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KPIs: The Chicken or the Egg?

Many people associate Business Intelligence data with tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). While this is a fantastic way to utilize the data BI can present, business shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking that they absolutely must establish all their KPIs before BI data can be useful to them.

In fact, seeing data in a BI tool can be helpful in determining KPIs for businesses of all types and sizes. Having access to “analysis ready” information about overall, company-wide performance can give management tools to:

  • Identify minimum acceptable performance
  • Establish performance averages
  • Identify peak sales periods
  • Identify products not selling as well as they should be
  • Identify best sellers

For setting individual goals, BI can show a range of information about a single employee or team, and help management develop KPIs catered specifically to that unit’s unique strengths and weaknesses. Because different departments face different challenges, these individualized KPIs should be rooted in real statistical data to make sure that goals are realistic, measurable, and ultimately beneficial to everyone involved.

For companies with already established KPIs, BI data is a great way to reevaluate the effectiveness of current goals, and determine if efforts could be better used somewhere else.

What do you think?