Tagged: kpis 

Peder 2:10 pm on Oct 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
Tags: key performance indicator, , kpis   

Why Ontario’s Plan to Eliminate Homelessness is Hopeless

The Ontario provincial government has just stated that they plan to eliminate homelessness in Ontario! What a ridiculous statement. Do they really think voters and other observers will accept such a nebulous goal?

While this is an honourable commitment, it’s a hollow plan if it doesn’t set out what the level of the current problem is, by when it will be eliminated and by taking what action. And when asked, Deputy Premier Deb Matthews said that none of those are either known or would be shared. Perhaps it’s typical of a government that makes empty promises, but it’s frustrating to me as I want to see performance measured. A goal is meaningless if you don’t outline what actions you will take to accomplish it. It’s equally absurd to say, “We are going to end all wars”. By when and by doing what?

In a recent interview, when asked why the government failed to deliver on their 2008 promise to end child poverty in the province, Deb Matthews blamed the federal government for not doing its part. She went on to say that she outlined a plan for both the provincial and federal governments to follow, but the feds failed to do what was asked of them. Of course we don’t know if the federal plan outlined by the provincial government was reasonable or agreed upon by their federal counterparts.
What should the Ontario government have done if they wanted to be transparent and accountable?

According to a 2013 CBC news report, there are 30,000 homeless Canadians every night. So let’s assume there are 10,000 homeless people in Ontario. We now need to set a date by which we want to bring the homeless population down to zero. Let’s say that is to be done in 5 years, or by 2019, which is on average 2,000 fewer homeless people each year.

A goal must be defined and measureable to determine if it has been successfully attained. If you use a structured, disciplined approach, then measuring success is straightforward. Furthermore, it drives greater achievement as you can better identify what you need to do to be successful. There is a logical chain of command that steps you through each performance gate, and each step of the way is measureable. At the lowest level are the actions taken by the individuals in the organization and these are the building blocks for successfully attaining the established goal which is at the highest level. These actions are easy to measure and corrections are obvious because they are very specific. By ensuring these fundamental items are accomplished, we can ensure that goals are as well.

Here’s what the Ontario government should have done if they wanted to be transparent and accountable:

1. Set a Goal
First, the problem needs to be stated. Goals are only meaningful if they are well defined and a clear plan of action is outlined to achieve them.

The goal should be stated as eliminating homelessness in Ontario by 2019.

2. Identify Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to achieve the Goal
Critical Success Factors represent key performance areas (things that must be done) that are vital for an organization to accomplish its stated goals. Without such factors, an organization has no roadmap by which to navigate their operations. Stating CSFs allows management to stay on course instead of being distracted by daily non-strategic problems. The purpose of the CSF is to make sure we are on track. As long as we meet the CSF, we should achieve the stated goal; it’s not guaranteed, but likely.

The CSF for the goal of eliminating homelessness might be to invest in more affordable housing.

3. Set CSF Target
Specific targets for Critical Success Factors (CSFs) need to be achieved over a set period of time and measured to make sure the organization is on track. This informs if the organization is executing successfully, but because they are summaries of many activities, they don’t provide precise insight or direction into the Actions required to improve the results. That comes next.

The measures for the CSF might be: create 200 new units in the first 12 months and double that each year for a total of 3,200 units to house 10,000 homeless people by 2019.

4. Identify Specific Actions
Very specific Actions need to be identified to achieve the CSF of creating all these new units and in the required timeframe. That means that if we are missing the targets we set for the actions, everyone knows what needs to be done differently. Likewise, we can then identify activities that are particularly successful in driving results.

The specific actions required to attain the CSFs would be:
a) identify new potential units
b) complete new finance applications
c) create more low finance loans to allow purchase of new units.

5. Measure and Track Actions using Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are calculated metrics of the Actions we are taking and monitoring them allows us to make corrections. The plan is that if we meet or exceed our KPIs, we will meet or exceed the CSF and ultimately our goal. These Actions are considered to be critical to the success of your organization. KPIs are important because they directly track the work being done.

The specific KPIs to track would be:
a) Percentage increase in new potential units every week
b) Average number of completed new finance applications processed every day
c) Ratio of low to high finance loans to allow purchase of new units each month.

Targets are set for each KPI and are measured regularly, such as daily, weekly or monthly. We need to set values to these KPIs and make sure we hit them. If we do, everything trickles up and Deb Matthews can hold her head up high.

