In just about every industry, executives and managers use reports to make crucial business decisions. Companies use carefully crafted metrics to measure success, drive improvements, and identify areas for new opportunities. With so much potential value, organizations everywhere should be investing resources in developing powerful reporting tools. However, it’s not that simple. Designing the right metrics to accurately measure performance is easier said than done.
Starting With Data
Before we can design any metrics, we need to know what kind of data is available. After all, metrics can only exist if the data to track these metrics also exists. And that leads us to an important question: What information should we be saving?
When it comes down to it, more data is often better than less data. When a business needs to ask questions, having more data to tap into allows you to ask more questions. But simply saying that more data is better than less data isn’t enough.
Metrics measure progress towards business goals. In order to determine what data needs to be saved, we need to understand these business goals. What business goals currently exist, and what may exist in the future? Which processes are measurable, and what data do we use to measure them? What questions do executives and managers need to know the answers to? If we can answer these questions, we know what data to track. We recommend meeting regularly with upper management to get feedback on metrics in order to continually reevaluate what type of data needs to be saved.
How To Design A Metric
For every question, there is an answer – and when it comes to designing metrics, the key is asking the right questions. Salesforce can house millions of different data points, but the trick to making sense of all of this information is to approach reporting with careful planning and design practices.
Every report corresponds to a question, and great reports answer several of them. These questions can come from executives, managers, or other company leaders. When someone makes a report request, you need to gather all of the requirements. Some points to consider are:
- Which questions are being asked?
- What are the report parameters?
- Which data points are involved?
- What information needs to be displayed, and what information needs to be summarized?
For example, if someone asks you which products are the best sellers, you may outline some simple report requirements like this:
After you document all of the report requirements and review them with your stakeholders, you can begin to create your metrics. We recommend that you review completed metrics with your stakeholders in order to iron out any issues with the deliverable before closing the request.
Continuous Process Improvement
Businesses are always changing, and goals change with them. In order to keep your metrics valuable, you need to continually reevaluate and update them over the course of time. But you can’t do this alone. We recommend scheduling monthly or quarterly meetings with company executives, managers, Salesforce admins, developers, and department leads to complete this process. By connecting stakeholders with the individuals technically responsible for creating metrics, you can ensure that your business is getting the most out of its data.
During these meetings, we recommend that all stakeholders review their current metrics and create proposals for additional ones. Admins and developers can then weigh in on the technical scope for the team to prioritize and develop these proposals. Stakeholders can also identify older metrics that are no longer useful and can be retired. As a business changes and grows, it’s important to audit your metrics to keep them useful and relevant.
Some Useful Starting Points
Every company has different reporting needs, and every organization benefits from different types of organization. However, we’ve come up with a few reports that we think are generally helpful for businesses across the board. Here are some examples of popular reports:
- Most/least popular services/products – By identifying the services or products that customers find most appealing, you can capitalize on your success by offering promotions or designing targeted marketing campaigns. At the same time, knowing which services or products are not selling can help you decide which items to remove from your offerings or invest resources in improving.
- Most/least active customers – Understanding which customers are repeatedly buying from you can help you build customer relations by offering discounts or incentives for continued business. Additionally, determining the behavior of your inactive customers allows you to create engagement strategies to bring them back to your company.
- Busiest/worst seasons – If you know your busy seasons, you can push products during busy seasons or offer incentives during dead ones. This information can also help you with forecasting and budgeting to keep your business profitable even when times are tough.
- Best/worst employees – Identifying the employees who are performing allows you to reward them or harness their success to train struggling employees. Likewise, employees who are struggling for prolonged periods of time might be people you need to keep an eye on.
If you are having trouble designing your metrics to accurately measure your performance, Ntegro is here to help! We can work with your team to identify useful metrics for your business. Then design, we can design reports and dashboards to give you an insight into the inner workings of your company. Shed some light on how your business is performing by getting in touch with us online for a free consultation today.
What is the most useful report you’ve created for your company? Share in the comments below to spread the knowledge!