What is KPI Software?
KPI Software provides organizations with the capabilities to create, manage, visualize and analyze Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Typically, data can be entered manually or automated from existing databases and third-party applications. This data is then used to form the basis of KPIs that can be displayed on dashboards and reports. The software also provides analysis functions that help businesses see how their KPIs are performing against targets, strategic goals or objectives.
Why KPI Software is so important to the fabric of business
Nearly all companies use measurements to track performance against a target, it is a part of the very fabric that makes up a business.
Some simply choose to track high level information such as units sold this month or revenue.
At the other end of the spectrum some companies choose to weave KPIs into a more substantial business performance improvement culture;
all strictly aligned to their business and growth plans. Both approaches have their separate pros and cons;
however the main problem with using Key performance indicators (KPIs) is not monitoring too few or even monitoring too many, it's about using the right KPI's.
Just as important as understanding the right KPIs to measure is using the right tools to measure them.
Why choose KPI software to manage Key performance indicators
Anyone who operates a business can confess that collecting KPI data can take an inordinate amount of time, not to mention then collating and reporting on that information. And once all this is done your KPI data is historic, it doesn't allow you to act in a timely manner on the information, limiting opportunities and competitive advantage
KPI software provides businesses with a KPI focused platform to create manage and analyze KPI data. The software allows organizations to enter their KPI (Key Performance Indicator) data into one specially designed system rather than use conventional methods such as spread sheets - which by their very nature are prone to errors.
Companies then benefit from faster and more accurate data collation, instant reports on performance, and alerts when a KPI is over or under achieving – leading to uplift in competitive advantage.
Additionally, it provides a window into companies' performance through simplified data visualizations such as graphs and dashboards. These tools allow you to keep a real time view of performance, and if in any doubt of the cause of variations in performance – drill down functionality easily finds the cause.
KPI Software in the cloud
Having your software accessible on-line via a cloud based version has four main advantages:
The technology is paid incrementally saving companies money.
- Increased storage and backup
Companies can store and backup more data in one place than on a private network.
Users can access there KPIs and performance data whether they are in a meeting on the road or simple at their desk.
Internal IT departments do not need to worry about keeping servers or software up to date.
How to choose the right KPI Software
Choosing the right solution for your business can be a daunting process, there are many vendors in the BI market, providing a virtually endless list of data-centric solutions. From data visualization tools such as dashboards to complex forecasting systems, all purporting to be KPI software, so how does a business go about selecting the right Software for them.
- Decide what you need
It is important to spend sufficient time planning and working out the KPIs you wish to manage, how that fits into your business process and how you would like it tracked. This may form part of your business plan.
- Do the research
Get on the search engines and learn from others, there are many good vendors tailored to different aspects of KPI management, learn about their reputation and how they support their customers.
- Be sure to Take a trial
No matter how much research you undertake it may be difficult to pinpoint the right vendor first time. Take advantage of a free trial; involve the staff to see how intuitive they find the system. And don't be afraid to ask for a trial extension if you feel that the standard 30days is not long enough.
- Go for an on-line version
Not only will this be the most cost effective and accessible system it will also limit your commitment if the software is not for you.
- Keep it all in one place
Go for a system that has entry, reports, analysis and dashboards in one place. Not only will this be the most cost effective it will also avoid having to undertake a costly integration exercise further down the road.
- Big Vendors = big cost
If you reading this your probably new to KPI software so implementing a large vendor application covering the whole BI stack would be overkill and expensive. Try to choose a vendor that covers the majority of the stack without going into the most expensive elements such as forecasting.