In summary, if the government of Ontario was serious about eliminating homelessness, they could have stated their goal and related actions like this:

1. Goal: eliminate homelessness in Ontario by 2019

2. Critical Success Factor: create more affordable housing

3. CSF Target: create 200 new units of affordable housing in the first 12 months and double that amount each year for a total of 3,200 units to house 10,000 homeless people by 2019

4. Actions: identify new potential housing units; complete new finance applications; set aside low finance loans to allow purchase of new units

5. Key Performance Indicators:
a) Percentage increase in new potential units every week
b) Average number of completed new finance applications processed every day
c) Ratio of low to high finance loans to allow purchase of new units each month.

6. KPI Targets:
a) 5% new potential units every week
b) Average of 10 completed new finance applications processed every day
c) Maintain 3:1 Ratio of low to high finance loans to allow purchase of new units each month.

To be successful, any endeavour must have a goal and must be measureable. And that starts with knowing the size of the problem you are tackling, what actions you plan to take, and over what time period. The Ontario government’s plan to end child poverty didn’t offer any of that, and as we are painfully aware, it did not succeed. Likely, the claim to end homelessness will fail for the same reason. Let’s never accept that approach to running our own businesses.

Peder 7:07 pm on Jul 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply
Tags: , kpis   

Tracking business success is difficult. And most businesses make the mistake of measuring what has already happened instead of what influences those results. Setting personal, departmental or corporate goals is fundamental to most people, but measuring how we perform against those values is not enough. Just measuring high level results such as revenue or number of customers is a mistake because it doesn’Cause and Effect imaget answer how we got there and what should be done next.

Instead, we need to evaluate the Events that Caused those results. Certainly, we can conclude that if Revenue increased to meet our goal, we succeeded, but we don’t know what we did that caused it.

It’s much more effective to measure the actions your customers or prospects take than the end result. These actions include conversions of website visitors to paying customers and how well we are doing to influence that conversion. (More…)

Peder 5:11 pm on Nov 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
Tags: , , , kpis, visualize data   

“Just find me something interesting about our data” is a request we often get. At which time, a smart data analyst should cringe. Collected data needs to be mined and evaluated before it will offer any value. And questions need to be properly framed to extract the right answers.

Big data

Data is being collected in multiple formats and more comprehensively than ever before. Information is gathered on customer interactions, corporate logistics, company performance, and internal and external communications. For some, “making sense of it all” and knowing how to extract value from multitudes of data can be intimidating. But Big Data should not be feared; it should be celebrated! Although there may be an overwhelming amount of information that can be difficult to analyze, if everything has been accurately collected, the answers are there to be found. Data offers the opportunity for enormous insight provided you know what to look for and how to present it. (More…)

Bobby 4:02 pm on Feb 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
Tags: , , kpis   

Google Analytics has a feature which allows you to easily track the key performance indicators of your website. You’ll have problems setting up goals within Google Analytics if you don’t know what the key performance indicators are for your website. If you don’t have any idea what your KPIs are, then what exactly are you looking for when you read your google analytics reports? Have a wee look at our KPI analysis page for an idea of what a goal for your website might look like. Google Analytics goals help to measure the performance of your website.

This article is focusing on the URL Destination Goal Type.

Nad Balata 7:05 am on May 27, 2011 Permalink | Reply
Tags: kpis, , seminar, Unilytics,   

Another week and another great seminar!  This time we were in our hometown, Toronto….thanks to our Toronto attendees for an enjoyable seminar filled with great questions and ideas!  The audience was quite diverse with folks from finance, travel, government, media, technology and a few others.  For those who couldn’t make it, you can access our slides with the link below.  Peder, Unilytics president, started the talk by professing our mantra for 2011 – web analytics is not about reporting but OPTIMIZATION!

Unilytics has been taking the message of optimization on the road to eMetrics in San Francisco and Toronto, Webtrends Engage, Unilytics’ seminar last week in Ottawa, and our seminar yesterday in Toronto… finally we are turning some heads!  The inspiration for our new mantra is the result of too many organizations who are merely collecting simple out-of-the-box reporting. These are the same organizations that invest a great deal of financial and internal resources on their analytics but make no business decisions, website design enhancements or marketing improvements based on their web analytics results. Paradoxically, they’ll quickly admit that online marketing is highly strategic and corporately paramount.

For those who think optimization is daunting, it really isn’t.  The first step is to build a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that address your organization’s web and business goals and objectives.  The next step is to configure your analytics reports to leverage your KPIs and to train the consumers of said reports how to apply the knowledge derived to make effective business decisions.  This step – report interpretation – is the biggest gain in successful analytics. Ongoing web optimization will require continual monitoring of your reports to ensure you are meeting your KPIs.

You can find some of this info in our slides, or you can feel free to reach out to me and I’d be glad to have a conversation with you.

The link to our slide presentations is here: http://www.unilytics.com/slides/TorontoSeminar2011-Slides.pdf

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter:  @unilytics

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