Know The Metrics To Run Your Business

There is lots of talk about Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to manage your business. You also may have noticed there are many new business intelligence tools to help you visualize your KPIs.  With all the noise of big data you would think this would be an easy task right?  Wrong –  determining with the right KPIs is very challenging!  Visualizing data is not very helpful if you don’t know what is important.  Here is a method that I walk through with my clients to help determine relevant KPIs.benchmark graphic

  • Document the overall vision of your company.   This sounds basic and hopefully you have one for making big decisions.  If you are a professional services consulting company it might be something like:   “We believe in long-term relationships with our clients and using our high-performance teams to deliver the excellent technology solutions that improves efficiency in our client’s organizations.”
  • Identify strategies used to meet your overall vision AND metrics to track those strategies.  You have these tactics that you use everyday.  You are marketing, making sales calls, performing work and billing – this is what makes your business run.  In our example from above we might use the following strategy and associated metrics:
      1. Marketing to improve the brand recognition of our business:
      2. Online visitors
      3. Social Media such a facebook engagement.  There are a ton of metrics associated with social media so you can go crazy.
      4. Website conversions such completing a form on website
      5. Leads from referrals
  • Create a table that identifies where those metrics come from, segment those metrics and set target KPIs.  In your table identify where you get the core data.  Remember you are looking at these reports every day.  Our goal is to organize them to make more sense of the business.

table for metrics blog


For our sample vision from above we would create a table that looks like this.

  • Visualize your data.  Start off easy with easy charts and graphs that mean something to the business.  A basic example is a chart of of your revenue over the last year, month or week.  A product like Cyfe allows you to create a dashboard of your existing reports.  Use the easy widgets to connect to your reports. Create a dashboard for different segments of the business such as marketing, sales, customer satisfaction, accounting, etc.  Pull they key reports up to a summary dashboard to get an overall vision of your business.   The great thing about Cyfe is you can change the date range easily to look for long term trends.  The example below is a social media visualization.




Once you have a good handle on your KPIs and the visualization of those metrics then you can start to look at the business intelligence tools.  BI tools let you bring data in from different reports to one type of visualization.  Developing metrics to manage your business is an evolution.  You should always go back and make adjustments to your metrics.  Having a structure to map out your ideas will make it easier!


Question: What process do you use to map out your KPIs?



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“Cloud strategist Jamie Lin works with companies to evaluate an overall IT strategy to improve productivity and profits.


Jamie Lin loves to share her expertise in providing creative cloud solutions with business owners and organizations that would love to be more collaborative, flexible and productive. If you would like to engage Jamie as the speaker at your next meeting, workshop or event, contact her at



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