Increase in sales revenue and profitability are the two most common objectives for every business. Businesses measure month on month, quarter on quarter, year on year growth in sales. However, it is important to segment the growth data for actionable insights. How do you measure business growth? Do you look at the overall trend? Do you segment customers into groups and monitor trend for each group?
Performance reports and dashboards often report the average values. When measured alone, averages tend to lie. Understanding the variation along with the average performance and addressing the root causes for variation will help you better conform to customer expectations.
“For a report to be actionable, it must demonstrate clear cause and effect”. Eric Ries made this argument in his bestselling book “The Lean Startup”. He is right to stress on the importance of monitoring actionable metrics. Quite often we get into the trap of vanity metrics. Either these vanity metrics look good or the data is easily available. However, as the name suggests, these do not lead to any action as cause and effect are not established. Have you identified actionable metrics for your business? What metrics do you monitor?