Think about the last time you wondered about something, or had an argument with your friend or spouse … What did you do? Pull out your phone and Google the answer? Probably. We have more information at our fingertips now than we could possibly know what to do with, for better or for worse.
A study described in this Fast Company article illustrates that more information can actually impair our ability to make good decisions. In addition to the risk of fixating on small details described in the article, you also run the risk of “going blind” from looking at too many data points.
In order to make the right decisions for your business, you need to have easy access to the right information… so, start there. Narrow the scope - don’t look at all the data you can possibly find. Ask the right questions to identify the right data to analyze. What information do you need to know to see that your business is healthy? What are the specific business problems you are solving? What are your goals and how are you measuring success? Pull together a core set of KPIs - around 8-12. (By the way, your list should change and evolve with your business. Audit your KPIs quarterly or at least annually to be sure you are still measuring the right things - and none of the wrong ones.)
Once you are clear on what to measure and look at every week, how are you going to get that information? In the past, you probably only had one option - you have a person provide you with the information. They look at the source, and report out a number either in a spreadsheet or a pretty chart in a presentation. Thanks to automation, you can now eliminate the step of having a person hunt for the information and spit it out in a report - with the magic of technology, those numbers can automatically appear in your email or wherever you want them. Sure, it takes some work to set up this kind of automation, but once you’ve done the initial setup, it can be tempting to just sit back and look at your pretty reports.
If this sounds nice, it is! But, be careful. I’d argue that your KPIs still need the human touch.
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At Rhythm Systems, our clients can use our API to integrate with the source of data and automatically update the data in your KPIs. This can save your team a lot of time and avoid feeling frustrated with manual data entry. Awesome!
And, once you’ve automated the painful part of finding and entering the numbers, you have a process and system in place for a human being to assess the result, compare it to the Red-Yellow-Green success criteria for that KPI and determine whether or not a KPI is on track to achieve your desired result for the end of the quarter. If not, Rhythm allows you to make comments and build a detailed action plan to get the numbers back on track.
Don’t let your execution suffer because you've made accessing information so easy that you leave out the critical step of evaluating the data and determining next steps - be smart about the right KPIs to measure on your KPI dashboard, and pair automation with the human touch to achieve your company goals.
Looking for more KPI Examples to help get you started? Check out our additional resources:
Rhythm Systems KPI Resource Center
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