Small business owners often struggle to track their company’s key performance indicators (KPIs) due to the busy schedule that comes with day-to-day operations and a lack of technical proficiency. But companies that do monitor KPIs are almost twice as likely to hit growth targets.
Here are some great tools for watching your KPIs — and why it’s so important to measure this data.
Geckoboard is a live KPI tracking dashboard that allows businesses to design their own visual dashboards for a range of metrics with a drag-and-drop interface. It is designed for fast-moving teams who struggle to focus on the most important parts of their business, and it integrates with popular software such as Google Analytics, Salesforce and Shopify. Geckoboard pulls data directly from these programs to create beautiful visualizations of important metrics, and it’s simple to set up and use.
Salesforce is a customizable customer relationship management (CRM) software that offers a range of features, third-party integrations and add-on options, which makes it ideal for growing businesses with diverse needs [See our Salesforce review]. While this tool may require time and sufficient IT skills to set up, the final product accommodates all custom processes and can evolve with the company’s changing needs. Salesforce offers a wide range of support materials, webinars and guides, as well as access to its global Trailblazer community to facilitate the implementation process. [Learn more about the best CRM software.]
A business intelligence (BI) dashboard and reporting software, Grow — as the name suggests — helps businesses grow faster. Its features include data integration from various sources, customizable charts and prebuilt metrics for instant BI dashboard creation. Grow provides unique insights by blending, mashing and comparing data from multiple sources.
Although it’s designed specifically for retail and e-commerce operations, Tableau’s range of features and prebuilt templates mean any businesses can use it. Tableau’s real-time data blending feature sets it apart from competitors, allowing for direct connections to business databases and harnessing data from different sources such as Salesforce and Excel to provide informative insights. Businesses can track their health and make informed decisions based on real-time insights developed from a combination of data sources.
The Olation software offers easy mapping of relational structures into multidimensional ones and data communication between systems. The tool provides a full application programming interface supporting third-party access to all Olation functions and total algebraic expression across all dimensions, reducing application development time and costs. Olation leverages current skills by tapping into its data through existing applications such as Excel for faster return on investment (ROI), while enabling enterprise planning, budgeting and forecasting, analysis with unlimited flexible reporting and increased end-user productivity, collaboration and morale.
SimpleKPI is a user-friendly tool for businesses to track essential business metrics. Despite its simplicity, it can track various types of metrics, including finance, marketing, operations and services and is suitable for any industry. SimpleKPI integrates with popular software and offers 24/7 support to its customers, with a fullscreen option to display KPIs in real time.
Scoro is a KPI dashboard software that allows businesses to monitor every aspect of their performance on a single dashboard in real time. Scoro offers integration with other software, customizable dashboards with unlimited widgets, and the ability to offer a single solution for managing work, tracking finances, planning projects and compiling reports. It also offers team utilization optimization, project profitability improvement and automated routine task features.
This project management system offers project-based KPI tracking tools. Asana includes a card system that allows users to create tasks, objectives and due dates, as well as add team members responsible for completing tasks. Asana’s KPI tracking system, known as OKR, enables administrators to create tasks with attached objectives, while its dashboard provides tactical overviews to track progress across individual projects.
Datapine provides a self-service analytics platform that empowers every member of the team to generate actionable insights. It offers a secure, centralized location to store and access data sources, helping your business establish a data-driven culture and increase efficiency. What sets Datapine apart is its ability to identify new relationships and trends, which makes business decisions easier.
iDoneThis offers easy onboarding and a minimalist design for seamless adoption, enabling users to log goals, completes and blockers. It allows users to manage their progress via their preferred communication tools, including email and Slack. Users can receive daily progress updates via automated emails and view high-level productivity performance or individual productivity reporting to optimize team efficiency.
The relevance of KPIs in monitoring business progress is dependent on their constant analysis, which enables the extraction of valuable insights from the data. This is also impacted by the quality of the data and skills of business analysts.
