KPI Reporting

Whether it’s through routine reports or interactive dashboards, KPI reporting is one way of making sure that decision-makers in an organization have the relevant and timely information they need to assess a situation. Companies are now putting greater emphasis on fact-based decision making, ensuring that all stakeholders in an organization have regular, consistent access to important metrics and fresh data. KPI reports help executives and managers determine whether existing initiatives are on course or not, track the overall performance of their company or department, and identify areas in need of improvement. KPI reporting done right means decision-makers have accurate information, or facts that they can trust, on which to build and improve their strategies, make smart choices, and guide their organization or team in the right direction.

Why businesses depend on KPI reporting

KPIs (key performance indicators) are measurable values that show how effectively an organization or team is achieving its objectives. They can be used at all levels of an organization to assess the performance and well-being of a company and the success of various initiatives. KPI reporting helps top-level management, as well as board members, investors, and other stakeholders, monitor and stay informed about a company’s progress towards meeting specific goals. It is used to summarize large amounts of data and as a supplement to decision support systems. It helps businesses and managers identify successful strategies and set meaningful benchmarks that inspire action. KPI reporting also acts as an early warning system, a way for businesses to detect potential problems and give management a chance to course correct early.

KPI reporting best practices

Corporate KPI reporting isn’t as simple and straightforward as it seems, however. In order to implement it effectively, certain guidelines should be followed. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when building your reports:

  • Strategy assessment: There should be a direct link between your KPIs and your goals, helping the reader evaluate the success of your current strategy at a glance.
  • Glossary of terms: If external parties will be consuming the report, you should define your terms and KPI formulas to help readers understand the measures used.
  • KPI relevance: An explanation of why the performance indicators used are relevant or valid as a measure of success will help the reader better process the information.
  • Future targets: A forward-looking orientation enables readers to estimate the potential for success and provides them with a basis for assessing future performance.
  • Trend data: Using historical trend graphs to establish context will help readers grasp how much performance has improved or worsened over time and is useful for evaluating the success of existing strategies.
  • Benchmarks: Providing a benchmark of your performance against that of similar firms helps readers understand your positioning and sets your performance in proper context.

The difficulty of KPI reporting

For large firms, KPI reporting can be challenging for those tasked with building reports. Exporting, verifying, aggregating, and analyzing all the relevant data and creating aesthetically pleasing reports is a time-consuming process when relying on spreadsheets and other conventional tools. If the data gathering and reporting process is delayed, the information can end up being out-of-date, unhelpful, and irrelevant. Moreover, a lack of standardized measures and inaccurate or missing data resulting from poor data management and data modeling* practices can complicate the process. And finally, there’s always the risk of providing too much information in a single report, or not being able to narrow down the metrics to what matters most. This can result in confusing reports and unsatisfied readers.

*What is data modeling? It is a map of the content and structure of and relationships among data elements. It helps reduce data redundancy and sets the stage for analytics.

Qlik Sense® for simple, fast, accurate KPI reporting

Qlik Sense is a powerful yet easy-to-use BI and analytics platform from the pioneer in user-driven business intelligence. It is the only platform you’ll need for both data analysis and reporting. Qlik Sense employs a unique Associative Engine to automatically identify relationships in data, letting even non-technical users combine and explore their data freely without the limitations of query-based tools—a must when using big data for analytics. With Qlik Sense, users can mashup data from multiple sources, spin up rich visualizations using simple drag-and-drop functionality, monitor and report on KPIs via standard reports or dashboards, and spot important trends instantly.

Qlik NPrinting®, Qlik’s value-added product for advanced reporting and distribution, empowers organizations to easily create visually-rich reports for widespread distribution in popular Microsoft Office formats —leveraging data and analytics from Qlik Sense. Using built-in editing tools, report developers can turn Qlik Sense data and analytics into highly polished MS Office, PixelPerfect or HTML reports. Organizations can then filter information for customized reports, and centrally schedule, generate, and deliver them through a variety of channels.

Qlik Sense is the only modern analytics platform that allows for both open-ended, curiosity-driven data exploration and centralized reporting, giving everyone in your organization the ability to make impactful discoveries in data—and get their insights in a flash. From carrying out KPI reporting to tackling more interactive and complex analytical challenges, Qlik Sense supplies your workforce with the tools and technology they need to get the job done right. And with Qlik’s Associative and Cognitive Engines running in the background, your users can leverage big data, AI, and analytics to make impactful discoveries from massive and complex datasets.


What are the different types of KPIs?

There are financial KPIs such as revenue growth rate or net profit margin, sales KPIs such as net sales or sales by region, customer service KPIs like Net Promoter Score or average resolution time, and marketing KPIs including traffic-to-lead ratio and cost per lead. There are also operational KPIs such as order fulfillment time and time to market.

Why are key performance indicators important?

They are important because they provide organizations with quantifiable statements that they can use to evaluate their success in achieving their goals. They can be used at all levels in the organization to monitor progress towards meeting specific objectives and assess a company’s or team’s existing strategies.

What is a KPI dashboard?

It is a visual display of an organization’s or department’s KPIs and is used to provide an at-a-glance, real-time view of performance. A dashboard eliminates the need for users to log into multiple systems, allowing them to collect, organize, and visualize the most important KPIs in a single pane and if interactive, drill down for deeper insights when necessary.

Learn more about Qlik’s modern analytics platform for the enterprise.

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