How To Select Metrics for Your KPI Dashboard?

Knowing your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) better

As the name implies, KPIs are indicators of performance. But it's crucial to emphasize the word 'key' here. A business might track dozens or even hundreds of metrics, but not all of them qualify as KPIs. To know the difference between a KPI and a metric, read here

KPIs are those metrics that truly matter to the success of the business. They are tied directly to strategic business goals, providing quantifiable evidence of how well these goals are being met.

KPIs can be classified into different types based on their purpose. High-level KPIs focus on the overall performance of the business, while low-level KPIs might focus on processes in departments such as sales, marketing, HR, or production.

They can be financial (like net profit margin), non-financial (like customer satisfaction), leading (predictive of future performance, like sales pipeline), or lagging (historical, like the total sales last quarter).

The Role of KPIs in Business Intelligence

BI encompasses the strategies and technologies that companies use for data analysis and business information. In this domain, KPIs serve as a compass to guide decision-making and strategic planning. Here's how:

  1. Performance Monitoring: KPIs help track the ongoing performance of business strategies and initiatives. A real-time KPI dashboard allows you to instantly spot whether you're on track or veering off course.
  2. Decision-Making: By tracking the right KPIs, you have solid data points to inform your decisions, taking the guesswork out of the equation. For instance, if one of your KPIs is 'customer churn rate' and it starts increasing, you'd know there's an issue with customer retention that needs addressing.
  3. Goal-Setting: KPIs are invaluable in setting business goals. They ensure that your goals are rooted in real, measurable criteria, which aids in creating an actionable roadmap to reach those goals.
  4. Benchmarking: KPIs provide a mechanism for benchmarking, comparing your business's performance with industry standards or competitors. If your 'customer acquisition cost' is significantly higher than the industry average, it's a clear sign that your marketing strategy might need tweaking.
  5. Communication: KPIs communicate performance and strategy across different levels of the organization. They ensure that everyone, from the executive to the front-line employee, understands what's important and how their role contributes to the overall goals.

To maximize the value of KPIs, they need to be well-defined, quantifiable, relevant, and consistently measured. In the world of BI, a well-constructed KPI dashboard visualizing these KPIs becomes a powerful tool, presenting complex data in a digestible format and providing valuable insights into the health of your business.

For a deeper understanding of KPI dashboards and their importance in business intelligence, check out our blog post on 'What is KPI Dashboard?'

Good KPIs

Good KPIs offer value and actionable insights. They serve as a compass, guiding your business towards its goals. Here are the key attributes of good KPIs:

  1. Align with Business Goals: Good KPIs are tightly linked to your business objectives. If your goal is to grow your customer base, for instance, 'new customers acquired' could be a suitable KPI. 
  2. SMART: This is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound, a set of criteria that effective KPIs should meet. For example, 'Increase organic website traffic by 25% over the next quarter' is a SMART KPI.
  3. Provide Actionable Insights: A good KPI drives action. It should tell you not just what's happening but also hint at why it's happening, helping you understand what needs to be done. If your 'customer churn rate' is increasing, it suggests a need to enhance customer satisfaction.
  4. Consistent and Reliable: Good KPIs provide consistent, reliable data that can be used to track performance over time. They should be based on trustworthy data sources and measured the same way each time.

Bad KPIs

On the flip side, bad KPIs can mislead and detract from your business goals. Here are the characteristics of bad KPIs:

  1. Vanity Metrics: These are metrics that look good on paper but don't necessarily contribute to your business objectives. For example, the number of website hits might be impressive, but if they don't convert into sales or leads, it's a vanity metric.
  2. Not Actionable: If a KPI doesn't give insights into what actions to take, it's likely a poor one. For example, tracking 'total users' of your software might be interesting, but without context, such as growth rate or churn, it's hard to action.
  3. Too Complex: KPIs should be straightforward and easy to understand. If a KPI is too complex, it can lead to confusion and misinterpretation and will likely be ignored.
  4. Not Aligned with Business Goals: As mentioned, a good KPI aligns with business goals. So, a bad KPI is one that doesn't have a clear correlation with your objectives. For instance, tracking 'social media likes' if your goal is to increase revenue might not be directly beneficial.

The distinction between good and bad KPIs is crucial for any business. When you pick the right KPIs, they serve as a powerful tool to guide your business strategies, help monitor performance, and achieve your business goals. However, selecting bad KPIs can leave you chasing the wrong goals, wasting resources, and potentially missing out on growth opportunities. 

