- KPI’s keep objectives at the forefront of decision making.
- KPI’s are vital when it comes to performance management.
- KPI’s encourage a culture of accountability.
- KPI’s can create an atmosphere of learning and growth.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
KPIs help in demonstrating accountability in the workplace, and to view vital statistics about performance, allowing you to make accurate decisions about employees during 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!