When You Depend On Others For Your KPI Data

by Stacey Barr

When the owners of a KPI are not the owners of the KPI’s data, here are five ways to make sure the data owners deliver.

Ways to make sure the data owners deliver. Credit: nensuria

Data owners are often forgotten, silent partners in the life of a KPI. Have you ever heard people complain that they collect masses of data and never see how it’s used? This is a certain symptom that their engagement is dwindling. And that means your KPI data is at risk.

It’s not that hard to build their engagement back up. But it does need a bit of commitment from the KPI owners to do it. When you depend on other people for the data for your KPI, here are five practical ways to build their engagement:

1. Give them the chance to understand your business goal or result.

Ideas for helping data owners to appreciate the ‘why’ for providing their data include:

  • talk with them and explain the meaning and importance of your business goal that the KPI is monitoring
  • invite them to your Measure Gallery, to see the big picture of your performance measurement work

2. Invite their input on measure design.

Ideas for helping data owners get a handle on the ‘what’ that they are providing their data for include:

  • involve them in your Measure Design workshop, to help eliminate potential measures that depend on harder-to-provide data
  • invite them to your Measure Gallery, to see the thinking behind your KPIs and contribute ideas about the kind of data available
  • walk them through your Measure Designs, and ask their input on the feasibility of your potential measures

3. Involve them in measure definition.

Ideas for growing the ownership data owners feel for helping to bring a KPI to life include:

  • involve them in your Measure Definition workshop, to
    fine-tune your KPI calculation and data requirements
  • walk them through your Measure Definitions, encouraging their input on the data requirement specifications so they are more realistic
  • send them your Measure Definitions and ask them to provide feedback on what doesn’t make sense, and what might be a better way to implement the KPIs

4. Give them ownership of data collection design.

Ideas for making it as easy as possible for data owners to provide the KPI data include:

  • ask them to lead the data collection process design, so that it is based on what they know will work best
  • flowchart the process of bringing each KPI to life, and ask them to identify which steps are best performed by them, or which steps need additional resources

5. Include them as users of the measure, when it’s reported.

Ideas for heightening the motivation of data owners to provide the data when it’s needed include:

  • add them to the list of users of each KPI that depends on their data, so they can see the final output their data creates
  • given that many data owners also work in the business process that the KPI measures, invite their input to cause analysis and performance improvement using the KPI

Just like anything to do with performance measurement, we need people to buy in to the ‘why’, before they’ll turn up for the ‘how’.

When the owners of a KPI are not the owners of the KPI’s data, we need to build their ownership of the KPI, to get that data.
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