How to Set KPIs for Your Business in 4 Simple Steps

How to Set KPIs for Your Business in 4 simple steps

What is a KPI?

Setting KPIs for Your Business

Step 1: Educate Yourself

Step 2: Evaluate Your Current KPIs

Step 3: Set Measurable Goals 

Step 4: Work with Your Team

Final Advice

We all measure success differently, especially when running a business. Since COVID began the way workplaces operate has drastically changed. With more people working remote and less in-person meetings, sometimes the end goal is lost. Working outside of the office removes the constant reminders of a company’s goals, which can play a negative role in the growth of a business.

Even prior to COVID it has always been a difficult task to keep employees engaged and on target. The question is how do you keep everyone moving in the right direction? How do we properly communicate to our employees what the corporate goals are, and earn their buy-in to the achieve those goals?

This is where KPIs come in and learning how to set them properly can take your business to the next level. Too often, people are using the wrong KPIs or not using KPIs that they should be. Setting the proper KPIs for your business will remove all the guesswork and give you definitive data to help drive not only your business’s success but employee’s success as well.

What is a KPI?

Before jumping into how to set your KPIs we should start by defining what a KPI is. KPI, short for key performance indicator, is a way of measuring and evaluating the success of an organization, team or individual. Think of a KPI as lights that guide you through a dark tunnel. This helps to lead everyone in the right direction and keep them on the path to success. This will not only help your employees but also your business. To learn more about KPIs and why they matter click here to read The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI’s Matter to Your Business.

Good And Bad KPIs

Now that you know what a KPI is, let’s evaluate what good and bad KPIs look like. Often times a KPI is misunderstood and are too broad. Not setting proper KPIs can cause your team to go off track which will lead to poor results and targets not being met. Some examples of bad KPIs being used are:

  • Implement new payment portal by November
  • Win sales support award
  • Customer survey

The above examples are just a few of the many examples of a bad KPI. The first is a milestone which gives an indication of how a project progresses, but this is not performance based. The second example is very vague and can be interpreted in many ways. Lastly, the third one is just a tool used to collect data. All of these examples are not true performance measures. They are not clear, concrete or quanitifiable. This leads to confusion and data that does not truly help your business.

A Good KPI will be clearly defined and have actionable targets. As previously mentioned, a KPI is like a series of lights that guides you through a dark tunnel. Each light is like a checkpoint along the way to your end goal. You want to keep you and your team on track to reach the end of the tunnel before the lights go out. This is where a good KPI comes in to help drive everyone on the team in the right direction. We discussed what a bad KPI is but below are some examples of good KPIs:

  • Monthly sales growth
  • Sales by lead source
  • Traffic from organic search

All of these examples are clearly defined and quantifiable. This gives you and your employees something to clearly measure/track. These examples are just a few of the many KPIs out there. Use these as a guide but we will need to dig a little more to decide what the best KPIs are for your business.

Setting KPIs For Your Business

Now for the part you all have been waiting for; I promise I didn’t have you read through all that other stuff just to be let down. Everything leading up to this point is important to understand. By knowing what a KPI is and what makes up a good or bad KPI this gives you a strong foundation. From this point you are able to really analyze your business and make a calculated decision. Below I have listed some steps to help you setup KPIs for your team or business. You’ve already completed some of these steps just by reading this.

Step 1: Educate Yourself 

The information I have provided you earlier will give you a great start! When setting KPIs, understanding what they are and how they should work is crucial. However, don’t just take my word for it, do your own research. The more you know and understand KPIs the better and easier it will be to set KPIs for your business. No one will truly understand your business better than you so use that to your advantage when selecting KPIs.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Current KPIs

If you already have KPIs in place or some form of performance measurement you should take the time to look them over. Decide which you feel are beneficial and which you should remove. It will be worth your time and effort to evaluate your existing KPIs and make an educated choice about what is working and what isn’t. Now that you have learned more about KPIs you may view things in a different angle. A slight adjustment may take your current bad KPI and turn it into a good KPI.

Step 3: Set Measurable Goals

Be transparent with your employees about what you are looking for. Don’t leave anything up for question when setting your KPIs, the goals need to be clearly defined so that everyone is on the same page. KPIs are not one size fits all, as business goals vary from business to business. While there may be some overlap it is important to understand what your specific business objectives are. Do not just search for the best KPIs to use and role with it. You will need to figure out what exactly what matters to your business and what needs to happen for you to achieve your goals. This will require a little bit of work but ultimately will be worth it in the end.

