We often hear from clients how excited they are to begin analyzing and utilizing KPI reporting from the data their business is collecting, or about how they would like to have a best-in-class data analytics and insights team. At the same time, though, it’s very common for their leadership teams to have less-than-perfect alignment on how the business is performing day-to-day or month-to-month.


What are examples of these challenges?

  • Sharing many, many metrics but lack of clarity around which are most important to focus on, and which are Key Performance Indicators
  • The “same” metric or KPI being reported slightly differently by different teams or different systems
  • Inconsistent delivery of metrics – something as simple as different formatting or different metrics week-to-week
  • New initiatives may result in new metrics being shared, without a clearly articulated definition
  • Leadership teams spend their valuable time together reviewing reports and asking questions rather than coming to meetings with a baseline understanding of business performance and ready to have insightful discussion around how to prioritize and act.


How do we help our clients get aligned and ready to make decisions on the same, correct information? Through the following five steps:

  1. Align on Which KPIs and Metrics: What are your strategic objectives and how is their success defined? What other performance metrics will you want to review regularly? There should be enough to be comprehensive of your business performance, but few enough to ensure focus.

2. Define Each KPI and Metric: Frequently, our clients tell us that slightly different definitions of KPIs and metrics exist across different systems or different teams. It’s critical that everyone speak the same language when talking about performance:

    •  First, what’s the business definition? (explain it in words)
    • Then, what’s the data definition? (exactly what is the data source, how is it calculated and reported)

3. Draft initial reporting readouts: Create easily consumable reports and talk through them with key stakeholders. These will be easy to iterate on, sometimes short-term solutions like creating reports in spreadsheets are best to share different options and collect feedback. Beyond the reporting, discussing how these should be delivered – including how frequent and in what format – helps ensure we’re ready to move forward.

4. Automate: Build metrics and reporting into your data warehouse and BI tool is the final step in delivering KPI reporting that is consistent, transparent, and available to everyone that should have access.

5. Act: Once the team has reporting automatically coming to their inbox or Slack (or whatever tool your team likes to use!), speed to further insights and decision-making increases rapidly. Rather than having a meeting to show business performance, you begin to have meetings where everyone has absorbed business performance and initiated action items with their teams.


Establishing consistent KPI reporting routines can feel like a simple, basic step. Maybe because of that, it’s frequently overlooked or taken for granted. The resulting knowledge gap amongst the team can create frustration and swirl (e.g., “I saw our conversion rate was X, where did you see it as Y?”, or the dreaded “the data in that report must be wrong”). Defining KPIs and building the tools and process to support consistent reporting routines is a critical foundation to ensuring that your business is moving seamlessly toward the same goals. At Common, we are passionate about helping you establishing clear and repeatable KPI reporting routines for our clients so that the leadership team is aligned and working together towards strategic goals.

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