What is a KPI Report and How to Create One?
The question of how to make your strategy increasingly successful can be answered by ensuring that you are tracking the appropriate Key Performance Indicators for your company, agency, or clients using transparent KPI dashboards, and KPI reports.
Making sure your company is successful might cause you to lose a lot of sleep, especially if you don't feel very confident in the expansion strategy and performance indicators you've established.
Businesses and agencies use key performance indicators, or KPIs, to monitor and analyze the progress and growth of their marketing and sales operations and identify areas where there is room for improvement.
What is a KPI Report?
Business leaders can swiftly evaluate and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) with a KPI report. This allows them to understand how well their organization functions about specific strategic goals.
A contemporary KPI report uses interactive data visualization, making it possible to go deeper into the underlying data with just the click of a button. A key performance indicator (KPI) report simplifies identifying patterns, correlations, and outliers in a company's data, making it accessible to consumers who lack technical expertise.
These realizations lead to actions, leading to improved business results.
In this sense, a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) report assists businesses in extracting additional value from their data, fosters data literacy, and establishes a culture of data-driven decision-making.
You can also read more about KPIs here in our recent guide.
Challenges in KPI Reporting
Most companies cannot avoid the pitfall of allowing best practices to play too significant a role in selecting key performance indicators. Alternatively, they rely on their business intelligence software or a consultant to decide for them.
Choosing the appropriate KPI presents the most significant challenge when using them.
For selecting the appropriate KPIs necessary to do in-depth research and have a solid understanding of the primary business processes and factors that influence your company. If you work in sales, what are the factors that influence your revenue? Is it the value of the pipeline, the number of phone calls made, the number of demos given, the number of meetings scheduled, or something else entirely?
Finding the appropriate KPI to measure can be time-consuming because, in many instances, it is necessary to conduct trial and error experiments.
The second most challenging obstacle is determining how to generate and present the key performance indicators (KPIs). It is better to separate this challenge into two primary parts.
First of all, there is challenging to locate and gather the data required to construct the key performance indicator (KPI). In an ideal scenario, all of the required data is saved in a database, and the data quality is satisfactory.
If this is not the case, it will perhaps require some effort to extract the data from many different sources. In some situations, the data will need to be manually collected. It will also demand some effort to store the data in a manner that is easily accessible and searchable.
Second, selecting the appropriate software to do the data queries, compute, and display the key performance indicators (KPI). There is a possibility that many firms already have a BI tool that their employees are compelled to use. Still, this product is laborious and requires a significant amount of effort to operate.
When it takes a lot of resources, time, and money to deliver, it can be difficult for management to track and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs).
This generally results in a request to look for a new business intelligence tool, which opens the floodgates to all of the marketing buzz and excitement surrounding the key performance indicators (KPIs) that the new tool can give out of the box. Remember the guidance that was given above; those eye-catching KPIs are probably not what your company requires.
Our guide on KPIs will help you overcome these 2 challenges. Click here for more.
Stay away from these typical KPI mistakes:
1. Choosing key performance indicators (KPIs) that aren't crucial to achieving your strategic goals. It is a good idea to keep track of the essential business metrics for your company, but not all of those data should be considered key performance indicators.
2. Using key performance indicators that are ill-defined or ambiguous. Work with your team to create the key performance indicators (KPIs) and provide explicit details on how the KPIs will be measured. If you don't, you'll have difficulty doing what you set out to do.
3. Establishing KPI goals that are overly ambitious or impossible. It is in everyone's best interest to establish goals that align with the available resources, strategies, and facts from the past. You might consider concentrating on a particular period or setting short-term and long-term goals together.
4. Monitoring KPIs in the absence of owners that is important to be accountable, not only for the outcomes but also for the processes involved. Each key performance indicator (KPI) ought to have an owner accountable for monitoring, reporting, analyzing, and taking action.
5. Failing to take action based on your key performance indicators. KPIs are helpful tools that can assist you in making better decisions, regardless of whether or not you are currently fulfilling your goals. Don't merely track for the sake of tracking; do something with the information you find.
KPI Report Examples and Templates
To develop the ideal KPI reporting dashboard for your organization or the customers you serve, you must first hone in on some of the most critical objectives and metrics you must monitor consistently. And an operational dashboard controls and runs operations within a shorter period/short term.
The following are some instances of KPI reports:
- Leads (number of leads, the evolution of the number of leads, etc.)
- Traffic on the website and the number of sessions
- Outstandingly productive position (engagement, clicks, cost per click)
- Cost per click or cost per acquisition
- Transformations (percentage of conversions, cost per conversion, etc.)
- Goal completions
The following are some KPI report templates from Northstar:
Types of KPI Reports
Executive Reports and dashboards are focused on the performance of high-level indicators. The senior leaders of your firm need to have access to a clear snapshot of the status of strategic key performance indicators, as opposed to operational KPIs.
1. Executive Report
The dashboard should compress extensive sets of pertinent information so executives may make decisions based on analysis related to the organization's strategic goals.