Step 4: Work with Your Team

Without the support of the people running your teams, KPIs will just get ignored. Help them to understand the importance of this. Sit down with all parties involved such as managers or analysts to further discuss what goals they see as important. During these conversations you will quickly find what business processes should be measured. Take this information and match them with how measuring these objectives will help your business. Involving multiple levels of your team in the planning process will ensure everyone is on board, which will help provide accurate data and lead to better communication.

Some Final Advice

Businesses are constantly growing and changing. Your goals today may not be the same as they will be tomorrow. Be prepared to make adjustments if need be. Stay agile and keep in close contact with your leadership team. Communication throughout the business is one of the most crucial parts to ensure success. Throughout the process of setting your business KPIs communication plays a major role. You will need to remain in communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Checking in periodically to see if anything has changed or any updates can be provided. Setting proper KPIs will help you keep a strong foundation no matter what happens. If you use the steps outlined above, you will have a great start to setting KPIs for your business.

How to Avoid Data Drown – The Complete Guide

How to Avoid Data Drown – The Complete Guide

How to Avoid Data Drown
  1. What is data drown?
  2. Determine Where You’re Going
  3. Map It Out
  4. Learn to Swim
  5. Let ZIZO Throw You a Line

Drowning in Data? 

You’re not alone! Cisco estimated in 2019 that the Internet of Things would produce over 500 zettabytes per year in data. Years later, the world is producing data at an even more rapid rate, and will only to continue to grow from here. 

Every day, businesses are flooded with endless amounts of information. From employee performance information to customer habits post-transaction, it can be overwhelming to differentiate the important information from the white noise. 

The endless amount of reports is overwhelming – and is it really worth it?   

Of courseStudies show that companies who experience a 10% increase in the usability of their data enjoy an average revenue increase of $2 billion. 

What is Data Drown?

You know that feeling when you’re trying to use data to help you make a decision, but instead of making things easier, you start to feel more and more overwhelmed by the second?  

That’s data drown. 

Globally, there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data produced every day. This amount of information provides both a wealth of possible insights, and an overwhelming place to start when making business decisions. So overwhelming that only 26% of business execs report using big data in their decision making. 

Chances are, the remaining 74% are drowning in data rather than using it to drive their business!  

If this is sounding all too familiar, there is still hope for you to swim, rather than sink, in your company’s data lake. 

Determine Where You’re Going 

Data is too important in today’s business operations for you to get out of the pool. Instead, you need to make the conscious effort to swim.  

We know that there are endless amounts of data available to us, but do we even know where to find the data that we actually need? 

If you needed to increase productivity using the data you have, would you know where to start? Would you even know what data you have access to and where to find it? 

If your answer wasn’t a resounding yes, you’re in the majority. In fact, up to 60% of time spent on data dives is just looking for the relevant data. When you take 60% of all the time you spend pulling reports in a day, it really adds up! Imagine what you could do with all that free time! 

As idealistic as it sounds, easy and time-efficient access to your data is closer than you think. In order to start the process, you’ll need to know what decisions you can make with data. The most common decisions revolve around: 

  • Finance 
  • Growth 
  • Marketing & Sales 
  • Customer Service 

From here, you can start to determine what decisions need to be made in each department. Think of planning your data-based decisions like a funnel, you start broad and gradually drill into precise information you need. 

Map it Out 

Now that you have a broad idea of what you want to accomplish, you’re ready to become a data-based decision maker. According to Super Office’s blog, you can use data to make decisions in 5 steps.   

  1. Determine and Prioritize Objectives 
  2. Find and Present Relevant Data 
  3. Draw Conclusions from the Data 
  4. Plan Your Strategy 
  5. Measure Success and Repeat 

Determine and Prioritize Objectives: 

Take a hint from ZIZO, and start by Zooming Out, what is the biggest piece of information that will provide you with the most insight towards your goals? Outline your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and determine what information you need to track those KPIs and where that information comes from. 

Staying at a view above the trees, consider all the pieces of data that you need to gain insights about each KPI.  Determine which KPIs are the most important to you and start mapping out what sources have the information you need to monitor them.  

Find and Present Relevant Data: 

When we’re considering massive amounts of information, there is typically way more available than necessary for business decisions and planning.  

So how do you decide what you need?  

