We are living in a world rich with data, and for businesses looking to streamline their processes, monitor various areas of performance, and understand their customer base on a deeper, more personal level, collecting, analyzing, and leveraging this wealth of insights is critical for success. KPI reporting steps in as a critical element of achieving organizational objectives.
Moreover, with so much data available from an ever-growing range of sources, how do you make sense of this information – and how do you extract value from it? One of the most effective means of doing this is by utilizing KPI reporting tools.
Here, we’ll explain the KPI reporting in greater detail, expound on some basic definitions, look at how to create such a report, and explore the dynamics of a KPI report template.
Let’s start by considering what KPIs are and what they mean in a business context.
What Is A KPI?
KPI is a value measured to assess how effective a project or company is at achieving its business objectives. In other words, KPIs provide organizations with the means of measuring how various aspects of the business are performing in relation to their strategic goals.
On a fundamental level, KPIs provide critical performance-based information that enables an organization, and its stakeholders, to understand whether or not it’s on track and thus take action accordingly. Here, you can find different lists of KPI examples classified according to their function and industry, which helps in narrowing down and selecting the most critical ones you need.
After you've selected the right ones, you can create an extensive KPI dashboard and ensure your department and business strategy is on the right track.
Whether utilizing HR KPIs or any other department and industry, it is crucial to understand these basic definitions so that the creation and analysis can improve a company's bottom line.
What Is A KPI Report?
A KPI report (or KPI reporting) is a management tool that facilitates the measurement, organization, and analysis of the most important business key performance indicators. These reports help companies to reach business goals, identify strengths, weaknesses, and trends.
Typically presented in the form of an interactive dashboard, this kind of report provides a visual representation of the data associated with your predetermined set of key performance indicators.
A KPI dashboard presents critical insights in a logical, digestible format that makes it easy to extract important information and act upon it retrospectively, as well as in real-time. Fundamentally, this kind of report is a strategic tracking method that will provide a window to your business’s most essential activities.
KPI Reports Examples And Templates
Now, to illustrate the power of such reporting, here are 6 hand-picked KPI reports examples that are specific to 3 of the most critical areas of any modern business: financial, management, and sales. If you want to know how to measure KPIs, these examples will serve as a comprehensive roadmap.
1. Financial profit and loss KPI report example
The first of our KPI reports examples is financial. Profit and loss are the two most essential factors in any organization’s bottom line. This particular financial report example, visualized on a comprehensive financial dashboard, provides a digestible overview of a business’s income statement from revenue to net profit, fortified with appropriate performance ratios.
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The financial loss and profit dashboard hones in on gross profit margin, OPEX ratio, operating profit margin, and net profit margin, offering a host of bespoke information at your fingertips.
By monitoring this financial KPI report on a consistent basis, you’ll gain a panoramic insight into your business’s overall financial performance and be able to take measures in improving areas you deem to be weak while also capitalizing on areas of strength – essential metrics for any business looking to grow their profits over time and report KPIs that are critical in the financial industry or department.
- Gross profit margin percentage:
This KPI is quite straightforward: a higher margin will mean you retain more income from your sales dollars. In essence, it shows how effective your operational processes are and, if you're reporting KPIs within the finance industry or department, this one is one of the most critical to include and monitor regularly.
To calculate this KPI, you need to deduct the costs of all sold goods or services from your total revenue and divide by the sales revenue.
- Operating profit margin percentage:
To fully take advantage of financial key performance indicator reporting, you need to monitor the operating income. It will show you the earnings before interest and tax, also known as EBIT, expressed in percentage. It won't include tax effects or investments so, if you want to calculate it, you need to divide the operating profit by your sales revenue.
As we can see in our sample KPI report above focused on profitability, the operating profit margin is expressed in a clear percentage but you can immediately see the development over time.
- Operating expense ratio:
Operational effectiveness is another important metric that finance professionals need to take into account in order to improve and increase the company's profitability.
In a simple gauge chart, where colors serve as a kind of a traffic light, you can instantly spot if your operating expenses are in a healthy ratio to the total revenue or you need to adjust your operational costs. Essentially, if your operating expenses are low, the more profitability you can reach.
2. Financial KPI reporting template
At the heart of every successful modern business lies a cohesive, well managed, and data-driven financial department. Our second financially-based KPI report sample, the financial dashboard offers a comprehensive overview of every area of your organization’s monetary activities, both internal and external.
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Powered with cutting-edge financial analytics software, this KPI report template dashboard exists to answer essential questions centered on liquidity, invoicing, budgeting, and the general financial stability of your business.
