Creating a Key Performance Indicators Dashboard: Setting KPIs

Car dashboard with gauges and dials

Running a business requires nearly obscene amounts of work, flexibility, and organization. That’s why it’s a stressful waste of time and resources to try to measure, track, and analyze every quantifiable piece of data that comes across your desk. Instead, setting up a key performance indicators (KPI) dashboard can clarify your goals and, even better, help you reach them faster. 

A KPI dashboard is a hub where you track 3-5 key performance indicators that align with your short- or long-term business goals. Often, they begin as SMART goals and fulfill the “M” in the acronym, giving you meaningful measurements that gauge your progress. 

Before you can design your dashboard, though, you need to decide which KPIs to track. After all, the purpose is to lend clarity to your numbers in an easy-access hub, so keying in on just a few consistent data points to track is a necessary phase of creating a final product. 

Have a Resource of Common KPIs

First, it’s helpful to start with a list of common performance indicators. Most people will jump to the 5 “main” KPIs for a business, including revenue growth, income sources, revenue concentration, profitability over time, and working capital. While some or all of those might fit the bill for your business goals, there are so many options to choose from! 

Research pre-crafted KPI lists, like this one from Scoro, which includes 136 examples. 

Measure Qualitative Data, Too!

While quantitative data is more subjective and easier to analyze at a glance, qualitative data has a lot of value. Though it does require someone to individually parse through information, such as customer reviews or testimonials, combining both qualitative and quantitative data is the best way to get a holistic cross-section of how your business is doing. 

Match Key Performance Indicators to Current Business Goals

If your quarter goals include increasing sales and selling more of a particular product, then the key performance indicators you’re tracking need to reflect those specific data points. The whole point of a KPI dashboard is to narrow down the different metrics you are tracking, and using your goals as the basis for whether a metric is useful can help you do so. 

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