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7 Types Of Metrics

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Metrics are meaningful measurements and calculations that are used to direct and control an organization. They come in several basic types:

Goal Metrics

Many organizations have established the principle that strategy and performance goals need to be measurable. As such, it is common for metrics to be developed for the purposes of strategic management, goal setting and performance management. Not all metrics measure goals. For example, metrics can also be used for decision making, problem solving and optimization.

Key Performance Indicator

Key performance indicator (KPI) is a term for a metric that is critical to an organization. It is common for organizations, departments and teams to develop a large number of metrics. The term KPI is used to distinguish those metrics that are critical to strategy. In most cases, a KPI is used to measure goals.

Qualitative Metrics

Metrics that are based on a human judgement such as a rating. For example, customer satisfaction is typically a qualitative metric that results from asking customers to rate their satisfaction with a product, service or experience. Although qualitative metrics result from complex human judgements, they are typically represented as a single number.

Quantitative Metrics

Quantitative metrics are a class of metrics that are based on numbers. They can be financial or non-financial in nature. Examples of quantitative inputs to metrics include revenue, customer counts or electricity usage measured in watts.

Actionable Metrics

A metric that be can directly used to make decisions or optimize work. It is common for organizations to mandate that all metrics be actionable.

Informational Metrics

A metric that isn't actionable. People find information interesting and may develop metrics that are unlikely to change the course of decisions. This is widely considered a distraction and unnecessary expense. For example, if a car displayed the temperature of its muffler on its dash, some people might find it interesting but this isn't actionable like a fuel gauge or speedometer. As such, it might be considered an unnecessary distraction.

Vanity Metrics

Metrics that are designed to be impressive as opposed to useful.

Business Metrics

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business metrics.
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Budget Variance
Capability Rate
Churn Rate
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Cost Effectiveness
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Error Rate
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Run Rate
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Time To Volume
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