Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) play a central role in governing decision-making in the organization since they can be used to align strategic and operational objectives and focus decision makers’ attention on the right goals. We asked respondents of our Information Culture survey whether – and how pervasively – organizations are using a common definition of KPIs.

Analysis of who uses and defines KPIs

Common definitions of KPIs total, by best-in-class and decision-making style (n=667)

79% of respondents have a defined, common set of KPIs in their organization but only 36% are using them pervasively across the organization. This is obviously a major issue and an area for improvement.

A key characteristic of best-in-class companies is that they rely on defined and pervasively used KPIs much more than average and laggard companies, indicating that their data governance is more effective.

Organizations run by management committees – and those with a democratic/collaborative culture – are much more likely to define and use common KPIs than companies with a top-down culture.

The larger the company, the more likely it is to have a common set of KPIs. 44% of organizations with more than 5,000 employees use defined KPIs and only 13% have no common KPIs.


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