ClickCease The Difference Between KPI And Metrics And Why It Matters
The difference between kpi and metrics

The Difference Between KPI And Metrics And Why It Matters

Moment of truth: Most of us are implementing KPI and metrics because it complements our profession but do we really know the difference between KPI and metrics?

Righteously, we don’t belong to the business or data analysts’ category: we’re thriving folks, taking accountability for our actions. Today, accountability is the supervision of numbers and understanding how we impact them. For a moment, think of how well you could perform if you took matters into your own hands?

It’s a risk you should be willing to take!

Realizing the importance of success measurement through strategic planning is one of the critical elements of making a plan that works. But, just for your sake, we’re going to let you in on a little secret – KPIs and performance measures can be downright fiddly.

As strategic marketers, we all want to make sure we’re making a precise judgment based on data. And that’s impressive, but we need to be highly aware of how we measure and prioritize this data, especially when it comes to our strategic plan’s success rate.

Countless organizations use the Key Performance Indicator, KPI to perform measures interchangeably. And while it’s justifiable, there is a massive difference between KPI and metrics when your strategic plan is about to leap.

To numb the pain of decision-making, here’s a thorough explanation of how KPI and metrics have a distinct spot in success measurement and why their consideration is vital.

First of all, know the difference between KPI and metrics

Everybody has a unique understanding of words, and so, you can’t expect the other person to have your level of judgment. And using tricky words doesn’t just create confusion but can also thrash your business.

To instill real power in your data, it is critical to learn the relationship between KPI and metrics. That’s why we’re putting an end to this dispute, once and for all!

What is a KPI

Key Performance Indicator is used to highlight the significant landmarks that pave a path to satisfy your business goals.

What are metrics

Perhaps called “business metrics,” are computable measures used to meter progress or performance. To create a metric, you take chunks of data from a live source and supervise it to track success towards a business objective.

For instance, if your ultimate goal is to have a new batch of 100k visitors to your website every month, you can gather raw website traffic statistics from Google Analytics and investigate unique visitors to measure progress and achieve your goal. In simpler terms, monthly website visitors become a part of your metrics.

Data sources can also be qualitative, for when you’re a level-1 startup trying to achieve product-market fit. In such cases, your gateway to data sourcing could be through customer interviews, where you identify responses and find what they dislike or like about your services/product.

Later on, your metric could be the ratio of negative vs. positive sentiment or a bucket list of critical improvements. These help you verify and understand your position in the market.

The difference between KPI and Metrics

KPIs and metrics are often interchanged – by the people who have no idea what they are!

However, there’s a crystal-clear difference: KPIs are the necessary measures that will boost your organization. They effortlessly articulate and offer insight into what your business needs to achieve and measure to reach your long-term goals. Remarkable strategic plans contain 5-7 KPIs that will keep your business’s pulse running.

On the other hand, Metrics also keep track of progress and provide data on your standard business process, but they are not the most critical aspects of success measurement.

It’s easy to get confused. But here’s a swift way to get the hang of it. Key Performance Indicators identify your strategy and remove all obstacles that distract you from thinking.

Metrics are the ordinary measures that add value to your organization but aren’t the most needed achievement measures.

An example of KPI vs. Metrics

A revolutionary example of an excellent KPI is the improvement of new customer tribunals by 15%, which was done in 2019. It represented a substantial growth of 15-18 trials per week. This KPI supported a satisfying strategic outcome – a sudden increase in net-new revenue.

When it comes to metrics, a great example of that would be gradual inbound website traffic. It is vital to track this metric as it helps build a healthy strategy outcome, but it is not a defined KPI-related outcome. It is merely a valuable metric.

Now that the difference is out of the way, let’s dig a little deeper.

The importance of knowing the difference between KPI and metrics

An honest thought: the critical difference is motivational.

A KPI takes you to your target, serves as a performance guidepost, and highlights business outcomes. The blurry lines come up when you aim for a metric withholding a target in your mind.

Somehow, that’s okay. Metrics should regularly be preferred because they provide a shortcut to your department/program/project performance. However, if a metric gets you better business outcomes, you should consider it as a KPI.

The road to business performance management is repetitive. You can try new things and do lots of experiments along the way. Moreover, a metric can transform its appearance into a KPI if it has a particular impact on your business outcomes. Similarly, KPIs can become metrics – but only if the chasing target isn’t painful to achieve.

The puzzling part: Every KPI is a Metric, but not all Metrics are KPIs.

Metrics are like a hockey team. Every person on the team is a professional player. And in the team, there is a smaller group to stop the puck – they’re called goalies.

Other players also exist – centers, defensemen, wingers. However, none of them can do what goalies can!

It’s the same with metrics and KPIs. There are thousands of metrics available. Clicks. Subscription revenue. Percentage of new sales, and so on.

A puzzling factor is that not all of them are identified as KPIs.

KPIs are essential metrics because they underscore your chief business goals. How KPIs and metrics relate to each other is pretty modest: metrics support KPIs, and KPIs, in return, carry the overall strategic objectives and goals of the business.

Why do you need Metrics and KPIs?

Just because the KPIs you have are the most critical metrics doesn’t mean the other metrics are hopeless. When one of your KPI goes haywire, you must have alternative metrics that’ll assist you in diagnosing the issue.

Let’s assume inbound leads are your KPIs, and they suddenly take a nosedive. The KPI will notify you about the problem, and the other metrics will help you understand the root of the downfall.

They could be broken links on your site, or an error that blocks leads from pushing to your CRM, or a change in Facebook’s algorithm. To get a precise diagnosis, you’ll have to look into specific metrics, such as the CRM data, clicks, site conversions, ad impressions, etc.

Managing KPIs & Metrics via a dashboard

For proper management of your KPIs and metrics, prefer to use a data dashboard. Shifting data from 18+ apps into a spreadsheet isn’t just a massive waste of time, but it also creates complex and ugly reports. Additionally, you have to deal with the migraine of creating them daily.

Gratefully, Business Intelligence dashboards give life to your metrics with stunning visualization (better than spreadsheet cells). They allow you to prepare KPI-only dashboards to remain focused.

Generally speaking, a dashboard has many perks. It’s not just more comfortable to use, but it’s a fantastic way to track chief objectives, accelerate growth, and drive your business outcomes.

Tips on how to get your KPIs right

Indeed, performance metrics and KPIs are stringent. But, we have a way to make things right. As an evaluation to determine if you have your Key Performance Indicators on the right path, here’s a checklist:

  • They create a way to determine the functionality of your strategy
  • They are realistic and valid, making sure we measure reliable things
  • They straighten our focus and make us realize what matters the most for success
  • They ensure precise data
  • They offer a common language for communicating our success
  • Bonus tip: They turn outputs into outcomes.

By “outputs into outcomes,” we mean the KPIs have already expressed the outcome or result of achieving the goal. That makes it easier to answer the question, “why did we pick this objective?”

Reliable KPIs are a clear-cut expression of your most beloved outcomes of every strategy.


We hope your queries have taken a route to satisfaction because the difference between KPIs and metrics has never been more clearly explained. And, being aware of the situation gives you the upper hand.

Everything has a price in this world, so it can be challenging to learn the difference between KPIs and metrics. These days, almost everything is measured, and staking out a boundary around your metrics can actually provide a strategic sense for how your business will thrive for success. Therefore, please take note of our tips and take your business to crazy levels of success.

Good luck!

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