Indicators, sometimes called icons, aregraphical elements that give visual cuesabout performance. Traffic light symbols are used—red toindicate a problem, yellow to indicate apotential concern, and green to show thatperformance is meeting or exceeding itsgoal. However, other types of indicators, such ascheck marks or smiley faces, are available,depending on the program that is used tocreate the scorecard.
When we use the term metric we arereferring to a direct numerical measure thatrepresents a piece of business data in therelationship of one or more dimensions.An example would be:Gross Sales By MonthIn this case,the Measure would be money(e.g. gross sales)the Dimension would be time(e.g. month)
Measuree.g. Gross SalesDimensionTIME e.g. Per MonthDimensionHierarchye.g. Per Day+/ Per Week+/ Per MonthDimension (S)TIME e.g. Per Month&AREA e.g. Per CityMETRICGRAINMulti-Dimensionalanalysis
A KPI is simply a Metric (Measure& Dimension) that is tied to a target. Most often a KPI represents how fara metric is above or belowa pre-determined target. KPIs usually are shown as a ratio of actualto target. They are designed (Dashboard) to instantlylet a business user know if they are on or offtheir plan without the end user having toconsciously focus on the metrics beingrepresented.
For instance, we might decide that in orderto hit our quarterly sales target we need tobe selling $10,000 of product (x) per week. The metric would be product (x) sales perweek; the target would be $10,000. If we used a percentage gaugevisualization to represent this KPI and wehad sold $8,000 in product (x) by Thursday,the user would instantly see that they wereat 80% of their goal. When selecting targets for your KPIs youneed to remember that a target will haveto exist for every grain (e.g. week, month,year) you want to view within a metric. Having a dashboard that displays a KPI forgross sales by day, week, and month willrequire that you have identified targets foreach of these associated grains.