Performance Data: More Than Feeding the Machine

Now that there are indications that the economy is improving the internal demand for organization performance data is increasing. Not just more numbers, but the details behind numbers. Proof. Everyone - analysts, the market, the government are all going to be a lot more careful and demanding. The practice of pitching numbers like breakfast cereal is over.

Like everything else in business this demand on management is going to roll down through the organization and everyone will soon be feeling the pressure to document.

Here are some tips to that will enable you to respond:

  • Take the time now to sure you're measuring what is important to your customers and that your metrics are directly tied to organizational objectives. For example: Retention, keeping the people you want to keep, is more important than turnover data. New customers are far more important than customers saved.
  • Focus on measuring desired outcomes rather than negatives. Net revenues are more important than sales lost.
  • Make sure your numbers are right. Check them yourself. Excepting finance, sales and manufacturing, almost 80% of the reported performance data that we have reviewed is incorrect.
  • Exploit your existing and resources systems to collect and calculate metrics.
  • Use general ledger data for any financial input; don't keep your own financial records. It is accurate and it will foot with any accounting reports.

While responding to this demand for performance data may be what Helen Frye, one of our favorite HR executives, refers to as “feeding the machine,” it has also driven the development of sophisticated feedback systems. Whether you are in HR, sales, or customer service, feedback is the ultimate performance data. Seek out these new tools and exploit them.