a commander needs to know to answer 'What is the health of my organization?'"