This answer is deceptively simple; start big and reevaluate regularly, adding small additions until you have the big picture that you want to see.  

As you map out the large pieces of information that you need, the smaller data will become less and less overwhelming.

Learn to Swim 

Draw Conclusions from Data: 

Once you have the relevant information, you’re ready to finally turn your drown into something useful!  

Take the hard data that you’ve found and use it to draw insights about your KPIs. What is going the way you wanted it to? What isn’t? 

Plan Your Strategy: 

Evaluate the data and determine how the information would need to change to be better. Next, decide what factors will move that data in the right direction ad start mindfully making adjustments.

Measure Success and Repeat: 

Of course no business process is complete without evaluation. After implementing your strategy, pull the same data for the same KPIs, have they improved? 

If they haven’t, what other changes can improve the KPIs? What other insights would help you to create a better solution in the future? 

Repeat the process and continue to do so on a regular basis. Before you know it, you’ll go from drowning in data to driving business objectives with data! 

Let ZIZO Throw You a Line 

Still feel like you’re treading water? The process can be overwhelming, trust us – we know! ZIZO was developed to eliminate the entire headache causing process. 

By now, we know that aggregating and using your data is an incredibly powerful tool and performing data dives is a necessary and worthwhile way to use your resources in order to see your business grow. 

However, it is still time consuming to perform repetitive tasks every day to pull the reports you need on KPIs and business performance. Instead, automate the process with ZIZO 

We connect all of your operating software into our common data warehouse, to eliminate the need for data dives. Using a centralized warehouse allows you to access all of your company’s relevant information without the hassle of jumping from system to system. 

In addition to the ease of access, one integrated data warehouse provides you with peace of mind knowing that the information is coming directly from it’s source, leaving little room for clerical and human errors.  

Once all of your information is housed in one place, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of your companies information in one place. Now, instead of spending 60% of your data dive trying to figure out what data you need and from where, you can quickly and efficiently pull reports from one easy dashboard. 

ZIZO utilizes company-specific needs to determine what type of reports we map for easy access. Then, we provide all stakeholders with a completely customized dashboard that provides quick views of the most important data to them. 

If swimming seems a little to exhausting for you, you don’t have to drown! Just float and let ZIZO do the work. 

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI’s Matter to Your Business.

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI’s Matter to Your Business.

The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI's Matter to Your Business.
  1. KPI’s keep objectives at the forefront of decision making.
  2. KPI’s are vital when it comes to performance management.
  3. KPI’s encourage a culture of accountability.
  4. KPI’s can create an atmosphere of learning and growth.
  5. KPI’s can help you measure your success at a glance.


I’ve been seeing a lot of blog topics lately that share information on the trending of business intelligence (BI) in 2020. Inevitably, the blog will focus on data acquisition and how extracting meaningful information from it can provide a way to provide analytics on our current business health with the ability to forecast for the future. While this is part of BI, it’s not quite business intelligence. What they are describing can be more accurately referred to as reporting and projections.

So, I’d like to talk a bit on what true BI actually is, how we use it, why it’s trending in 2020, and how KPIs are significant to the process of BI.

To start, BI is much more than a trend. It’s an evolving path that helps us to continually and comprehensively analyze key elements and patterns in our business data to predictively enhance our growth. BI allows us to view and operate our business not only from a retail vantage point but also by helping to enhance the overall productivity of our workforce. Great BI tools can offer technologies such as real-time reporting, business performance analytics, retail analytics, seasonality of market trends, data mining, as well as predictive and prescriptive analytics.



The Top 5 Reasons WHY KPI's Matter to Your Business.

1. KPIs keep objectives at the forefront of decision making.

 “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

When I first read the above quote from Wayne Dyer, it came at a time when I was absolutely stuck in a rut in both my personal and professional lives. It was like trying to push a car out of a snowbank. I did what I knew at the time and pushed in the direction that seemed to make the most sense, but as soon as I stopped pushing, I would rock right back into the rut. Needless to say, it wasn’t a great place to be. It also became apparent to me that Einstein was right when he said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. While I never expected to be sharing any of this story in a business context, the poignant point of it materialized when I recognized there are times when I just need to get out of my own way and look at things differently. It was equally important when I truly comprehended that there are times when I need to do things differently to produce the results I’m looking for.

Looking at our businesses through a different set of lenses or trying different approaches isn’t always enough though. It’s understanding our views and implementations with the ability to track our results and make course corrections along the way has the most long-lasting impact on our success.

