The Difference Between Business Metrics and KPIs

If you’re interested in using analytics to gain actionable insights about your business, you’re going to be hearing a lot about business metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators). These terms are sometimes used interchangeably, but the reality is that they are distinct concepts. Every KPI is a metric, but not every metric is a KPI—a point you’ll want to take to heart if you want to maximize the effectiveness of your analytics for growth and improvement. A business metric is some measurable aspect of your business. Literally anything can be… (continue reading)

3 Rules for a Successful Dashboard Layout

It takes a lot of work to read and understand a written report. The beauty of translating that same report into a data dashboard is that the information gets a whole lot easier to read and understand—assuming, of course, you have a smart dashboard layout. Poorly designed dashboards are hard to read. They leave you hunting for the relevant information amongst all the colorful graphics like a kid reading a Where’s Waldo book. Ultimately, a dashboard with a bad layout is a dashboard that doesn’t get used, and if that… (continue reading)

Help Your Employees Navigate the Crisis of Attention

When it comes to business productivity, “attention capital” can be very important. Attention capital is the capacity that individuals have to pay attention to their work, complete tasks, and think deeply to create new value. In recent years, some experts have posited that the distracting technologies of the Network Age may be partially responsible for the sluggish activity of our national economy precisely because of their impact on attention capital: Employees can become distracted by non-work-related digital media, like Facebook, news sites, personal email, etc. Employees can become distracted by… (continue reading)

KPIs for the Hospitality Industry

If you operate a hotel, motel, resort, or other hospitality business, keeping your customers happy is your number one goal. After all, you know how quickly one disgruntled patron’s online review can damage your brand. Real-time tracking of KPIs relevant to customer satisfaction—and other important aspects of your business—will enable you to quickly identify opportunities to make changes that will help further your business goals. In addition to tracking total revenue, you’ll also want to track metrics like total room sales, room occupancy rates, advance reservations, and advance reservation time…. (continue reading)

Franchise Brand Consistency: Why It Matters and How to Get It

The number one most important reason you need franchise brand consistency is to attract and retain customers. Customers need to feel confident that they will have the same good experience when they patronize any one of your franchise locations. If any one of your franchisees is deviating from brand standards, this will negatively affect the overall brand and your business. Product/services Customer service Operations Marketing Quality control However, you don’t necessarily want to require all franchise locations to do everything exactly the same. You need to allow some amount of… (continue reading)

Are You Tracking Vanity Metrics?

Analytics has made it so easy to collect and interpret data that virtually no aspect of a business goes unanalyzed these days. However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. If you feel like you’re drowning in data, you need to stop and consider the metrics you’re tracking and their value to your business. Specifically, you need to stop and weed out any vanity metrics. Vanity metrics are stats that look impressive on paper, but aren’t really meaningful to your business goals. Vanity metrics are… (continue reading)

Choosing the Right Data Visualizations for Your Dashboard

A data dashboard gives you at-a-glance access to information about key business activities. However, in order for this information to be absorbed, understood, and acted on as easily as possible, it needs to be presented using the right data visualizations. Bar charts are a very familiar data visualization, which makes it easy for users to start gaining insights from them immediately. Stacked bar charts are especially useful for showing how multiple data sets relate to one another. For example, you could display monthly revenue at a store using a bar… (continue reading)

3 Ways to Improve ROI with Analytics

Information can be extremely powerful. However, it’s also possible to drown in information. Finding and using the right information to improve your business requires smart analytics. When analytics is done right—using the right digital tool and the right data points—you end up with actionable insights that can improve your business in a variety of ways. Site audits, quarterly reviews, annual reviews, and other types of audits are essential for keeping business operations on track. However, they can be time consuming. Using a digital process for data collection and analytics will… (continue reading)

Make the Most of Mystery Shoppers

Mystery shopping can be an excellent way to gather unbiased information about your business from the customer’s perspective. For example, a retail store might ask their mystery shoppers to purchase and return a specific product, request a special order, or take other steps that would help provide information about the customer experience. But mystery shopping isn’t limited to retail operations. All kinds of businesses can use mystery guests to gather information about Processes and procedures Staff performance Brand perception Competitors However, if you want to make the most of this… (continue reading)

Why Your Business Needs Data Dashboards

By now, most businesses have embraced the power of analytics for creating data-driven change in their operations. However, if your analytics is still spitting out boring, ink-and-paper reports filled with endless columns of numbers, you haven’t yet tapped the full potential of your analytics. To do this, you need to build a data dashboard. A data dashboard is a different way of looking at analytics reports. It presents your data in the form of colorful charts, tables, graphs, and other visualizations, rather than as columns of numbers. Data dashboards can… (continue reading)