What Is a KPI Report and How to Use It

Posted on September 11, 2023 | Updated on September 26, 2023

In business, every company wants to achieve success. Therefore, staying organized and focused is key. The key to achieving this is through KPI (key performance indicators) reports. KPI reports provide meaningful data that help you see how well you’re reaching your goals. Understanding what a KPI report is and how to use one can be the key to improving your business.

Businesses should be able to streamline processes and make informed decisions for improvements. To ensure they’re reaching organizational goals, they must gather and analyze information to gain a wealth of insights. Yet, with the amount of data available today, improper interpretation and utilization can lead to missed opportunities — this is why KPI reports are necessary.

What Is a KPI Report?

A KPI report is a valuable tool providing a snapshot of your company’s progress toward its objectives. It measures various aspects of your operations and shows you where you’re doing well and could improve. 

A KPI report will include specific business metrics relevant to your company. It can be in the form of a graph or table, providing you with a visual representation of the set KPIs needed to measure performance. Each KPI is presented alongside its target so you can quickly see whether you’re on track.

Typically, you may find your reports presented on a document, providing various insights in a digestible format to make extracting information easier.

KPI reports are especially useful in marketing. They reveal how effective your marketing campaigns are, how many people you’re reaching and much more. It’s more than a collection of numbers — these reports are powerful narratives that help you make sense of your endeavors.

The Importance of KPI Reports in Marketing

In marketing, KPI reports act like a roadmap guiding you toward your marketing goals. Whether you’re increasing brand awareness, boosting customer engagement or driving sales, these tools offer a way to measure your progress. They allow you to align your day-to-day efforts with big-picture objectives, ensuring you stay on course. 

Moreover, these reports give you insight into long-term data trends. As a marketer, you know that digital marketing can take time before you see results. Whether it’s SEO or email marketing, a report can help you answer questions about how to reach your long-term goals. Therefore, they provide actionable insights to make the right decisions.

KPI reports are also important for enhancing your understanding of campaign effectiveness. They give you a story about your marketing activities. For instance, are your social media posts engaging or are your emails leading to website visits? With answers to these, you’ll know how to transform your marketing efforts into a clear, understandable narrative. From there, you achieve better strategies and results.

The Components of a KPI Report

In a KPI report, you use key metrics to keep track of your campaign performance. A KPI is a data point. You use them as milestones to determine if you’re on the right path to success. So instead of guessing if you’re getting closer to your goals, KPIs provide quantifiable data to show your progress. 

Yet, marketing requires you to choose the right KPIs for your objectives because different marketing goals need different KPIs. For instance, if you aim to increase brand visibility, you would look at website traffic or social media followers. If your focus is on sales, conversion rates may be your go-to KPI. 

The key is to select KPIs that align directly with your objectives to get a clear and accurate measure of your success. A typical KPI report could include a mix of the following KPIs, depending on your marketing objectives:

  • Return on marketing investment: This measures the profitability of your marketing efforts, showing how much you earn in return for what you spend. 
  • Website traffic: A website is a critical asset in marketing. Businesses use this KPI to measure the portions of incoming traffic and how long users stay on the site.
  • Social media engagement: Marketers measure their social media performance through comments, likes and follower count.

How To Create a KPI Report

Creating a KPI report can go as planned if you follow the right steps.

1. Establish Marketing Objectives

The first step to creating a report is defining your marketing goals. Maybe you’re aiming for increased brand awareness, higher sales or better customer engagement. Once your goals are clear, decide how you’ll measure them. For example, if it’s sales, the number of units sold or profit made can be good measures.

2. Choose Your KPIs

Next, choose the right KPIs to track. These should directly relate to your goals and be quantifiable. For instance, if your goal is to improve customer engagement, you might choose KPIs like website visit duration or the number of comments on social media. 

3. Collect and Analyze Data

Once you’ve selected your KPIs, it’s time to collect and analyze the data. Numerous tools are available to help with this, from Google Analytics for web traffic to Hootsuite for social media engagement. Consider the different types of tools used to collect your data and choose the right one to fit your business’s needs.

Then, collect data over a specific period, and analyze it to see how well you’re meeting your goals.

4. Structure and Visualize Your Report

Start arranging your KPIs in a logical order, and use graphs or charts to visualize your data. Or, you can use a reporting software that does this for you since manual reporting can take time. A tool like this will make your report easier to understand and see your progress.

 How to Use a KPI Report Effectively

When using a KPI report, you must absorb the information, reflect on it and let it guide your next steps. Look beyond the numbers and gather the story they’re telling you. Do they show you’re getting closer to your goals, or do you need to change your approach?

Based on the data, this is where you need to make decisions. For instance, if a particular marketing campaign could perform better, it may be time to adjust your strategy. Maybe you need to target a different audience or tweak your message. Let the data guide your decisions.

Keep in mind that it’s important to review your KPI reporting and update it regularly to reflect the changes in your marketing environment. You may need to adjust your strategies based on the insights from your report. Therefore, active engagement with your information is key. 

Set Yourself On the Right Path With KPI Reporting

A KPI report can make your marketing efforts much more effective when you understand and use it effectively. They guide you, informing your decisions and pushing you toward your goals. Start getting hands-on with it today and gain all the insights it has to offer. With KPI reporting, you have the tool needed to steer your marketing to success.

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About The Author

Coraline (Cora) Steiner is the Senior Editor of Designerly Magazine, as well as a freelance developer. Coraline particularly enjoys discussing the tech side of design, including IoT and web hosting topics. In her free time, Coraline enjoys creating digital art and is an amateur photographer.

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