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KPI is becoming a buzzword these days: we’re beginning to reach critical mass in terms of everything that we track, measure, report, and analyze. But does that mean KPIs don’t really matter? Hardly. They say “everything in moderation,” and the same is certainly true of KPIs. If you’re in search of the perfect KPI dashboard, that’s lesson one: less is more. We’ve mapped out a helpful guide for what great looks like, and we hope it helps you to make some smart decisions this week about the right trends to measure for your business.
It’s a free country–you can pretty much measure anything you want. Believe us, there’s a metric for everything. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right metric for your business. So before you even go looking for KPIs, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have tangible goals for your business. For example:
Once you have tangible goals, you have a foolproof test to choose the right KPIs for your team to measure. If it’s not aligned to a goal, it’s not worth measuring.
Here’s the thing. It’s going to be tempting to put every single KPI you can think of into your dashboard–and the truth is, there’s probably going to be a simple justification for every single one. But don’t fall into the same trap that most companies do. If you’re measuring too many things, you’re going to be overwhelmed by numbers, and that’s going to stop you from focusing on a handful of the right things. And there’s data to back it up. According to a study from the Advanced Performance Institute, “Our research finds that less than 10% of all the metrics that are collected, analyzed and reported in businesses are ever used to inform decision-making. 90% of the metrics are wasted, or worse, used to drown people in data while they are thirsting for insights.” In fact, HubSpot’s Jesse Mawhinney recommends choosing just 4-10 KPIs. In the same post, he explains his reasoning this way: “As you begin to identify KPIs for you business you should be aware that less is almost always more. Rather than choosing dozens of metrics to measure and report on you should focus on just a few key metrics. … Quite frankly, if you try and track too many KPIs, you might as well just not track anything at all.” By having just a few solid KPIs, you can create better focus on what really matters.
Once you’ve got a plan for your KPIs, and you’ve got the team on board, the most important piece of the puzzle if finding the right dashboard to actually display it. If you don’t have a smart, engaging platform on which to track and display your KPIs, it’s just going to become another useless gimmick that your employees ignore. A perfect KPI dashboard isn’t a pipe dream: it takes smart planning, careful decision making, and a product that puts the right numbers on display. If you can hit that trifecta, there’s no stopping your team from accomplishing amazing things together.
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