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Everything You Need To Know About KPIs – Importance & Different Types Of Key Performance Indicators

What is Key Performance Indicators?

The abbreviation KPI stands for Key Performance Indicators. This denotes a value of measurement that can help a person determine the degree of efficiency and success of a business venture at fulfilling their primary financial aims and business requirements. This measurement is routinely used at various different levels of hierarchy by corporations.

The primary purpose of the calculation of this measurement, as well as its primary significance, can essentially be described as the efficiency of the business operations in the company. This measurement can be used to signify the success or the failure of a corporation at reaching the targets that their superiors or board of directors have assigned for them.

Importance of Key Performance Indicators

The primary importance of key performance indicators is that this measurement helps a corporation take steps to ensure that every business operation or exercise serves an interest or purpose in the overall business performance of the corporation. For example, at lower levels of hierarchy, key performance indicators can help you build and organize various teams and branches in a single business operation.

This can help smoothly divide the labor among all of the concerned workers and business operatives in a uniform fashion. By doing this, you can make sure that the tiniest activities and ventures undertaken by your business operatives will act in collusion and serve a purpose in helping your company meet its business goals.

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Some of the key important features of these indicators include:

1. Govern all of the operations undertaken in the business entity

Since key performance indicators work on several different levels of hierarchy, they can govern all of the operations undertaken in the business entity, ranging from the business performance by an individual employee to the success or failure of a substantial project. Since all of these indicators work in close collaboration, this helps make sure that the operations undertaken by the business entity serve the same purpose on every level of the organization.

2. Determine the quality or health of a business entity

Key performance indicators are often used to assess or determine the quality or health of a business entity. These indicators can be used to deduce all of the elements in the business entity that may pose a potential danger to the smooth operation of the business. These elements may include liabilities such as debts and losses. At the same time, these indicators also offer a comprehensive look at the financial stability of the business ventures. Using these indicators, an investor can easily deduce how strong or weak the business prospects and the profitability of a company may be.

Learn more about – Key Factors Of Financial Planning In Business – Financial KPI Examples, Common Misconceptions & Importance Of Financial Plan

3. Determine which business ventures are profitable

Key performance indicators also help business operatives determine which business ventures are profitable and which are not. On a lower level of organization, the indicators can also be used to determine which investments may be contributing to the benefits or the profits of the company and which investments may be acting as commodities, unnecessary expenses, or liabilities. By taking a look at the key performance indicators and analyzing them, a business operative can decide which business venture they should carry on with and which ones they may drop. As a result, the company should theoretically only be engaged in profitable business ventures at that point.

Simultaneously, these indicators may be used to cut down on certain costs or expenses. By doing this, a business operative can create a significant boost in their Return on Investment.

Learn more about – Decoding Profits: How To Find High-Profit Margin Business?

4. Track the efficiency and progress of individuals

Key performance indicators can be used to track the efficiency and progress of individual employees as well as teams of employees to determine the areas where they might have shown good performances and the areas where they might have been lacking. By doing this, a company can determine the utility of an employee or a team with mathematical precision. This can help business operatives hold their employees accountable for failures.

Learn more about – What is KPI & KRA? How Setting Right KPI & KRA Can Help Measure Team Performance?

Types of Key Performance Indicators

Just as there are several hierarchical levels of key performance indicators, there are also different types of KPIs based on their duration or their objectives. Some indicators are used to govern long-term business goals, while others are generally concerned with short-term objectives.

The three primary categories include:

1. Strategic

These indicators are used to determine the overall efficiency of a business entity. These indicators are generally put to use at an executive level, and they mostly concern themselves with total revenues and market shares.

2. Operational

These indicators are tied to short-term objectives and mostly concern themselves with lower levels of business operations. Some common attributes of these indicators include efficient costs for transportation and acquisition.

3. Functional Unit

Many of these indicators are associated with certain areas of business operation, such as accounting or information technology. Indicators associated with finance are used for tracking returns on investment or aggregate profit margin, whereas indicators associated with IT are used to determine the interval of resolution.


As mentioned above, key performance indicators can function on various different levels of hierarchy, with context to the hierarchy of the concerned business operations. For example, key performance indicators that are higher on the level of the business hierarchy might be used to determine the degree of success or failure of the amalgamation of all of the business operations and ventures conducted by the company in a given period of time.

On the other hand, key performance indicators that are categorized to belong to a low level, according to the hierarchical standing of the concerned business operation, may instead be used to the efficiency or lack thereof of specific categories and subcategories of business operations belonging to the same overall business operation.

These so-called low-level business operations may be constituted by the areas of business such as sales, customer support, human resources, marketing, and so on. For more information on the topic of key performance indicators, feel free to consult a financial advisor, at MSMEx.in

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