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April 15, 2015

Identifying the Right KPIs for Your Business Dashboard

When it comes to business intelligence, it’s not finding the right dashboard that’s the hardest part. It’s not even learning how to interpret your data, make it actionable or keep it up to date. It’s determining your KPIs – your key performance indicators. KPIs are the heart of any effective business dashboard. They are what will determine the value of the data you’ll get, the information you can extrapolate and the trends you can spot. They are how you’ll track successes, measure performance, and make decisions and changes that can improve your company’s bottom line.

But how exactly do you determine your KPIs? Is there a set batch of KPIs that all organizations should monitor, or will yours be completely unique? We can help answer those questions and more.

Choosing the KPIs for Your Business Dashboard

No two companies will have the same exact KPIs on their business dashboard. The truth is KPIs are dependent on a huge variety of factors: the organization’s goals and service industry, the needs of their clients, and a slew of other unique features. To determine yours, you’ll first need to get to know your business intimately.

Getting to know your business is harder than you might think. It’s not about knowing your company’s product or service offering; rather, it’s what you actually do for your clients. Do you solve a problem for them? Do you make their lives easier? Save them time? In a nutshell: what value do you provide them? By discovering exactly what it is you have to offer clients, you can begin to determine which indicators and data points might help you measure how successfully you’re delivering that value.

Determine the Areas of Your Business That You Can Control

If you can’t control it, there’s no point in measuring it. Take the oil and gas industry for example. The ever-fluctuating price of oil and gas isn’t a factor a company can control. While it does influence revenues, product offerings and other items, there is nothing a company can do to change the ebb and flow of the price. Therefore, measuring these numbers wouldn’t be an accurate depiction of their successes and failures. Instead, the company would be better served by measuring spend, revenues and other internal cost-related factors that better measure their response to the changing industry.

Pinpoint High-Level, Long-Term Goals for the Organization

Your KPIs should always drive your company toward success. In order to do that, though, you first need to know what exactly success means for your company. Is it converting 100% of your leads? Is it making $100 million in sales? Until you know what your goal is, there’s no way to track it, measure it and determine your successes or failures in achieving that end. Once you have a goal in mind – even something as simple as “satisfying our clients,” then you can actively start measuring that with KPIs like repeat business rates, referral numbers and more.

Involve All Departments

A great business dashboard collates data company-wide, utilizing information from all departments to create a comprehensive big picture of the organization’s performance. In order to do this, you need to have input from all departments and department heads. Discuss bottlenecks and problem areas, brainstorm strategies and determine what success is for each individual section of your business. Then, create KPIs that measure all of those individually. This will allow you to comprehensively measure and track your organization’s success as a whole.

Some commonly used KPIs include return on investment, cost per lead, profit margin, total sales, client satisfaction, and client complaints. Remember, every company’s KPIs are different. These may not work for your company, or there may be more ideal KPIs out there for your organization.

Get Help with KPIs

Are you still not sure which KPIs to populate your business dashboard with? Xeo can help. Our comprehensive business consulting services can help you determine the best possible KPIs for your brand – ones that will give you the information you need to power decisions and succeed in the long run. Then, you can use our free business dashboard software, and start tracking your KPIs immediately!