InetSoft BI Webcast:

Getting Started With Key Performance Indicators

Below is the transcript of a Webinar hosted by InetSoft in July 2010 on the topic of Best Practices for Key Performance Indicators. The presenter is Mark Flaherty, Vice President of Marketing at InetSoft.

Mark Flaherty (MF): During the slow economic climate of the past couple of years and with all the focus on operational information, people are trying to squeeze out the best possible performance. With less people having to do more work, there’s a pressure to find time to try to keep up with the business performance. Add to that the decade’s long shift in business management philosophy towards fact based decision support.

Now more than ever, managers want to be able to say this is what is going on, and this is what we have got to do. The more that you can quantify your business, and run your operation with KPI’s, the better off you will be. Most people are familiar with the financial performance metrics like revenue and profit, but almost every facet of a business can be measured and key performance indicators can be selected.

Selecting the proper metrics is key, naturally. You have to get people from multiple parts of the organization involved. First, you have to understand what data do you have? What data is clean and can be used safely to drive these KPI’s? You don’t want garbage in, garbage out.

It really does require some serious meetings between key people across the enterprise to figure what data you have got, what are you really trying to accomplish, and let that drive your determination of metrics.

You can reduce complex business activity to individual metrics, and then you will be able to say what exactly is happening. The data may not contain the answer to a problem on it is own, but once you understand what a KPI is telling you, it’s a powerful tool. It’s particularly useful for backing up decisions, being able to point to quantifiable observations.

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