Business Metrics Development: There Are a Few Limits

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Business intelligence cannot be quantified in such a way as to apply it uniformly across every business in every sector. In fact, business intelligence is customised around each individual enterprise, its goals, its history, its future vision, and so forth. Business metrics development is generally the starting point of any such customisation.

In its simplest form, business intelligence involves analysing data for the purposes of determining a company's current performance and future expectations. The chosen data relates to whatever metrics are most important to that business. As such, there are few limits to business metrics development. As a business data analyst, I can tell you that companies use a broad range of metrics that fit what they are trying to accomplish.

Below is a list of some of the more common metrics we use in modern business. Some or all might apply to your company. There may be others your company uses that are not on my list. That only proves the point.

Revenues and Profits

Perhaps the most commonly used metric in business intelligence is the bottom line. Revenues and profits are what business is all about, so nearly every company I have ever dealt with looks at the bottom line as a key performance indicator. Going one step further, the difference between revenues and profits (margin) is a key indicator for the largest corporations trying to satisfy shareholders and customers simultaneously.

Customer Satisfaction and Retention

The desire to meet customer needs leads us to customer satisfaction and retention. Over the last 5 to 10 years, we have come to understand that it costs companies far more to bring new customers on board than it does to retain existing customers. This is not to say that new customers are not necessary – they are – but just that a business needs to focus just as much on customer retention.

A big part of the customer satisfaction and retention metric is what is known as the 'customer journey'. More and more companies are investing in developing ways to encourage positive customer journeys so as to improve retention. Customer journey is one of the hottest topics in business intelligence right now.

Marketing and Analysis

As a business data analyst, I have noticed an increasing interest in marketing and its associated analysis as a business metric. The digital era has given us access to an extensive list of marketing opportunities that were never before available. With those opportunities are new technologies for analysing the success of marketing efforts. Known as analytics, these tools make it much easier for companies to zero in on the ROI of their marketing programmes. This is only making marketing better.

If business intelligence is not a normal part of how you run your company, it is time to change that. I am a freelance business data analyst with the knowledge and experience to help your company make the most of business intelligence information. I can assist you with business metrics development as well.

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Author: Chris Scanlon

Hullo.  I'm a graduate chartered accountant with 25 years experience in blue chip businesses and the last 15 years in owner manged businesses.  My particular skill is turning data into information. Bringing the performance management of the business alive so that ...