Broad, balanced, and insightful, this dynamic reporting tool offers the ability to drill down into aspects of your company’s financial health by working with KPIs including working capital, cash conversion cycle, budget variance, and more.
- Working capital:
This KPI report example doesn't show a ratio or proportion but a straightforward number of dollars that remain after you deduct the current liabilities from current assets. A visual representation looks like this:
It's a simple table that will show you the operational effectiveness of your organization and short-term financial health, as obligations and debts are current liabilities that are due within a year.
- Cash conversion cycle:
The cash conversion cycle should be included in KPI monitoring and reporting since it's a critical component of evaluating how efficient the management processes are, meaning, how long does it take to convert the inventory resources into cash flows from sales.
In our example above, you can see that the cycle is getting shorter as the years pass by, which is a clearly positive sign and the company should keep the good work. The lower the cycle, the better the management and operational processes are. If, in any case, the cycle starts growing, it would make sense to make an additional analysis and find the cause. By using modern online data visualization, all these calculations are presented in an intuitive, visual way, where you don't need to scroll through endless rows and columns of a traditional spreadsheet.
- Vendor payment error rate:
Processing invoices are also an important element in the financial department or organization that deals with issuing invoices and paying creditors, suppliers, or vendors. The errors need to be taken into account as sometimes can happen that the accounts payable department issues an invoice to the wrong entity, for example.
The point is to keep the percentage of errors within the minimum values as possible - that way, invoices are paid on time, they contain accurate data, and the relationship between companies becomes stronger. Otherwise, disputes can happen, which is not in anyone's' interest. We have seen how detailed financial graphs can serve as a self-service reporting KPI solution since all of our examples are easily automated and delivered with real-time data. In essence, you don't need to perform or update data manually but let the BI dashboard software do the hard work.
3. Management KPI report template
This management-centric KPI dashboard focuses specifically on total revenues in addition to customer-based revenues while providing vital insights that will help you set informed sales targets for your organization.
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Offering visual data on customer acquisition costs, customer lifetime value, and sales target information, on this management dashboard, you will be able to make intelligent managerial forecasts, spot trends, and understand where you need to improve processes within the business. A priceless KPI tool for those in senior management roles across a range of sectors and industries.
- Customer acquisition costs:
One of the most crucial metrics that deals with sales data and expounds on the costs of acquiring a new customer. The costs usually vary based on your specific industry, but this KPI report on business you should definitely include in your reporting processes.
As we can see in the visual, the costs are represented at a glance with a simple gauge chart but you can also see a graphic development over a particular timeframe.
- Customer lifetime value:
When you want to create a dashboard KPI reporting practice, including the prediction of the potential value of the relationship between a customer and the company is another critical component of successful metrics' management. The issue is that no one actually can predict 100% how long this relationship will last, therefore, it would make sense to state it as a periodic value (6 months, 12, or 24, e.g.).
The visual above shows us a quick overview of the average numbers and how long the relationship lasts while the bottom part depicts the development over time.
- Sales target:
General management is usually interested in whether goals are being met or there are issues in the process. Sales target is one of them, but you can also set goals for each management metric separately.
This is one of our KPI reporting examples that expounds on achieving predefined targets and depicted in comparison with the overall sales revenue. The point is to reach the target but also to examine further if you're lagging behind.
4. Sales performance dashboard
In the commercial world, sales cover a broad spectrum, and to ensure you meet your targets while cementing growth, collecting the right data is essential.
This KPI report example offers an ideal overview of the progress of your sales department, drilling down on sales KPIs such as sales growth, sales targets, ARPU, CAC, and CLV.
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By providing a detailed visualization of every aspect of your sales portfolio, this report empowers sales managers to take a full snapshot of their sales operations without losing any data, enabling them to create an extensive sales report.
Here it’s possible to take an overall glance at your sales performance or analyze specific pockets of information to your advantage, increasing metrics like customer lifetime value and average revenue per unit as a result.
- Sales growth:
An important sales chart to include in your reporting schedule, the sales growth will show you whether your business is developing steadily or needs further adjustments.
Tracking this metric is important for any sales professional or manager that needs to deliver fresh revenue and ensure a sustainable development. In the example above, we see the comparison between periods and the development by sales representatives within the last 12 weeks.
The average revenue per unit demonstrates how much revenue you generate from your customers from all your sales. The goal is to keep the ARPU rising but if you see that it’s getting higher in comparison to the acquisition costs, additional adjustments should be made.
