Just as a vehicle without a driver will never reach its destination, a dashboard without ‘Driver’ key performance indicators (KPI’s) will never fulfill its potential to drive meaningful decisions. While an Outcome KPI shows the results being attained, a Driver KPI provides insight into the causes of those results.
Consider Outcome KPI’s versus Driver KPI’s this way. Monthly sales revenue is an interesting (and critical) KPI measuring the eventual ‘outcome’ of the sales process. One direct influencer (driver) may be the number of empty sales positions within the sales group. Show the vp of sales the number of empty positions (a metric that she can manipulate by taking action and accelerating the hiring), and you have enabled that person to directly affect the monthly sales revenue numbers by using the information in your dashboard.
In other words, Driver KPI’s are the measures that can be manipulated to directly impact another important Outcome within the company.
Without drivers, “right time” data loses a lot of its impact to an organization. What good does it do to make sure we deliver right-time data, if we don’t give the users the proper tools to react?
I’m not suggesting that Outcome KPIs have no place in a well-designed dashboard. In fact, I’d suggest that they must exist to validate the results of your efforts. But it’s critical to pair an Outcome KPI with one or more Driver KPI’s to make your dashboard truly impactful.
Interestingly, we often find that Driver KPIs have their own drivers in other areas of the organization. To continue our example, an HR department might have a Driver KPI measuring the amount of money being spent on recruiting efforts. This measure would, in effect, be a driver of the empty sales positions metric (which is in turn a driver of the monthly sales revenue). The key from a dashboard perspective is that the recruiting spend KPI only makes sense to the person responsible in HR but not to the sales VP who is just looking at the empty seats. The important thing is to match users to the appropriate drivers they will find usable to drive decision making.
About the Author
Adam Landefeld is Director of Professional Services for Corda Technologies.
Corda delivers enterprise dashboard and data visualization solutions that provide a strong ROI for many of the world’s largest organizations, by transforming complex data into intuitive dashboards that enable better, faster decisions. The company’s flagship product, Corda CenterView, rapidly connects to virtually any data source, and then enables businesses to visualize that data in real time in the most meaningful way – from a simple bar graph to a map of the production floor. Because Corda dashboards simply provide a window into each data source, instead of actually migrating the data, they can support thousands of active users without the performance limitations and security concerns associated with in-memory visualization solutions. With thousands of customers worldwide, and an expanding network of channel, system integrator and OEM partners, Corda provides software and services that deliver bottom-line results.
For more information, visit www.corda.com or call +1 (800) 968-3240.