Moz Pro is an all-in-one search engine optimization (SEO) toolset that provides various solutions to improve a business website’s SEO. It allows users to conduct site audits to identify technical SEO issues and get recommendations for fixes, track keyword rankings across over 170 search engines, perform backlink analysis and conduct keyword research with difficulty scores, competitor research and search engine results page (SERP) analysis.
Splash is a single tool to create, manage and execute events that help businesses and their brands grow. It can help build templates to showcase your brand, and the intuitive tools, simple integrations and compliance controls empower anyone on the team to execute a great events program. With Splash, businesses can amplify their brand by consistently and seamlessly engaging with their audience, which creates trust and loyalty. Through effortless integrations and in-depth analytics and reporting, Splash helps businesses to improve programming, create audience-approved content and prove pipeline and revenue generation to grow the business.
HubSpot is an all-in-one CRM platform that offers software, integrations and resources to connect marketing, sales, content management and customer service. The platform’s value lies within the integration of its individual products. The Marketing Hub helps to generate leads, automate marketing, and analyze results, while the Sales Hub provides CRM software that offers deeper insights, automates tasks, and speeds up deal closures. Learn more in our review of HubSpot.
Spreadsheets are an integral tool for businesses because they can be used for a variety of tasks beyond simple Excel files. They offer numerous features such as data filtering and visualization, custom formatting, accounting, analytics, project management and presentations. Spreadsheets can also help businesses in storing, organizing and analyzing data, as well as predicting how a company will scale based on current data or creating simulations with different variables to see different outcomes. Popular options include Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, Zoho Sheet and Apple Numbers.
>> Learn More: The 5 Most Important KPIs for Warehouses
Here are a few reasons to set and track KPIs when implementing this software into your business.
Setting and tracking KPIs is crucial for businesses as it allows you to measure your performance against set goals, identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about achieving your objectives.
“KPIs provide valuable insights that help inform decisions, allowing businesses to make more informed choices about how best to achieve their desired outcomes,” said Tomas Keenan, founder of Step It Up Academy. “Ultimately, having clearly defined KPIs in place helps businesses stay on track and remain competitive in the marketplace.”
Without clearly defined KPIs, it becomes challenging to determine progress and success, which can lead to reduced profits and decreased competitiveness in the marketplace.
Using a dashboard that combines different metrics is a useful tool to have relevant information readily available for addressing problems or taking advantage of opportunities. For instance, if you are experiencing a sales slump, identifying KPIs, such as the number of calls made, appointments kept or trade events attended, can help you turn the situation around. You can track these KPIs on a dashboard and monitor them regularly to find the right strategy to boost sales.
“Alternatively, suppose you have a fantastic concept for a new product. Before launching it on a large scale, you may test it with a few clients and use KPIs to validate your business model,” said Brad Anderson, founder and executive director of Fruition. “You may track the number of interested customers, the cost to support the new product, the net promoter score, the implementation time, the number of defects, etc.”
KPIs serve as a company’s scorecard. Monitoring its vital indicators only requires a few metrics. To achieve desired results, only measure what needs to be changed.
“I have discovered that it is essential to measure a few metrics for each of the four categories: employees, customers, processes and revenue. These are disciplines associated with human resources, customer satisfaction, business processes and business strategy,” said Sean Stevens, director of Immerse Education. “First, ensure that you select the appropriate KPIs for your business, then determine who will be held accountable for them (leadership accountability).”
Setting and tracking KPIs for a business enables the monitoring of progress toward goals, identification of opportunities, keeps track of business health and increases employee accountability.
Ryan Faber, CEO of Copymatic, says creating and tracking KPIs in a business can encourage employees to take responsibility and ownership of their work.
“Businesses can empower employees to take ownership of their work and hold themselves accountable for their performance,” Faber said. “When employees are given clear, measurable goals to work toward, they can take ownership of their work and feel a sense of accountability for their performance.”
Scott Gerber contributed to this article.