The teams in charge of leadership organizations put in a lot of effort to prioritize the various pieces of information that compete for their time and resources. Executives are under constant pressure to satisfy a wide variety of stakeholders, including the board of directors, the executive team, and the workforce.
Executive dashboards that are interactive incorporate a wide variety of separate data sources, making it simple to monitor performance across the entire company or drill down into specific data sets to inform virtually any action that needs to be taken. And contemporary cloud analytics enable all users to create, explore, and collaborate while utilizing whatever device they choose.
When executives of a company can make better use of all the data at their disposal, their decision-making abilities and their competitive advantage improve.
What may be included in executive reports?
- High-level KPIs
- Time-based trend
2. Operational Report
An operational dashboard controls and runs operations within a shorter period/short term. Because of their emphasis on monitoring operational processes, they are typically delegated to more junior levels of management for administration.
These kinds of dashboards are perhaps the ones that are used the most frequently. Most of their applications include monitoring and assessing the operations of a corporation in a specific industry sector.
These dashboards often concentrate on notifying users about business exceptions and are founded on data that is updated in real-time. In most cases, the subject matter specialists are the ones who wind up with custody of the operational analytics dashboards.
This typically results in more immediate action, which is subsequently followed by more analysis. As a result of this, operational dashboards typically provide a greater amount of detail than strategic dashboards. They can also provide operational reports that offer a more in-depth perspective of particular data sets.
The Difference Between a KPI Report and a KPI Dashboard
Modern KPI dashboards are comparable to interactive KPI reports, allowing users to navigate through various indicators, explore and analyze data, and more. However, interactive KPI reports and modern KPI dashboards are different.
The traditional key performance indicator (KPI) reports are static documents that are given to shareholders, but interactive dashboards make it significantly simpler to access many layers of information.
Reports on key performance indicators emphasized providing an analytical interpretation of underlying data, typically through tables and graphs that simplify decision-making.
On the other hand, dashboards are visualization tools that enable KPI reporting. They use a variety of visual forms such as graphs and charts to provide real-time insight into the performance of KPI and metrics.
The distinction between the two is no longer as straightforward as it once was. These days, modern dashboards are powerful enough to function as full-fledged reports or can be incorporated directly into the report itself.
In addition, there is no barrier preventing you from importing data from a Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Report into a dashboard to build a visually appealing and persuasive presentation.
KPI Reporting Tools
Companies use KPI reporting tools, a type of business reporting solution, to monitor, track, and generate actionable insights based on key performance indicators specific to the company's business objectives to achieve sustainable business development and, ultimately, profit. 1. Google Data Studio 2. Tableau 3. Geckoboard 4. Google Sheets
In today's cutthroat atmosphere, businesses need to use every resource they can get their hands on, and the tools for reporting KPIs are at the top of the list. The selected key performance indicators will always reflect the most recent information because the company is using a professional KPI dashboard. This will ensure that the business continues to function normally.
Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is made much easier for small businesses thanks to the availability of a variety of reasonably priced tools that are directly compatible with the most widely used business software solutions.
Some of these options might be a better fit for your company than others, depending on the type of business you run and the sector in which you operate.
We are happy to recommend the following KPI reporting tools to you:
1. Google Data Studio
In digital marketing, Google Data Studio is a beneficial business analytics tool. You can design dashboards for data analysis and strategy presentations that are aesthetically pleasing and can be tailored to your specific needs. You will get an introduction to Google Data Studio and find out why it is essential to use this program in this piece of writing.
You can read more about Google Data Studio in our Pros and Cons of Google Data Studio article here.
Tableau is a powerful analytics and key performance indicator (KPI) tracking tool that comes with a wide variety of high-quality pre-built KPI templates that you can use to monitor your company's performance.
Tableau is developed primarily with retail and eCommerce operations in mind, but it does offer a wide range of capabilities that would be helpful for any organization. Tableau's real-time data mixing capability is the characteristic that most differentiates it from its rivals in the market.
You can compare Tableau and Google Data Studio with our article on this. Click here for more.
Tableau establishes direct connections to the databases used by your company and generates insights in real-time. Additionally, it can combine data from various sources, such as taking information from Salesforce, Analytics, or even Excel. After that, the system integrates the data to produce insights into the health of your firm that are both useful and actionable.
Geckoboard offers its client companies a sleek live KPI tracking dashboard with all the bells and whistles. Users can construct their visual dashboards across a variety of data with the help of its interface, which is based on a drag-and-drop format.
Geckoboard is a good option for businesses that want to ensure that their teams maintain hyper-focused attention on the outcomes since it enables the presentation of full-screen dashboards on a television screen.
Geckoboard interfaces with the most popular business tools, such as Google Analytics, Salesforce, and Shopify. This allows it to be used by teams that move quickly and have trouble concentrating on the most critical aspects of their company's operations.
This software will build stunning representations of the metrics that are most important to you by pulling data directly from the programs themselves (or from Excel spreadsheets). Although it does not go as in-depth as some other solutions on this list, it is likely the least complicated to install and operate.
