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On the use of archetypes as benchmarks. (English) Zbl 1199.90016
Benchmarking is concerned with comparing the performance of competing organizations in an attempt to improve their results. It is essentially a process aiming at establishing standards against which processes, products and performance can be compared. Through archetypal analysis the authors propose to define some reference points that can be used as benchmarks. Archetypes lie on the frontier of the multivariate data scatter of the achieved performance, and it is suggested therefore regarding them as empirical standards. The authors adopt the exploratory data analysis standpoint and present some interactive graphical devices that allow users to profitably deal with these archetypal-benchmarks. Some exploratory tools are designed to visually analyze the benchmarks, and to understand their features through the inspection of archetypes composition. It is proposed to use parallel coordinates to compare observed performance levels with one another and with respect to the benchmarks. Finally proposed approach is presented by means of an illustrative example based on The Times league table of the world top 200 universities.

MSC:
90B50 Management decision making, including multiple objectives
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