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Aligning metrics with business can breed results

Ben Farrell
November 1, 2012

There are many ways to help a company grow. Organizations seeking opportunities to expand often turn to technology, marketing and other methods to provide the catalyst for success. However, there is a growing movement among businesses to use data to enable and sustain growth. According to a recent study from APQC and Accenture, using metric data effectively can pave a steady path toward success.

Using metrics to drive growth

The study found a variety of ways to use metrics to support business expansion. However, a few best practices are emerging that can help organizations make the most out of metric-related data.

One best practice is to align metric information with business objectives, the news source said. On the surface, this sounds simple. All organizations have to do to make this possible is to look at the data and conform operations to fit within what the information reflects about the market or processes. In reality, analyzing metric data and using it effectively starts at the top of an organization and trickles down to everybody else.

According to the study, using metric data effectively begins with senior management analyzing which data streams are valuable to the business, and then moves on to using collaboration to effectively gather feedback from stakeholders. Once that is completed, organizations can identify high-value business processes and find ways to make them better align with metric data.

Importance of business process management

Chris Gardner, director of performance improvement at APQC, explained that business process management can play a vital role in how companies use metric data.

"In this study we learned that organizations with measurement systems that truly impact their business outcomes share several key attributes," said Gardner. "Some of these include having a business process management (BPM) center of excellence; a strong or very strong alignment of the organization's measures with its strategic objectives; compensation and rewards that are linked to achieving targeted measures and results; a process to provide pertinent measurement data to the employees doing the work being measured; a culture of accountability for measures and results and a centralized group responsible for analytics."

BPM solutions are emerging as an important technology in a variety of industries. To a great extent, the technology is becoming valuable because of the way it allows IT to intelligently interact with business operations. By aligning IT, data and process, organizations can get the greatest value out of their day-to-day activities and create opportunities for success.

Ben Farrell

Director of Corporate Communications