Knowing Your Business Goals

The process of selecting metrics for your KPI dashboard begins with an in-depth understanding of your business goals. For a SaaS company aiming to grow its customer base, metrics such as 'new sign-ups,' 'conversion rate,' and 'churn rate' would be relevant.

However, if the same company's objective is to increase profitability, metrics like 'customer lifetime value,' 'average revenue per user,' and 'operating margin' would be more appropriate. Thus, the first step in choosing KPI metrics is translating business goals into measurable terms.

Understanding Your Data

Knowing what data is available, reliable, and relevant is essential when selecting metrics for your KPI dashboard. Learn more about why data is crucial for your business in our blog post 'Why Is Data Important for Your Business?'

You need to be aware of the different data sources available, their timeliness, and the data's quality. For instance, sales data from your CRM, customer usage data from your product, and customer sentiment data from surveys and social media can all be sources of potential KPIs.

Also, different data types serve different purposes. Quantitative data, such as the 'number of users', is crucial for understanding the scale, while qualitative data, like the 'customer satisfaction score,' helps gauge perception and quality.

Choosing the Right Metrics for Your KPI Dashboard

When it comes to a KPI dashboard, choosing the right metrics is a critical step. A KPI dashboard is essentially a visual interface that displays your chosen KPIs, providing an instant snapshot of your business's performance. Choosing the wrong metrics can lead to misguided strategies, while the right metrics can guide you toward informed decision-making and business success. 

Identify Your Business Goals

Firstly, you need to identify your business goals as they directly influence your choice of KPIs. For example, if your business goal is to increase customer retention, metrics like 'customer churn rate' and 'customer lifetime value' might be suitable for your KPI dashboard. If your goal is to grow sales, 'monthly sales growth' could be a potential KPI.

Ensure the Metrics are SMART

The metrics you choose for your KPI dashboard should adhere to the SMART criteria (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Learn how to apply these criteria effectively in our blog post on 'How to use SMART Goals to Build Your KPIs. This ensures the metrics are meaningful, quantifiable, realistic, aligned with business objectives, and bound by a specific timeline. For instance, 'increase website traffic from organic search by 20% over the next quarter' is a SMART KPI.

Metrics Should Provide Actionable Insights

A well-selected KPI metric is not just a number; it provides insights that drive action. It should be able to point out where you need to focus your resources. If 'customer churn rate' is a selected KPI, and it's high, it indicates that there is a need to improve customer satisfaction.

Balancing Leading and Lagging Indicators

A mix of leading and lagging indicators can give a more holistic view of the business's performance. Lagging indicators, like 'total sales last quarter', are output-oriented and easy to measure, but they only look at the past. Leading indicators, like 'sales pipeline', are input-oriented and can forecast future performance but might be harder to measure accurately. Balancing these two types of KPIs provides both a backward and forward-looking perspective on performance.

Limit the Number of KPIs

While it's essential to track various aspects of your business, having too many KPIs on your dashboard can lead to information overload. A well-designed KPI dashboard typically focuses on a few critical metrics to prevent distractions and keep the team focused on the most critical goals.

Continuous Review and Adaptation

Lastly, the process of choosing metrics for your KPI dashboard is not a one-time event. It's essential to periodically review and adapt your KPIs to ensure they continue to align with your evolving business goals and provide value.

About Grow's KPI Dashboard

As a decision-maker, you need to have relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information about your business performance at your fingertips. This is where Grow's KPI Dashboard comes in. Grow's platform allows businesses to integrate data from various sources seamlessly, creating a comprehensive and easily understandable visual representation of key business metrics.

Grow's KPI Dashboard is an effective tool that enables businesses to monitor, analyze, and react to their performance metrics in real-time. It offers several features to enhance the accessibility and utility of your data:

  1. Data Integration: Grow supports integrations with hundreds of data sources, making it possible to combine data from disparate systems into one dashboard for a unified view of your business performance.
  2. Real-Time Data: The dashboard refreshes in real-time, so you always have the most current information. This real-time data capability makes it possible to detect trends, identify issues, and take corrective action as soon as needed.
  3. Customizable: Grow allows you to customize your KPI dashboard according to your unique business needs. You can choose what KPIs to display, how to display them, and who can access them. This ensures that the dashboard is relevant and valuable for your specific goals.
  4. Scalable: Regardless of the size of your business or the volume of your data, Grow's KPI Dashboard can scale to meet your needs. This means it remains an effective tool as your business grows and evolves.
  5. Collaboration: Grow's dashboard enables team collaboration, making it easier to share insights, align strategies, and work towards common goals.
  6. Actionable Insights: By presenting complex data in a simple, visual format, Grow's dashboard helps you to interpret your data and derive actionable insights easily.

