In previous articles we wrote about KPI reports and why you need them(link), and about defining high quality KPIs. Today we are going to talk about tools for analyzing and monitoring KPIs.
As you already know, in business world today, decisions are made on big amounts of data. That is why it's crucial that you can have fast access to right data and make good decisions. This basically means that having the real-time information can make the difference between success and failure.
So, once you have defined your KPIs for your business, you will need a way to analyze and monitor your data. There are several options you can use to organize and manage your data.
First one is using spread sheets. But, this is not a really good option. It can be useful for tracking single user KPIs, but if you have more KPIs to track, then you should definitely avoid them. They have problems with multiple users access, trend tracking, summery reporting, etc. Big minus is also that they are really vulnerable to errors when used for KPI tracking.
Second option can be using small databases. For example, Access database offers the ability to collate the data from multiple sources. So all the data is in one place, and can be used to create reports you need. This solutions has as a big minus this that you will need specialist access knowledge, or someone who will work only on this.
The best and the most effective solution is using a specialised KPI software applications.
These days there are more and more cloud based applications for analyzing and tracking KPIs. Usually they give possibility that multiple users can access the online system.
Beside this, most of these kind of applications offer great possibilities like real-time reporting, good security, easy to use dashboards, simple settings, alerting on defined events, etc.
KPI oriented tools can allow to big companies to enter their KPI data into one specially designed system, rather than use methods such as spread sheets which by their nature are prone to errors. You should be aware that companies indeed have benefits from fast reports on performance, or alerts when a KPI is over or under defined limits and other features of KPI oriented applications. Looking at your business performance through simplified data visualisations such as graphs and dashboards can't be at all compared with reports using spreadsheets or other solutions.
In this moment, a good question would be, how can you choose the right KPI software for your business?
Well, first you have to decide what you need, how much time you have to spend on KPIs should give you orientation about choosing more or less complex software.
Then you have to do the research. There are many good good solutions with different aspects of KPI management. Choose thr right for you and your business. Find out more about their reputation and their customer support.
When you make a choice, try a trial version of software if it's provided, and see how it looks like and does it fit to your needs.
More and more solutions are based on cloud platform, which also gives great benefits. Find out more about this.
Once you pass through all this process and find a software which fits to your needs and budget, it is only a question of time and good KPI analysis to get started with right decisions for your business.