KPIs: the key to measuring success

Elliot Cooper explains which KPIs deliver the most valuable reports for your industry, and how the ‘Internet of Things’ makes it cheaper and easier to uncover the information you need.  

‘Key Performance Indicators’ is a fancy term for ‘measuring the success of an organisation in achieving its objectives’. What those objectives are depends on what business you’re in. KPIs matter because they are the life blood of effective reporting. So let’s explore the art and science of KPIs. 

Finding out what these things actually are is a challenge. The trouble is that there are thousands of KPIs to choose from. Business owners and managers mostly struggle to identify the vital few KPI metrics. It’s common to see extremes of either collecting and reporting on a vast amount of anything that is easy to measure; or having little or no KPIs to understand business performance levels. 

The question that will most usefully guide you is this: ‘What does success look like for me in my business?’ This will likely include both financial and non-financial targets. It’s useful to compare yourself to similar businesses in the same industry. Making year-on-year comparisons will also help you draw meaningful conclusions.

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