In this article, we'll analyze commonly overlooked metrics that can help business leaders more effectively measure revenue and productivity.
Tracking metrics allows you to boost overall outcomes and align your employees and operations with company objectives. It offers an actionable method to achieve business goals and strategies. Metrics indicate the extent to which an organization has accomplished its objectives within the planned time frame.
Metrics are specifically important for software development firms, as they are an essential component for cost estimations, performance, debugging, management, and quality assurance. Managers can utilize metrics to pinpoint, prioritize, communicate, and track any concerns to enhance team productivity.
Modern Analytics Offer Extreme Detail and Precision
Business intelligence (BI) solutions combine analytics, data tools, data visualization, data mining, best practices, and data infrastructure to help enterprises make metrics-based decisions. They enable you to get insights into the company that can be used to swiftly adapt to market changes, remove inefficiencies, and drive innovation. Modern BI systems empower business users by delivering self-service assessment, information on reliable platforms, and speedy insights.
In the real world, BI can help a company in many ways. For instance, a mortgage software vendor might leverage BI to comb its vast consumer contact database for precision marketing. Similarly, a social network can utilize BI to process millions of system events each day and create product roadmap decision in real-time.
A properly implemented BI strategy provides a complete overview of an organization to enable departmental leaders to make better decisions. Common business intelligence processes include:
- Benchmarking and performance metrics: Comparing present performance data with historical data to monitor performance against targets by utilizing customized dashboards.
- Descriptive analytics: Leveraging initial data evaluation to learn what happened.
- Data preparation: Collecting several data sources, pinpointing the measurements and dimensions, and making it ready for data assessment.
- Visual analysis: Analyzing data via visual storytelling to deliver insights on-the-fly.
- Data visualization: Using visual representations like histograms, graphs, and charts to more effortlessly consume data.
- Statistical analysis: Further exploring the outcomes from descriptive analytics by investigating stats related to “why” and “how” a pattern happened.
- Querying: Asking information-specific questions and using BI to get the answers from datasets.
- Reporting: Sharing the results of data analysis with stakeholders to enable them to make conclusions and decisions.
- Data mining: Utilizing machine learning, statistics, and databases to discover trends in big datasets.
Key Metrics Included in Most Business Dashboards
Companies are collecting large volumes of data each day for the purpose of analysis to find metrics and insights. They typically utilize dashboards to organize this tsunami of information into understandable and usable material. Dashboards offer helpful insight into an organization’s health and can influence the decision-making of executives.
Dashboards are vital because they organize and condense large volumes of data so that managers and executives can quickly access relevant information. Let's take a look at the metrics used in some common departmental dashboards.
An operations dashboard typically includes the following vital metrics to gauge software maintainability:
- Bug rates: Average amount of bugs generated with the deployment of new features. It enables you to swiftly fix them to deliver value to users.
- MTTR (mean time to repair): It helps determine how quickly can you implement fixes to support consumers.
- Lead time: The period between defining a new function and making it available to users is called lead time. It assists you to measure the performance of your team.
HR dashboards present qualitative, internal metrics like employee satisfaction and external, quantitative metrics such as hiring success rates. Larger organizations use HR dashboards to monitor employee retention and turnover. These numbers provide insight to management to ensure that the teams have the required skills for their tasks.
A marketing dashboard can help you learn if your firm’s marketing efforts are successful at creating new customers or sales. Its high-grade metrics include qualified leads, converted contacts, website visits, and others.
- Qualified leads: The number of qualified leads enables you to separate the wheat from the chaff and focus on promising prospects.
- Converted contacts: The number of converted contacts helps you learn about the leads that your sales efforts have managed to convert into paying customers.
- Website visits: The number of website visits indicates the success of your campaigns to attract leads and prospects to your website.
A detailed marketing dashboard can also indicate when prospects get stuck at your sales pipeline's different stages.
A good product management dashboard offers multiple sections and a range of metrics which can be classified into the following types:
- LTV (lifetime value): It is the total income obtained from a customer by your firm over their lifetime association.
- Churn analysis: It is an assessment of an enterprise’s consumer loss rate so you can minimize it.
- Booking Trends: It is the value of bookings or sales over a time period.
- Sales rep quota vs. performance: It measures whether a sales rep can achieve a set quota of sales or not.
Customer Service Metrics
- CES (Customer Effort Score): It tracks the ease of customer resolution and interaction during a support request. Companies can track what drives CES to make improvements to the customer experience they deliver.
- Ad performance: It is the number of unique users reached by an ad. It enables you to measure the effectiveness of each ad campaign.
