Running a small business and understanding how well the business is performing is a key factor. With a rapid growth rate and plans being executed haphazardly, it’s impossible to know what’s working and what’s not. This makes it difficult to be clear on where to invest time and resources for the best likely outcome. As such, business planning becomes fraught with risk, which can lead to paralysis or poor decisions as a business leader.
Here are some tips on using KPIs and data science to lead the way.
What are KPIs?
Key performance indicators (KPIs) is a fancy term for measurements that help to confirm the performance of the business. They sometimes also fall under other names such as key statistics or key metrics, but they all mean the same thing.
The idea with KPIs is to readily break down what matters in the business. As a result, it’s possible to periodically review the data to see how the company is performing. This may apply to one month, a quarter, or longer, and can be comparative for backward-looking reviews too.
Is Your Company Equipped for KPIs?
When it comes to data science, it’s not something that every company is at ease with. The founder may know the business and how to operate it, but not be clear about the analytics. Similarly, if the team was chosen by him or her, then it’s commonly the case that smaller company founders will choose people similar to themselves. This can leave a gap where data engineering is concerned.
Data science specialists like datawrk.com work with companies to determine what their KPIs should be to have the most relevance. They use data analytics BI (business intelligence) to see both what’s gone on previously and how the company is likely to fare in the future. The use of data dashboards is appropriate, and a provider like DataWrk does so to allow clients to access their information quickly and easily. This allows for more reliable decision-making based on a better appreciation of what’s going on in the company.
Why Should Businesses Use KPIs?
Companies sometimes operate without often knowing what’s driving their growth and where they’re lagging behind competitors. When identifying and using KPIs, it’s possible to compare results to known industry performance to gauge how well the business is doing.
Growth rates across key products and markets can be better assessed. When sales rise or dip in certain product lines, it’s possible to respond faster to changing consumer tastes or heavy discounting by peers.
Establishing benchmarks for performance and how it relates to each department within the organisation encourages department heads to meet or exceed expectations. Without benchmarks based on past performance and expectations for the future, then departments, and the company as a whole, will lack appropriate goals to shoot for.
Good for the Environmental Too
Performance indicators don’t just need to replace business performance from a financial perspective. Environmental goals such as recycling efforts and sustainability can be measured and reported on. The company can commit to being greener and measure whether they’re walking their talk.
KPIs are extremely useful for businesses. However, guidance is often needed to establish the right KPIs in the first place, as well as practices for how to accurately measure performance thereafter.
Photo credits: coworkinglondon.com