Incorporating Grow's KPI dashboard in your business intelligence strategy can significantly enhance your decision-making processes, enabling you to react quickly to changing business circumstances, identify opportunities for improvement, and ultimately drive business growth.

In summary, choosing the right metrics for your KPI dashboard requires a thorough understanding of your business goals, careful selection of SMART and actionable metrics, a balance of leading and lagging indicators, limitations on the number of KPIs, and a commitment to continuous review and adaptation. Following these steps can turn your KPI dashboard into a powerful tool for driving performance and achieving strategic objectives.

Advanced BI Techniques for KPI Selection

1. Predictive Analytics

Based on past data, predictive analytics uses statistical tools and machine learning to figure out how likely future events are to happen. This can help identify leading indicators – KPIs that can predict future performance. For example, if predictive analytics identifies a strong correlation between a certain marketing activity and future sales, this marketing activity could be a valuable leading KPI.

2. Data Mining

Data mining is a process used to extract useful information from large sets of data. By exploring the patterns and correlations in your data, you may discover important relationships that can guide your KPI selection. For instance, data mining might reveal a strong relationship between customer satisfaction scores and customer retention rates, suggesting both as crucial KPIs.

3. Segmentation Analysis

This technique involves dividing your data into segments based on certain characteristics, such as customer demographics or behavior. By comparing the performance of different segments, you can identify more specific and meaningful KPIs. For example, if one demographic segment has a significantly higher customer lifetime value (CLV) than others, CLV could be a crucial KPI for that segment.

4. Machine Learning Algorithms

These algorithms can learn from data and make predictions or decisions without being explicitly programmed to perform the task. Machine learning can be used to identify the most influential factors affecting a particular outcome, guiding the selection of KPIs. For instance, a machine learning model might identify that certain product features are the most influential factors in customer satisfaction, suggesting a need to track KPIs related to these features.

5. Trend Analysis

Trend analysis is the practice of collecting information and attempting to spot a pattern or trend in the data. It can help identify KPIs by highlighting trends that are likely to impact future performance. For example, if there's a growing trend of customers using your mobile app, 'mobile app usage' might become a critical KPI.

6. Data Visualization

Effective data visualization can uncover insights that might be missed in raw data. Advanced BI tools can create interactive dashboards and reports that allow you to explore different dimensions of your data, aiding in KPI selection. For example, visualizing sales data by region might reveal significant regional variations, suggesting the need for region-specific KPIs.

Advanced BI techniques can greatly enhance the process of KPI selection. However, these methods do require a certain level of skill and understanding to use effectively, so it's essential to have the right expertise on your team or access to the appropriate training or resources.


Integrating Grow's KPI dashboard into your operations can transform your business. It not only improves the visibility of crucial business metrics but also aids in understanding complex data through a user-friendly interface. This unique combination of visualization and data-driven insights empowers you to make informed decisions confidently.

In terms of metrics, the breadth of information available in Grow's KPI dashboard helps cater to various business needs. From financial metrics to customer behavior patterns, all the data your business needs to thrive is just a click away. Moreover, the platform's customizable nature ensures that the dashboard reflects your unique business objectives, aligning your teams and streamlining your processes.

Grow's KPI dashboard plays a crucial role in setting and tracking SMART metrics. The dashboard's functionality lets users clearly define and measure progress against these goals. Not only does this ensure that your business objectives are realistic and achievable, but it also facilitates effective communication within your teams about what success looks like.

The strategic use of Grow's KPI dashboard and its powerful SMART metric tracking capability can significantly enhance your business performance and sustainable growth. To better understand this, we encourage you to explore Grow data dashboard Trustradius and read through users' comprehensive insights.

If you're ready to harness the power of Grow's KPI dashboard, feel free to reach out to their supportive team. Visit to request a free 14-day demo or get any of your questions answered. 

Remember that the more informed you are, the better positioned you will be to leverage the potential of Grow's KPI dashboard to meet your business objectives.

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