In part 1 of this blog series, we looked at DECK and it’s communications system. In part 2, we explored DECK’s Scheduler For Services module.
In part three this week, we’re looking at the KPIs that DECK has “out of the box”.
KPIs come in a few different “flavours”. They typically show how the business is doing in terms of financial performance, customer behaviour/performance, human resources, operational (factory floor production, WIP, etc), inventory, projects or jobs, etc.
The KPIs Spieker Point has built into DECK come from all of the above areas, AND we’ve added one more twist on traditional KPIs: the ability to track performance against yearly targets. This traditionally comes from business plans or yearly goals publications, and you’re able to see performance against them with a quick glance at the KPI. Further, you’re able to output reports showing progress against the target for management or investor reporting.
The KPIs, and the various types of visualizations for those KPIs have been built into DECK. All of the “heavy lifting” (and variable cost in terms of a software project) is already done. The effort then becomes connecting DECK to the various islands of data that you have around your business, and the KPIs quite simply spring to life.
There are many different ways to gain access to the data needed to drive the KPI engine in DECK. Spieker Point has a rich history of being able to reach into disparate data sets, and pull them together. This takes on many forms: SQL (Structured Query Language) calls into a database, interfacing with the API (Application Programming Interface) for various applications used in the business, tying into something as sophisticated as a data hub with publish/subscribe capabilities, or something as simple as reaching into spreadsheets are a few of these techniques.
External Data Too
An external data source is completely possible as well. Does the number of articles published on the CNN web site in a given month tell you something? No problem!
Single Source of Truth
However we get access to the data, Spieker Point is careful to maintain a single source of truth with all of the data repositories in the customer site (including DECK). This is important as we never want to store a piece of data which could change in the future, and then present a stale KPI to those who need it.
Having a keen understanding of how easy the piece of data is to access, and how frequently it changes allows us to determine the right way to access the data and answer storage questions for it.
Many of the KPIs that are built into DECK have the same variables in the formula used to calculate them. For example, things like revenue, expenses, receivables, etc are used in many of the calculations for different KPIs. We’ve built DECK so that we can boil down all of the data feeds down into a common set of data points needed to drive the KPI calculation engine. When one of these pieces of data is “wired” into the customers data, any KPI in DECK using that data suddenly “lights up” and is available for use.
While we currently are clocking in at over 50 KPIs available out of the box in DECK, the sky is the limit. If a customer is looking for a KPI that we don’t currently have, we can create it.
What kind of evidence do you need from the KPIs on your business data to make the right decisions as the need arises?