“If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.”

– William Thompson, inventor of the Kelvin scale

This saying has been adopted for business, and is fundamental to understanding the importance of KPIs (key performance indicators). Developing and improving KPIs were cited as the number one strategic action for growth currently being taken by 64% of respondents in the 2014 Field Service Management Benchmark Survey.

For field-based organizations, KPIs are even more important. They are fundamental to evaluating field rep performance, allowing you to determine which reps are doing well and which may need help. Since reps do not work in an office, managers need to be able to see rep activity in the field and monitor performance.

KPIs also help you evaluate your business performance and see which areas you may need to work on. By using them, you can maximize your company’s efficiency and productivity. KPIs may vary from company to company, but they should all be simple, aligned, relevant, measurable, achievable, timely, and visible in order for them to be effective.

“Information without action is useless.” – Steve Alderson, Managing Director at Cognito

Collecting data from KPIs merely gives you numbers. In order to understand each KPI and its impact on your business, you need to analyze this information. With cloud solutions and mobile applications, it’s easy to analyze your data. If KPIs are monitored frequently and analyzed often, it is easy to see areas in which your business performance may be lacking in comparison to others. After analyzing, you can reallocate your resources as needed and change your strategy to better fit your business objectives.

KPIs can be the key to increased business productivity, efficiency, and growth, but only if you measure them frequently and take the steps to analyze and adjust them. Raw data can give you insight, but upon analysis, you will find that you will gain much deeper insights that will aid you in improving your business.