Focusing the Decision Maker’s Attention On Your KPIs

By Bernard Marr

Part of Key Performance Indicators For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It can sometimes be difficult to get the attention of a decision maker to take a look at your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Most business leaders, executives and decision makers are already drowning in a daily flood of important, useful or potentially meaningful data. For the most part the nuggets of really important information that could genuinely impact the business and make the decisions easier and more accurate are lost in 30-page reports.

The best way to get the decision maker’s attention is to make sure the KPI data is easily accessible. Don’t make managers and executives wade through reams of needless information to get to what they need in order to make better decisions and improve performance.

Make the KPI reports short, to-the-point, accessible and visually compelling. Blocks of dense text are off-putting, so mix narrative with visual representations of the data to make the report more engaging. The report must also put the information in context at the very start and remind the reader what questions the data is seeking to address.

For KPI reports to be used as intended, and used by the decision makers that receive them, they must be customised to meet the specific requirements of each decision maker. It is therefore essential that whoever creates the report considers each recipient in turn and asks themselves five key questions:

  • Who is going to read this report?

  • What do they know about the issues in the report?

  • What do they expect to see?

  • What do they want to know?

  • What will they do with the information?