- Website analytics: You can tailor the responses to each visitor based on this information.
- Escaped defect: It helps count the number of bugs for a release discovered after the launch date. You can swiftly rectify them to boost the user experience.
- Burndown chart: It makes your team’s work visible. It graphically displays the rate of completed work and how many tasks still need to be performed.
- Agile velocity: It is a result metric that indicates the actual value delivered to users in a sequence of sprints.
As engineering teams build their products in different ways, they need to track different types of metrics. Company leaders can view these metrics and monitor progress.
Engineering dashboards allow you to identify product and development trends and enable teams to decide and act on real-time data. Engineering dashboards typically offer metrics to facilitate agile development, track features, ensure continuous integration, and provide timely delivery. These metrics enable managers to track developer activity, team performance, and project performance.
7 Overlooked (But Still Valuable) Metrics
Now, let’s analyze several uncommon but useful metrics that could boost your firm’s bottom line.
1. Interest Expense
This represents the funds borrowed by the company. It is mentioned in your income statement as interest that needs to be paid on borrowed money. Your organization’s interest expense is obtained by calculating the interest rate on your outstanding debt amount. It is higher at times when there is a rise in inflation, as the business debt carries a greater interest rate. Similarly, flat inflation reduces interest expense. This metric directly impacts business profitability, as it can take away or free up funds.
If your company’s debt load goes up, your profitability can take a hit, and you’ll be hard-pressed to pay your interest expenses during economic slowdowns.
2. DSO (Days Sales Outstanding)
DSO determines how swiftly you can gather payment from any sales. It is obtained by dividing the accounts receivable by the total sales value during the period, and by multiplying the outcome with the number of days in that period.
DSO ratio = accounts receivable / (annual sales / 365 days)
Low DSO figures enable a company to more quickly collect money and use the cash for business growth. Organizations that use credit facilities have high DSOs, as they need longer processing time. A rise in DSO can cause cash flow issues and could lead to a decision to boost the creditor firm's bad debt reserve.
3. Control Chart
Control chart is a metric used in software development that indicates a task's duration from beginning to end. It's also called lead time or the development time of each job. Product owners and scrum masters utilize this metric to control their development process's efficiency.
Companies can use a control chart to assess their team's previous performance and gauge the impact of a process alteration on the team's productivity. The metric also enables stakeholders to view the team's performance and helps Kanban managers to set team targets based on past performance.
4. Gross Profit and Revenue per Employee
This ratio is calculated by dividing the organization’s revenue by the number of staff members. It is utilized to track resource use and productivity. Higher revenue for each employee indicates effective resource use and greater productivity.
Companies can improve their gross profit and revenue per employee by learning to focus on their strong points. This enhances staff productivity and leads to an increase in revenue per employee.
5. CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost)
It is the cost of getting a new consumer. This metric is calculated by dividing the funds spent to get new customers by the number of consumers obtained in the evaluation period. It helps you decide the budget amount you can spend on acquiring new consumers and still be profitable.
Typically, startups have higher CAC as they need to invest in developing their brand visibility in new markets. Mature enterprises may also see a rise in CAC when they move to a new region or introduce a new product or service.
Your company can enhance its CAC by improving on-site conversion metrics, boosting user value, and deploying CRM (customer relationship management) processes.
6. Overdue and Met Milestones
Each business has milestones and goals, such as launching a new product or doubling its sales in the coming quarter. You can divide these big goals into smaller milestones to track their progress. By checking the overdue and met milestones, you can measure the capacity of your team. If you continuously fail to attain the milestones, you may need to recruit more people or set more realistic targets.
7. NPS (Net Promoter Score)
NPS reflects customer satisfaction levels and your product’s quality. It indicates how many users will recommend your service or product to others. An NPS score of 9-10 shows promoters who will act as your brand ambassadors. A 7-8 score reveals satisfied but neutral consumers who’ll leave you for better offers. A 0-6 score indicates disappointed users who might harm your brand image by spreading negative reviews. NPS is calculated by subtracting the detractors’ percentage from the promoters’ percentage.
The best way for a company to improve its NPS is by learning about the problems of its customers and providing fast and effective solutions to them.
Don't Overwhelm Yourself
It’s essential to track only a few but vital metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) so that you are focused on the most important aspects for your business's improvement and profitability. You should ideally try to focus on metrics that improve performance, facilitate personal growth, influence and support business goals, and bolster staff morale.
If you're new to the world of business intelligence, Crowdbotics’ expert PMs and developers can build custom applications and analytics integrations to help your business monitor organizational performance. Get in touch with us today for a detailed estimate and quote.