Sales and marketing

Why It’s Time to Shift to Real-Time KPIs

We recently mentioned that quite a few UK-based SMBs ignore their KPIs (key performance indicators) or fail to set them completely. But what if you do set and monitor your monthly KPIs? Actually, your company may still be a laggard.

Instead of waiting for monthly performance reports to roll in, the best-performing businesses have moved to real-time KPIs. Skeptical? Consider these factoids from small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in the United States:

  • 50% of companies that track metrics in real-time met all their goals in the last 12 months compared to only 24% of companies that did not track in real-time.
  • 92% of companies that tracked their metrics in real-time met some or all their goals in the last 12 months - compared to 64% of companies that did not track in real-time.
  • But here's the most telling stat of all: Only 14 percent of SMBs are monitoring their KPIs in real-time.

Those data points surfaced in SMB survey results from Censuswide and Geckoboard.

Choosing the Right Real-Time KPIs

Of course, small businesses can become overwhelmed with KPIs. Too many real-time data points can become information overload.

Within your own business, we recommend exploring these 10 KPIs for VARs and MSPs. But consulting firms like Ulistic and dashboard providers like MSPCFO point to additional MSP KPIs.

Still, your KPIs will vary from department to department. For example:

Clearly, each executive team leader and/or department manager views your business through a different lens. For the uninitiated, rolling up all of those views -- and all of those KPIs -- into a single, 360-degree view of the business can become overwhelming. Moreover, tracking real-time KPIs may seem like overkill for some folks. We beg to differ.

Are Real-Time KPIs Overkill?

Here at ChannelE2E, we track a range of monthly KPIs (page views, visitors, visits, etc.). But we also dive deeper into real-time KPIs about three times daily (morning, midday, evening) to see what's driving traffic and drawing interest. The real-time data allows us to either make (A) course corrections or (B) double down on the type of information that readers are craving at the moment.

Admittedly, we're not an MSP. But walk into some of the MSP industry's most successful companies and you'll notice real-time KPIs out in the open. A case in point: Video screens throughout Datto's headquarters display real-time business KPIs. This isn't a "new" practice. Displaying and sharing KPIs has been part of Datto's culture since day one.

And going forward, real-time KPIs should be part of your business, according to that SMB survey data from Censuswide and Geckoboard...

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.