InetSoft BI Webcast: What Is Some Advice for the Process of Defining KPIs?

Below is the continuation of the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft in July 2016 on the topic of Best Practices for Key Performance Indicators. The presenter is Mark Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): When you are getting down to the departmental level, the metrics become very specific. And sometimes they need help figuring out what those performance metrics are. Some industries like government, education, and healthcare share this kind of information, what the standard metrics they are using, because they’re not in hyper-competitive marketplaces. It’s a little more challenging for other businesses such as in financial services. Sometimes a key metric can be a secret way for tracking the performance of their business or their marketing campaigns, so they’re reluctant to share that knowledge or methodology.

There have been some consortiums formed, and there are some good Web sites collecting the definitions of industry-specific KPIs. One I can recommend it KPI Library at http://kpilibrary.com/.


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How do you find leading indicators, ones that will indicate future performance?

There is no easy answer. I think once you get started measuring and tracking the obvious performance indicators, and you immerse yourself in them, begin to puzzle in your own head what else could be measured, what other event or activity might cause the indicator you’re already watching to go up or down. That will lead you in the direction of the leading indicators.

The historical reasons for using BI were to disseminate information. Now companies are thinking about performance metrics and performance management more strategically. Everybody is creating management dashboards. That creates a higher visibility for today’s BI technologies, but there are places where you can get even higher ROI.



The highest ROI on a BI project is down in the operational areas. Especially those areas that link out to the supply chain, or the customer directly. So call center metrics are extremely important. One of our major insurance industry customers just went through a major initiative to gather all these metrics and disseminating the data through dashboards so that from management to the call center reps, anyone who interacts with a customer, can see all the customer-related activity measurements.

Those include metrics for behavioral problems among employees, representative work performance metrics, too. And that has had a dramatic impact on reducing the number of customer complaints. So it is the publicizing of data, certainly internally, and sometimes also externally.