In our example above, we can see that ARPU is steadily increasing, which is a positive indicator of growth. It could mean that you’re closing deals with bigger companies or customers, for example.
Other critical metrics, such as the customer lifetime value, sales target, and acquisition costs we have explained in our management KPI report solution above since they are also important to look at from a general management point of view.
5. Sales conversion dashboard
One of the best ways to grow your business is by increasing your conversion rates. Of course, there are a number of stages to closing a sale, from gaining and nurturing leads to prompting a conversion – and this particular KPI dashboard allows you to look at each critical stage of the process in detail.
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Through a series of comprehensive insights and lead-based data, this KPI report sample will empower you to streamline your sales processes, enhance your sales strategy, and increase your all-important conversion rates as a result, which you can also see in more detail on our sales dashboard template.
- Lead-to-opportunity ratio:
This metric is the first element to examine in your sales funnel. To ensure optimal real-time KPI performance monitoring, the lead-to-opportunity ratio should be high on your list. It will help you to determine whether you’re on track with your revenue goals and, based on that, you can manage your marketing and sales team much better.
In the example above, you can see a clear overview of the ratio and, below that, the exact number of leads and opportunities within a timeframe. You can use this visual as a monthly KPI report or weekly, it depends on your preferences and strategies.
- Opportunity-to-win ratio:
Showing how many of your qualified leads result in closing a deal or signing a contract is essential in your sales funnel. Modern online data analysis tools enable you to easily analyze and derive insights like we can see in the example below:
We quickly see the percentage, and the efficiency of the team while, on the bottom of the visual, you can quickly see the behavior of the KPI in the last 10 weeks.
- Lead conversion rate:
The conversion ratio should be stable and this number can vary a lot between industries and functions. In some industries, a conversion rate of 1% is success while others can reach 10% and also record success. The goal is to find a baseline and compare with the industry benchmarks.
The goal is to grow your conversion rate or keep it stable. If you notice that it’s decreasing, it’s time to start asking questions and digging deeper into the reasons because no conversions could cause serious business damages.
6. SaaS executive dashboard
For SaaS businesses looking to thrive in the digital age, our dedicated KPI dashboard is essential. By focusing on the three most critical areas relevant to any SaaS-based organization at an executive level – customers, recurring revenue, and costs – you’ll be able to foster the continued growth and evolution for ongoing success in your field.
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The KPIs included within this KPI reporting example offer a detailed view of each of these key areas. This powerful reporting tool assists in the fluid and proactive management of your SaaS organization as a whole.
From customer acquisition costs to churn rates, lifetime value, and beyond, this digestible dashboard is the go-to tool for SaaS business seniors and a KPI report full form that expounds on the most critical aspects of a business.
The monthly recurring revenue is the beating heart of a SaaS company. It gives seniors a “checkup” of the pricing plans and predictable revenue that a SaaS business expects in a given month. In essence, this KPI reporting template needs to be included in the financial aspect of strategizing “recurring” components and enables you to predict the state of business in the future.
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We have defined what are KPI reports, and provided examples on how to present KPIs in different business functions, and now we will focus on the creation of such reports and provide basic tips and tricks.
“Most people use statistics the way a drunkard uses a lamp post, more for support than illumination.” – Mark Twain
How Do I Prepare A KPI Report?
We’ve covered key performance indicators in addition to the power and importance of these kinds of reports. Now, let’s look at how to create a KPI report.
These reports are interactive, dynamic, and tailored to the individual user, department, or organization depending on their operational needs, strategies, aims, goals, and objectives. They are customizable and thus offer a powerful means of drilling down deep into very specific pockets of information. Picture procurement metrics – you need to know if suppliers fulfill your demands, their capacity to respond to urgent demands, costs of orders, and many other indicators to efficiently track your company's performance. But you need to know what to consider when preparing your report.
When considering how to prepare a KPI report, it’s important to understand that for optimum success, you must follow a process.
Before we continue, here’s a quick summary of essential elements to cover when building your report:
- Define with various stakeholders your strategic business goals.
- Pick a couple of indicators that will track and assess the performance.
- Consider your data sources.
- Set up a report which you can visualize with an online dashboard.
- Don’t get confused about the types of data visualization you choose.
Now, to help you on your path to data-driven enlightenment, here’s a more detailed rundown on how to prepare a KPI report, touching on key elements detailed in the summary above:
1) Define your business aims & goals
Every business, depending on its size, sector, and core objectives will have its own set of KPIs dedicated to different disciplines within the organization. To understand which KPIs will prove to be the most valuable to your business, you should sit down with key stakeholders and discuss your business aims, goals, and objectives in an open collaborative environment.
