Your company’s KPI (Key Performance Indicator) dashboard provides accurate, timely information as you monitor the factors that influence or affect your company.
In several ways, it does for your company what GPS (Global Positioning System) does for you on a long trip.
You’re in the driver’s seat, and you need this information!
Like your GPS, your KPI dashboard
- shows you how you’re doing right now.
- summarizes the information you need and presents it in a concise, easy to understand format.
- projects whether you’re going to reach goals & objectives on schedule.
Unlike your GPS, it doesn’t
- show you delays, or special conditions ahead.
- alert you to hazards, construction zones or policemen (inspections or quality checks).
- recalculate if you deviate from the plan or make a poor decision.
Let’s take a closer look at each of those.
Like your GPS, your KPI dashboard shows you how you’re doing right now.
You took the time to estimate how much and how long things (WHAT THINGS?) should take. You’ve averaged best and worst-case scenarios and told your KPI dash to give you timely honest assessments, so you can accurately assess your Return On Investment (ROI) for the methods and techniques you’re using. If all is going according to plan, you need only glance at your KPI dashboard.
Are people clicking on social media links to visit your website? Your dashboard tells you exactly how many. Is that on target? ahead of pace? behind? You know quickly how your ROI is performing.
Your KPI dashboard summarizes the information you need and presents it in a concise, easy to understand format.
Surface-level analytics give you the birds-eye-view you need on a dashboard. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the data. You don’t have time to pour over data tables every week and interpret what you find there or even every month. Concise is the key word here. Give it to me straight and give it to me simple. If we see something that suggests we need to adjust, we’ll drill down. But if things are on time and within budget, you should feel free to glance and go, using that confidence on your next prospect. “Things are going great. I was looking at our click-through KPI’s this morning, and we’re right on target.” You don’t have to tell them it took you all of 20 seconds.
Your KPI dashboard projects whether you’re going to reach goals & objectives on schedule.
Hopefully, you included from your planning things like mile markers, goals & objectives when you created your KPI dash. Quarterly, mid-quarter, even weekly flags that tell you if you’re on pace, and go a long way toward preventing mid-year or year-end survival maneuvers. Everyone sleeps better and works a little harder when they know you’re a little behind but have time to catch up before quarter end, than if you announce there will be no bonuses or have to cut costs.
So, check your KPI dash often..
Unlike your GPS, however, your KPI dashboard won’t show you delays, or special conditions ahead.
To see those, you need to look ahead. Your indicators tell you what’s going on under the hood, you’re the one looking out the windshield, reading the Wall Street Journal, listening in on conversations at the Chamber of Commerce, scanning email updates your kids think are b-o-r-i-n-g.
Pay close attention to what you see on the horizon, monitor what’s going on within your company, and compare the two. Everyone will thank you when you see something ahead and inform your team of the adjustment you’re suggesting. When it’s an opportunity you just discovered, and you’re ON it, they’ll be right with you. Enjoy that hero-status while it lasts.
Your KPI dashboard won’t alert you to unannounced inspections or marketplace hazards.
It’s unnerving to get a phone call or email that an inspector or examiner (maybe an auditor) will arrive soon to see how you and your company are doing. It’s never a friendly call, although the inspector probably works hard to be civil. Your level of compliance and your commitment to quality will show through, but in many industries, these arrive unannounced – and that’s on purpose.
Neither will your KPI dash tell you how something like a hurricane might affect the demand for your product or service. That is yours to assess and respond to – and as you already know, the better your track record, the higher your respect on your team and the more admiration from business peers. It’s work, but it’s worth it.
Your KPI dashboard won’t recalculate if you deviate from the plan or make a poor decision.
If yours is a formulaic business that enjoys what engineers call “boring predictability” you can maybe skip this paragraph. But if yours is a dynamic, responsive business, or majors on creativity, you know what it is to have a plan in place and then adjust it to capitalize on an opportunity. When income spikes because you took that chance and it paid off, your numbers will be off for the rest of the year. Maybe you felt yourself wince because something isn’t going as well as you hoped. Your KPI dash won’t recalculate when that happens. You have to do that. But the good news is, you can. Call your leadership team together, be sure to include your CPA, and us -that’s what we do- to talk things through.
Adjust if you need to. Then use your GPS in the car on the way home. It’ll feel good to know you’re going to be five minutes early for dinner, or at least on time.