How can you improve the data gathering process for your KPIs?
An important component of performance measurement is represented by the data collection capability. However, when applied in the organizational context, this process is neither easy, nor lacking obstacles, as practitioners often discover.
Some of the most common challenges encountered by organizations are related to three main themes, namely:
As the decision-making process is significantly influenced by the performance data provided in monthly reports, providing unreliable information might seriously damage your business, by influencing you towards making the wrong decisions.
The following recommendations are meant to assist professionals in their efforts to optimize the data gathering process.
Assign data custodians
Identify those employees who will become responsible for gathering data. The profile of a data custodian should include experience in measuring, reporting metrics/KPIs, skills to work with technology (it can be business intelligence tools or Microsoft Excel), knowledge in regard to the assessed processes, the sense of integrity and ethics.
Some companies may hire specialized professionals, such as data analysts, while other organizations might choose to assign the data custodian roles to existing employees.
Develop a data gathering process map
A flow chart will provide data custodians with more visibility regarding the data collection steps, as well as with the clear deadlines that need to be respected.
Provide guidelines through the KPI Documentation Form
This document will ensure consistency in measuring each KPI, by presenting details such as KPI definitions, calculation formulas, data sources and measurement limitations.
A well-documented KPI library will significantly influence the quality of the KPI measurement.
Train data custodians
For many companies, hiring a specialist, such as a data analyst, may not be an option and they have to rely on existing resources. In this context, it is highly important for people to be trained on this matter.
Developing this internal capability can be done through several initiatives, from formal training events to internal learning and sharing.
A Community of Practice for data custodians can be established, where different challenges are discussed and solutions are identified. Participants can exchange experiences and come up with initiatives to improve the current data gathering process.
From time to time, auditing the data gathering process leads to improvements by identifying critical issues that may be altering the quality of the data produced.
Build a modern infrastructure
Use technology in order to ensure an efficient data gathering. Having automated processes improves both the accuracy of data and its availability in due time.
By having these 6 tips in mind when collecting data for KPIs, managers can streamline the data gathering process and provide reliable data for decision making.