4. Google Sheets
Google Sheets allows you to handle and analyze all of the data associated with your marketing channels in a manner tailored to your team's needs. If you ever need to adjust how the system works, you can easily modify the spreadsheets without having to invest in pricey marketing tools or complicated coding.
Because it is hosted in the cloud and updated in real-time, Google Sheets enables your team to view and modify their data whenever they want, from any global location.
Since Google Sheets is compatible with every other software, if your organization maintains marketing data in other programs, you can quickly import that information directly into Google Sheets without the need for any additional software.
There is a good chance that most of your coworkers are already utilizing spreadsheets, and Google Sheets is an intuitive option for those who are not. Maintaining spreadsheets is a breeze, and instructing your staff on how to use them is quick and easy.
You can check our Google Sheets functions tutorials to empower your Google Sheet knowledge. Click here for more.
How to Prepare a KPI report?
These reports are interactive, dynamic, and customized for each user, department, or company based on their operational requirements, strategies, aims, goals, and objectives.
They are modifiable, and as a result, they provide a powerful method for drilling down deep into exact pockets of information.
Consider the example of procurement metrics; to effectively assess your firm's performance, you need to know whether or not your suppliers can meet your expectations, how quickly they can respond to urgent requests, the costs of orders, and a great many other indications.
However, to properly prepare your report, you need to be aware of the factors to consider.
When thinking about how to put together a KPI report, it is essential to remember that you need to stick to a specific procedure to achieve the best results.
Before we go any further, here is a brief rundown of some of the most important aspects that should include in the KPI reports you create:
- Define your strategic company goals in collaboration with the many stakeholders.
- Choose a few performance indicators to measure and evaluate the progress.
- Consider your data sources.
- Create a report that can be seen in a graphical format using an online dashboard.
- Be careful not to let your selection of data visualization methods throw you for a loop.
Now, to assist you in your journey toward becoming more data-driven, enlightened individuals here is a more in-depth explanation of each of these points:
a. Outline the objectives and targets of your company
Depending on its size, industry, and primary goals, every company will have its unique set of key performance indicators (KPIs) assigned to the organization's various departments and functions.
To determine which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will prove to be the most beneficial to your company, you need to have an open and collaborative conversation with the key stakeholders in your company about the aims, goals, and objectives.
Doing so will provide you with a comprehensive view of where you should direct your efforts and the metrics and insights that are important to measure to be successful. Your long-term success in reporting will rely heavily on the foundation that this provides.
b. Choose which KPIs to track
The next step in your reporting journey will be to identify the key performance indicators you wish to work with based on the ongoing projects and plans you have in place once you have defined all of the most important goals for your firm.
Fortunately, many important KPIs are available in today's digital age to assist growth in various areas, like marketing and accounts, customer service and fulfillment, and even more.
In addition, have a look at our comprehensive guide to KPI management and educate yourself on a wide variety of beneficial best practices.
c. Consider your data sources
The focus of the following step of the procedure is taking a close look at the various places where you get your data. Dashboards of today can compile all of your data from various platforms or sources with the assistance of data connectors.
This data is then combined with your key performance indicators to provide the insights you require for growth, improvement, and long-term success. Therefore, it is essential to examine the sources of your data.
Before you begin developing your data dashboard, you should assess which data sources align with your company's business objectives and which will be the most excellent fit for your key performance indicators. Anything that is not essential to achieving the goal should either be deactivated or not used at all.
If you do this, you will be able to streamline your efforts and ensure that the only information or insights served up on your reporting dashboard are those that are valuable enough to be analyzed. In the real world, this means that the accounting reports you generate should coincide with the precise financial data you need to analyze to gain insights from the data.
d. Prepare your report and make any necessary adjustments
After selecting the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to work with and doing an audit of your primary data sources, you will be in a position to set up a report and personalize it according to your needs. Using KPI software to compile and manage your performance indicators is the most efficient way.
This is because the software will allow you to generate comprehensive summary reports from various metrics and visualize these reports using powerful dashboards. The dashboard-style is the most effective, efficient, and easiest to traverse of all the several types of data visualization mediums that are now accessible.
In addition, once you have configured user access, report key performance indicators, and customize the look and feel. With the functionality of your reports to your preferences, you will be able to gain quick access to your most valuable data via the medium of your desktop computer, tablet computer, or smartphone at any time of the day or night. This access will be available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
A complete reference to the concepts of data dashboard design is provided here for your reading enjoyment to assist you with the construction and customization activities you are undertaking.
e. Drill down into data visualization
The concept of data visualization is a powerful one, and it is essential to the production of reports of any kind or size. Data visualization allows you to extract value from your most significant data at a look, tell a story with your metrics or insights, and share critical information with others both inside and outside of your organization in a consumable and inspirational way.
After you have your reports up and running, you must evaluate them regularly and make any necessary adjustments or enhancements to your reporting efforts.
Additionally, our accompanying post on how to construct a dashboard will help you take your decision-making to the next level and includes:
- A wealth of knowledge on the process of drafting.
- Displaying the reports that your organization generates.