You wouldn't be the first person to think that KPIs and metrics are the same thing. While many business professionals and marketers use the terms interchangeably, they aren't the same. And not being aware of the key differences may result in attention being focused on data that won't provide the value needed to improve, progress and analyse performance. So, to understand the difference between a KPI and a metric, it's important to understand the definition of both.
What is a KPI?
A KPI or key performance indicator is a quantifiable value used to track progress against a specific goal or objective. In the most basic sense, KPIs are the key measures that will have the greatest impact in company strategy and long-term direction. KPIs can be applied to any element of your business, whether it's customer services, sales, marketing or IT, and will provide direction towards achieving a desired result, and help senior managers and leaders make well informed decisions.
A metric on the other hand, is a quantifiable measure used to track progress and evaluate success. Metrics are often more general and while they are linked loosely to specific goals and targets, they aren't the most important values to keep track of when assessing where you are in relation to your overall goal.
KPIs and metrics work together. KPIs are vital to the success of all organisations and serve as a signpost to help guide a company to reaching its goals. In order for a measurement to be a KPI, it must have a specific target, a timeframe and be linked to a key business objective. A KPI will be made up of a variety of different metrics that gives you a full picture of progress towards a goal.
In this infographic, we provide an overview of KPIs and metrics, alongside examples of both, to help give you a better understanding of the key differences.
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