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BI in Action

Joe McKendrick

Key Performance Indicators and More Key Performance Indicators

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How are we doing? Is that new BI system making a difference for us?

As many of you have probably already heard through various seminars and trade journals, you can't tie business intelligence and enterprise data warehouse to the business until you have key performance indicators, or KPIs, in place.

KPIs help measure the impact of a BI/DW effort in tangible business increments, such as numbers of widgets sold to particular customers, or decreased error rates, or decreased customer complaints, and so on.

Claudia Imhoff points to a new site that actually provides an entire library of KPIs, available for adoption at no charge. The KPI Library -- "Where good KPI definitions meet." (Free registration required to view entire library.)

The site now has close to 1,000 KPIs, spanning 16 business areas, including finance, governance and compliance, human resources, IT, legal, outsourcing, and procurement.

Typical KPIs in the library include the following:

- % of (preferred) suppliers not used in last 12 months ...I should make sure my clients use this one :-)

- Market share gain comparison %

- Ad click-through ratio (CTR)

- Cash dividends paid

- Share price

- Perfect Order Measure

- Average customer recency

- Average number of trackbacks per post

- % of service requests posted via web (self-help)

- Total energy used per unit of production

- Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR)

Globalization, shrinking business cycles, and increasing competitive pressures are placing demands on business managers to make faster and better decisions. Managers require both real-time visibility into their business operations and sophisticated analytical tools to help them navigate the increasingly fast paced and complex business environment.

Michael Dortch

Michael Dortch is a veteran information entrepreneur and information technology (IT) industry analyst, consultant, speaker, writer, evangelist and provocateur. He has been striving to empower buyers, sellers and users of IT solutions since 1979. Seriously! ;-)

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

Madan Sheina

Madan Sheina is principal analyst within Ovum's Software Applications group and is based in Northern California.

Madan has fifteen years' experience working in the IT industry both as an analyst and a journalist. His research covers a range of information management technologies, with a sharp focus on business intelligence, knowledge management and data integration software.

Madan is well respected in the IT industry for his clear, incisive and no-nonsense analysis style. He has advised leading ISVs on market positioning and product development strategy, IT users on product evaluation and selection, and the financial investment community on technology trends. View more


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