key performance indicators

Key performance indicators, or KPIs, have been a common term in the business world for so long that it’s hard to call them “buzzwords” anymore. The majority of successful businesses track at least one metric, and most leaders feel assured that they know their way around these simple tools.

However, without the right strategies in place when creating key performance indicators, you may be sending your business off course. The wrong KPIs can even drive your team toward the wrong behavior and goals.

Let’s take a look at the basics of KPIs, as well as some of the most common things people get wrong about them.

What Are Key Performance Indicators?

Before we go any further, it’s important to understand the concept of KPIs as a whole. Here’s a simple key performance indicators definition: KPIs are measurable values that track key business goals. Your company can use KPIs to see how close you are to achieving your objectives.

Choosing KPIs Because They’re Easy to Track

Just because something can be measured doesn’t mean it should be measured. Before you define a KPI for your company, it’s important to make sure it’s relevant to your business and your goals.

Don’t labor under the assumption that more information is better than less. Too much data can overwhelm your strategy, reduce your performance, and even kill your business.

Collecting the Same Metrics as Other Businesses

Many businesses look around, consider what other companies are tracking, and start measuring the same things. This is especially true when certain KPIs gain ground in industry news or with certain leadership groups.

However, KPIs aren’t one-size-fits-all strategies, and you must consider what works best for your company.

While others focus on their retention rate, for example, you might want to dig into your bounce rate. Ultimately, an effective website and better analytics to help you track your KPIs may be a better strategy than chasing other people’s metrics.

Not Analyzing Your KPIs

If you aren’t using your KPIs to offer insight into your goals, there’s no reason to waste time tracking them. When businesses don’t take the time to have high-level staff analyze the data, it’s hard to tell what those KPIs mean for your business.

Sticking With the Same KPIs Forever

After you’ve invested time and effort in developing the perfect KPIs, it’s tempting to go on tracking them forever. But you should continue making time, on an annual basis, to question their relevance to your strategy. As your business develops and grows, so should your metrics for tracking success.

Make the Most of Your KPIs

Ultimately, unless you’ve aligned your key performance indicators with your overall business strategy, you’ll waste time and effort while steering your company astray. KPIs are powerful tools in the right hands, so make sure you’re giving them the consideration they deserve before tracking them blindly. With the right KPIs, you’ll find it easier than ever to move the needle.

Want more of the business tips you need to inform your strategy? Check out our other posts for more insights!