In doing so, you’ll gain a panoramic perspective of where to aim your efforts as well as the metrics and insights that are worth measuring for success. This will form the foundations of your ultimate reporting success.
2) Select your KPIs
Once you’ve defined all of your organization's most critical goals, the next stage in your reporting journey will be selecting the key performance indicators you want to work with according to your ongoing initiatives and strategies.
Fortunately, in the digital age, a wealth of invaluable KPIs exist to assist growth in a number of areas from marketing and accounts to customer service, fulfillment, and beyond.
Also, explore our guide to KPI management and learn from a host of helpful best practices.
3) Consider your data sources
The next stage in the process boils down to taking a detailed look at your data sources.
Today’s dashboards consolidate all of your data, with the help of data connectors, from various platforms or sources, working with your assigned KPIs to deliver the insights you need for growth, improvement, and sustainable success. As such, performing an audit of your data sources is essential.
Before physically creating your data dashboard, you should consider which data sources align with your business objectives and which will best suit your KPIs. Anything that is surplus to the requirement should be disabled or omitted from use.
By doing this, you’ll streamline your efforts and ensure that your reporting dashboard only serves up the information or insights worth analyzing. In practice, for example, that means that accounting reports should correspond with specific financial data you need to generate insights from.
4) Set up and customize your report
Once you have decided which KPIs you’d like to work with and examined your key data sources, you’ll be ready to set up a report and customize it to your requirements.
The most effective way to collate and manage your performance indicator is through a KPI software as it will empower you to create comprehensive summary reports from various metrics and visualize them through powerful dashboards. Of all the available data visualization mediums, the dashboard is the most effective, efficient, and easy to navigate format.
Moreover, once you’ve set up user access, your reports, your key performance indicators, and tailored the look, feel, and functionality of your reports to your preferences, you’ll be able to gain swift 24/7 access to your most valuable data through the medium of desktop, tablet, or smartphone.
To help you with your creation and customization efforts, here’s a comprehensive guide to data dashboard design principles for your reading pleasure.
5) Drill down into data visualization
Data visualization is a powerful concept and one that is pivotal to reports of any shape or size. Through data visualization, you can extract value from your most important data at a glance, tell a story with your metrics or insights, and share critical information with others inside or outside your organization in a way that is digestible as well as inspirational.
Once your reports are up and running, it’s important to monitor regularly and make tweaks or improvements to your reporting efforts as required.
Also, our additional post on how to make a dashboard will help you take your decision-making to the next level offers a wealth of information on crafting, developing, and presenting your company’s reports.
Why Are KPI Reports Important?
As mentioned, we are living in data-driven times, and to win on today’s commercial battlefield, making informed decisions based on digital insights (KPI data) is a must if you want to thrive today, tomorrow, and long into the future.
They're important as they empower businesses to set meaningful goals and benchmarks, the kind of which that will help them improve, evolve, scale, and become more adaptable in an ever-changing digital landscape.
By setting and measuring KPIs and customizing them through a report, you will gain a wealth of insights into your business, from customer behaviors to financial inefficiencies and content performance.
All of these elements, when organized in intuitive and visual reporting dashboards, will not only allow you to spot patterns as they unfold but drill down into historical data and make the strategic tweaks and changes that can ultimately make or break your business.
We’ve looked at how to prepare a KPI report and now, let's take a look at some key takeaways and industry studies.
Experts predict that by 2025, around 175 Zettabytes of data will be generated annually, according to research from Seagate. Moreover, within just five years, the number of smart connected devices in the world will amount to more than 22 billion – all of which will produce colossal sets of collectible, curatable, and analyzable data, claimed IoT Analytics in their industry report.
After asking the question, ‘What is a KPI report,’ understanding how to make a KPI report, and looking at real-world examples, it’s clear that these invaluable tools offer a wealth of insights into critical areas of any business, providing the tools to set viable goals, work towards worthwhile benchmarks, and leverage invaluable information to your advantage. Whether concentrating on manufacturing KPIs or tinkering your logistics analytics, a powerful KPI dashboard will provide a foundation for all your operational and strategic needs and development.
By knowing how to create a report and presenting this information in a logical, visually engaging format, you’ll provide a long-term solution for organizational improvement and growth.
To find out more about common KPI reports examples dedicated to disciplines from management to marketing, you can take a look at our business dashboards examples and templates.
To benefit from everything that an online dashboard software can bring and create your own reports, take on our 14-day free trial!