Selecting Core Performance Metrics

Filtering process to identify adminstrative unit measures and strategies for triggering action

This report explores six considerations business leaders can use as a filtering process to identify unit performance gaps and set principled action triggers.

Selecting Core Performance Metrics

Many chief business officers cite a lack of credible data as an impediment to many of their top priorities, including cost-savings initiatives, process improvement efforts, and resource allocation. However, surveys on institutional data management in higher education uniformly show that colleges and universities are tracking more data than ever before, largely due to increased regulatory requirements.

This study outlines top-of-mind considerations and strategies for identifying core performance metrics for each administrative unit, as well as methods to set principled action triggers. Download the complete publication to learn more.

An overwhelming array of metric options

The first challenge to effectively leverage data to drive change is picking the handful of core metrics that best measure unit performance. Given the countless ways to measure performance, unit leaders often struggle to choose the metrics that truly evaluate operational effectiveness.

Units that track the wrong metrics may waste time on insignificant issues or miss an emerging problem. Worse yet, units that track all possible metrics rather than a manageable set of core measures often fail to extract actionable information, leading to diluted improvement efforts.

Analysis paralysis

While choosing core metrics is the first step in leveraging data to enhance unit performance, data alone does not compel corrective action from unit leaders or senior executives. Without a formal system of red flags, unit leaders often fail to act on negative trends.

Many leaders explain away performance gaps and assume better days are ahead, while others succumb to analysis paralysis—continuing to analyze and re-analyze data while the situation deteriorates.

The six considerations outlined in the remainder of this study will help you identify key performance metrics and strategize the most impactful performance triggers for each department.

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