Are you confused about the difference between KPIs and metrics? Don't worry, you're not alone. These two terms are often used interchangeably, when in fact they refer to two very different things. Let’s answer the question, “What’s the difference between KPIs and metrics”?, so you can start tracking the right data points for your business.
What is a KPI?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. A KPI is a metric that is used to gauge whether a company is meeting its specific goals and objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 10% this year, then a KPI could be total sales generated each month. Tracking this metric will help you determine whether you're on track to reach your goal.
KPIs are defined as “the most important indicators of progress towards predefined goals.” In other words, they are essential measures of whether or not you are achieving your desired results. KPIs should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Some common examples of KPIs include website traffic, conversion rate, social media engagement, and customer satisfaction.
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What is a metric?
Metrics, on the other hand, are “a standard of measurement; a basic quantitative measure used to track and assess progress.” In other words, they provide detailed data points that can be used to inform KPIs. For example, web traffic data can be used to inform your website traffic KPI. Metrics can be both lagging (i.e. data from the past that you can use to inform future decisions) or leading (i.e. data that can be used to predict future outcomes).
A metric is simply a data point that can be tracked and measured. Unlike a KPI, a metric does not have to be tied to a specific goal or objective. Metrics can provide valuable insights into how your business is performing, but they don't necessarily indicate whether or not you're meeting your goals.
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Which should you use—KPIs or metrics?
The answer is both! By tracking both KPIs and metrics, you can get a well-rounded view of your company's progress and identify areas of improvement. Both KPIs and metrics are important tools that can be used to track a company's progress and identify areas of improvement. However, it's important to note that they are not interchangeable; each serves a different purpose. By tracking both KPIs and metrics, you can get a complete picture of your company's performance and make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts for maximum impact.