To achieve the performance your organization expects, not only do you have to select the KPIs that are appropriate for your sector, you also have to figure out how to report on them appropriately and accurately. This can be a tough step, but it is unquestionably an important one.

Successful companies want to be able to meet their organizational objectives successfully. Therefore, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) play an important role at almost every organization.

KPIs are part of a larger context, they are key elements in corporate performance management. In this post I’ve already talked about the reasons for investing your time and resources in performance management.

Now, I will show you how to create great KPI dashboards, describing every step you need to take to implement them at your own organization.

Selecting relevant KPIs

Measuring and monitoring business performance is critical, but
focusing on the wrong key performance indicators can be detrimental.
Poorly structured KPIs, or KPIs that are too difficult or too costly to
obtain or monitor on a regular basis are some examples.

The right KPIs for your business should be:

  • Aligned
  • Attainable
  • Acute
  • Accurate
  • Actionable
  • Alive

Do you want to better understand these peculiar adjectives? Read our full eBook on the subject.

Describing KPIs in detail

Once you’ve selected your key performance indicators, it is important to
clearly define your datasheet. A complete definition of the indicator
prevents information from being misunderstood down the road.

The “datasheet” of an indicator must contain at least:

  • Objective
  • Measure
  • Definition
  • Frequency
  • Source/formula
  • Owner.

This is a basic list, do not limit yourself to it.

Setting the type of your dashboard

Before putting the KPIs into your dashboard, it is important to know that dashboards have different levels and purposes.

There are three main types of dashboards:

  1. Strategic
  2. Operational
  3. Analytical

While these are the major dashboard categories, there will likely be instances when a hybrid of two types may be needed.

No matter what type of KPI dashboards you use, managers and staff should be able to find answers to questions in real time and take action with all data consolidated in one place.

Choosing the perfect chart type

With every KPI, you have to determine how you’re going to share the information that you collect. For example, is it more important to see
target, actual or your year-to-date performance, or a benchmark?

There are multiple chart types that look great on a KPI dashboard, each perfect for a different type of metric: pie charts, tables, bar charts, line charts, etc.

Designing attractive dashboards

With a drag-and-drop layout and configurable widgets, anyone can create a dashboard using a good dashboard tool. Place closely related metrics next to each other, creating a linear flow that is easy to follow. Use colors to bring your performance dashboard to life and add benchmarks to make the data easy to evaluate.

Attractive dashboards

Promoting interaction​

A dashboard needs to promote the interaction between the information and its reader. Dependent relationships between widgets are a way to not only provide the reader with static information, but also with flexible analysis.

Keep it safe, but don’t stop sharing

Different users have access to different information, depending on their role in the company, their responsibilities, etc. That means permission settings are important to ensure information security. Rather than
emailing a static Excel file, you should be able to share your dashboard with anyone who needs access to the same information.​

Reviewing, adjusting and repeating

As business environments change over time, organizations need to
adapt and adjust accordingly – and KPI dashboards are no different. It’s
a continuous cycle of reviewing, adjusting and repeating. Regular review points are a great way to keep your dashboards from falling behind.

Do you want to read a little more about each of these items? Read the full eBook we created on this topic. Dashboards are an incredible tool to improve management in your company, be sure to use them!

Read the eBook now!

Tobias Schroeder


Tobias Schroeder

MBA in Strategic Management from UFPR. Business and market analyst at SoftExpert, a software provider for enterprise-wide business processes automation, improvement, compliance management and corporate governance.

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