2. KPIs are vital when it comes to performance management.

Let me ask you, “what is important in your business”? What is your mission? What changes in performance can affect your mission and vise-versa? While this can be an ongoing conversation between us, there are certain types of performance that contribute to your overall business health. We’ll refer to them as PI or performance indicators. Of those PIs, some of them are much more important to you than others. We’ll refer to these as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators.

As an example, let’s say you have sales teams that work in a call center. What’s important to you in an employee’s performance? Well, the total amount of sales revenue comes to mind. While this may be a KPI in evaluating their performance, there are other PIs that may or may not have contributed to their total. 

For Example:

  • How many inbound calls did that employee answer?
  • How many outbound calls did they make?
  • What is the average item value they sold?
  • Do they specialize in selling one type of item over others?
  • If they had switched sales teams, in what team did they generate the highest number of PIs? 

You can acquire data to the nth degree, and even decipher what seat/desk they are most productive in.

Yet of all of these PIs, which of them are key to you?

3. KPI’s encourage a culture of accountability.

KPI’s give you the ability to view vital statistics about performance, allowing you to make accurate decisions about employees dring reviews.  Without this data, you may not have the whole picture of why an employee.  You may assume that an employee is performing poorly because he/she has punctuality issues or a perceived lack of company engagement, but you have no quantifiable proof. A KPI may reveal that your assessment is incorrect and the perceived “poor performer” may have some favourable stats and delivers good results.

On the contrary, poorly performing employees can’t argue their case when the data-driven and objectively based KPI stats demonstrate unfavourable readings.

Likewise, if the majority of your employees are having difficulty achieving the KPI’s that have been set, it may be time to reevaluate your business’ goals so you can understand why exactly those targets are not being hit. 

Essentially, KPI’s encourage accountability for everyone– employees (if they’re not performing) and employers (if KPI’s are deemed unreachable).

4. KPI’s can foster an atmosphere of learning and growth.

Being able to measure targets using KPI’s can create an educative atmosphere within your company. According to Root Cause, the data that is generated by measuring KPI’s leads to important conversations within the workplace.

When you notice an unfavourable reading on a KPI, you have the chance to talk to the individual or team involved with that specific KPI. This a great opportunity for you to teach the employees how to do things differently and perform better in order to reach set targets.

Additionally, you can analyse whether the set KPI’s are an effective measurement, and conversely, make necessary modifications if the employee feels that the targets are unrealistic to meet.

5. KPIs can help you measure your success at a glance.

While it seems like a great deal of work to mine all of this data, why would you want to zoom in so deeply on this information in the first place? It’s because success leaves us with clues. If there is a way to mine enough data, we then gain the advantage of improved business clarity. Along with that, we gain a roadmap to evaluate our results, reproduce the ones that carry the most meaning in our business and eliminate those that have little or no value. In essence, by collecting enough data we are able to change business perspectives while monitoring the results of our decisions and predicting better models. It’s a great way to know your business even more and some of the greatest benefits in using BI.

Here’s how ZiZo can help you identify and measure your KPI’s.

As we’ve developed the ZiZo app, our goal was to create the most extensive business metrics available while keeping the interface friendlier than ordering a cup of coffee from Starbucks. We figured if it’s too difficult of a learning curve or hard to operate, that we wouldn’t even use it. We didn’t think you wouldn’t either. We all know the value of our time and there’s no reason to spend it unnecessarily.

With that said, ZiZo literally stands for Zoom in and Zoom and we’ve set out to give you the ability out to examine the business data that is most important to you in that moment.

It’s also a mindset that has the ability to continuously change our lens and view our businesses from a myriad of viewpoints as we look into the future.

While gamification is our method of engagement and geared toward training and empowering performance in the workforce, beneath the hood of this app is one heck of a complex core. Inside you’ll find a simulation program that allows you to “play” with KPIs to select ones that carry the most weight and meaning to your business. Making adjustments in KPI values while having the ability to incorporate new ones, the simulator can help to predict areas that maximize the value and growth of your business. Seasonal market trends can be incorporated into predictive scenarios, which can be stored and reused at later dates. As these scenarios are applied, KPIs are shared with employees in a fun and competitive way to help them reach your goals as well as their own. It’s a win/win scenario for you and your team.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you want to find out what ZiZo can do for you, set up a demo today!