Being able to track data is crucial for measuring employee performance and identifying opportunities for improvement. However, there is such a thing as trying to keep track of too much data at once. Trying to monitor too many different key performance indicators (KPIs) at once can easily lead to data bloat, which is something to be avoided.

Why should you clean up your KPI list as soon as possible? Here’s an explanation of why, as well as some advice for cleaning up KPI lists.

Why you should clean your KPI lists

1: To stop data bloat

The major issue with data bloat of any kind is that it can distract you from the performance metrics that matter most to your business. The problem is that data bloat doesn’t happen overnight—it creeps up on you slowly and steadily.

For example, it can start with a single employee performance metric that you use for a single project. Then, you forget to do anything with it and keep adding more and more KPIs to the list for future projects. One day, before you realize it, your KPI list is full of performance metrics you never use. When you go through your key performance indicators to look for metrics to measure employee goals, this data bloat makes the task take much more time to complete.

Periodically cleaning up your KPI lists to get rid of unused performance metrics is crucial for stopping KPI bloat in its tracks. This, in turn, can help simplify data management tasks and save you time on measuring KPIs in the future.

2: To focus on your most important employee goals

Another reason to prune some employee performance metrics from your KPI list is to increase focus on your most important employee goals. For example, is your business’ overall goal to increase revenue? If that’s the case, then you may want to delete some employee metrics to focus on ones that contribute more towards revenue growth.

At the very least, tweaking the data dashboards you use for employees to reflect these new priorities can be helpful for motivating them, even if you don’t delete the performance metrics from your KPI list.

Choosing which employee performance metrics to remove

So, how can you ensure that you’re keeping the KPIs that matter and only deleting the performance metrics that you don’t need from your KPI list? It can help to ask yourself the following few questions:

  • Do I know what the KPI was being used for? If you don’t know the purpose of a KPI in your list, odds are that tracking the KPI is a waste of time and effort. Being able to understand the purpose of a performance metric is crucial for using it to improve your business.

  • Is the KPI relevant to my business’ goals? KPIs that aren’t relevant to your business’ goals probably shouldn’t be taking up valuable space in your KPI list. Irrelevant metrics do little more than create data bloat and waste time.

  • Does the KPI help me hold better discussions with my team? A KPI that helps you have better meetings with your team members so you can help them meet their employee goals may be worth holding on to.

  • Can I measure the performance metric objectively? To be valuable, a key performance indicator has to be objectively measurable. For example, “Having a positive, upbeat attitude towards customers” sounds good in theory, but it isn’t an objective standard that can be measured—positive results in customer satisfaction surveys is.

  • Is the employee performance metric something an employee can control? Measuring KPIs for employees that are beyond their control—like the number of customers that walk into a retail store’s doors or the number of calls that are made to a call center—is unfair and demoralizing. While these metrics might be worth tracking for assessing issues with the business, they shouldn’t be part of employee performance-focused KPI lists.

Consider reorganizing your KPI list

Aside from simply removing unused or unnecessary KPIs, consider reorganizing your KPI list to make it easier to browse in the future. For example, you could arrange your KPIs in order of importance to put the ones you most frequently reference in 1:1 employee meetings at the top of the list (or organize them into employee data dashboards).

You could also organize KPIs in alphabetical order to make them all easier to find when searching for a specific metric that isn’t used frequently, but is still important enough to keep in the KPI list.

Another idea is to create different KPI lists that are specific to each team or department within the organization. For example, creating a KPI list just for the sales team would allow you to stuff it full of sales-oriented performance metrics. Meanwhile, a services team-specific KPI list could be used to track an entirely different set of metrics that are more meaningful to that department.

Creating multiple lists has the benefit of making it easier to keep each list short, making the data therein easier to manage for each team. However, some KPIs may be repeated between multiple lists. Here, having a solution for automatically updating KPI data in lists can be invaluable for saving time and effort.

Do you have a preferred method for managing which KPIs you track? Or, are you curious about how you can improve KPI tracking for your business? Reach out to BrightGauge today to let us know!

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