Often we find in organisations, both large and small, that
business performance is tracked using spreadsheets and word documents.
When an organisation needs to track business performance, and we really
do mean business performance not personal performance (that is a topic
for another day) nowadays it is essential they use dedicated KPI
Using dedicated KPI software has many advantages. Not
least of which is keeping all KPIs in a central repository and therefore
enabling proper interrogation of metrics through the use of automation
tools such as dashboards, reports, briefing books, alerts, drill down
and a highly visual interface.
This is essential. It provides the
means to create useful and meaningful reports or dashboards that
management can use to make informed decisions. Clearly, there are
standard or basic KPIs that all companies need such as Revenue, Profit,
Gross Profit and Operating Costs that are relatively easy to interpret.
However, there are also many other KPIs that can influence these major
measures that need to be controlled as well.
Using KPI Software
not only provides an overall picture, but allows users to drill down
into multiple levels of details. For instance, from Revenue we could
take a sideways look at Sales Revenue and then dip into specific Product
Sales and on to the Cost of Sales for individual Products. This can be
related to time periods - to check on seasonal variation- and
operational costs associated with manufacturing and delivery. All of
this could be achieved in seconds through mouse clicks via an
interactive dashboard or by looking at the metrics themselves.
this mechanism, when using spreadsheets, multiple reports would have to
be generated and cross-referenced manually. This can end up being time
consuming activity resulting in delays and additional costs. Not only
this, but it means that the people involved in the additional work will
not be able to complete their normal daily tasks resulting in even more
There is a further advantage of centralising KPIs into a
single KPI management system. Most systems will allow the administrator
to set permissions based on the roles of the people using the systems.
With a permission system in place, KPIs, Reports and Dashboards can be
made available to a much wider audience. For example, if an organisation
wanted to publish its strategy in the form of a strategy map, then it
could do so by providing permissions to all staff to this area of the
KPI software. If however, it wanted the Profit and Loss statement to be
available to only the finance team and the executive, it could do this
as well by setting the appropriate permission controls.
is one of the biggest issues facing both large and small organisations.
By proving a KPI management system that can be controlled by permissions
based on role is a massive advantage. In today's highly competitive
environment, the need to communicate effectively, to the right people is
paramount. Distribution of information also requires the right
infrastructure to be in place. Gone are the days when organisations need
to rely on private networks alone. The Internet has provided the means
to distribute information cheaply and effectively.
however, require the right security protocols to be set up as well. The
best KPI software solutions take advantage of the web. They are web
based systems that contain the right levels of security to allow transit
across a public network, while ensuring data is secure.
summary, KPI software is a much more viable alternative than the use of
spreadsheets and documents. It provides the means to drill down (or
across) to find related information. It therefore provides a mechanism
to make informed decisions quickly. The information can be distributed
easily and to a wide variety of people based upon a role within the
Working as a consultant in the area of strategic planning and the
use of the balanced scorecard. Software automation is central to good
strategic planning and should be a core business tool in today's highly
competitive environment. Check out Intrafocus Limited at http://www.intrafocus.com.
They specialise in strategic planning software, balanced scorecard
software and KPI software. They also provide professional certification
classes for the Balanced Scorecard methodology.