One Size Does Not Fit All
All effective business KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) have the following commonalities:
1. Measures Appropriate Data
2. Viewed Often
3. Is Not Cluttered
4. Is Not a “Data Dump”
5. Derives Action
6. Evolves With Business Changes
Know Your Audience
Does the CEO need to see database server load balancing on a frequent basis?
Does Human Resources need to see daily Adwords performance on a frequent basis?
Of course not – rule number one is making sure you have appropriate data and metrics for the appropriate audience.
Kill The Clutter
Clutter and/or raw “data dumps” robs a dashboard of its potential. In most cases, we recommend each dashboard is limited to 3-5 of the most important metrics. More than that and you risk overwhelming the audience which will rob the process of providing the meaningful information and suitable data-driven actions necessary for growth.
Today Is Not Tomorrow
As obvious as it sounds, many KPI dashboards limp along for years without updated metrics, updated goals and updated targets. At a minimum, business goals and targets change annually if not quarterly. Inherently, if your goals and targets change, your KPIs must change with them. To take it a step further, KPIs change and ultimately entire dashboards will need to change.
“Once managers figure out what they mean and why it matters, the issue in question starts to look a lot more measurable.”
― Douglas W. Hubbard, How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business