Free Whitepaper: How to Create Actionable KPIs and Metrics

800x450 Free White Paper Graphic (2)
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

If data is king, why are most companies today still struggling with tons of data but very little knowledge? The reality is that most of them have too many KPIs (key performance indicators), but no real way to turn their data into real actions and outcomes. Creating actionable KPIs is the first step to solving this problem. To help you do this, we’ve developed a simple method to transform any KPI into a KPY. KPY = KPI + Why.

Unlike most KPIs, KPYs are actionable, measurable, and easy to track and visualize. Think of a KPY as an advanced KPI that not only includes the measurement but also indicates the actions to be taken right in the KPY name, removing the guesswork!

Here are four simple steps to creating your first actionable KPYs.

Step 1: KPI Purging

Tracking multiple KPIs is hard. Filter out the least important ones to focus only on your top 3 to 5 KPIs.

To do this, create a spreadsheet of all your KPIs. Determine the percentage contribution of each KPI to the overall goal of the business. Take 3-5 top ranking KPIs and remove the rest.

Step 2: Turn your KPIs into KPYs

In this step, you will define and quantify the actions that need to be taken to achieve each KPI. You need to point out:

  • How the action will be measured
  • When will it be carried out
  • What are the success indicators

All the above details on the action are necessary to convert a KPI to a KPY. Here are some quick tips on creating an actionable KPY.

  • Define actions using verbs: The verbs used in the action definition should be intuitive and action-oriented. Avoid business jargons.
  • Quantify the action: Numbers and percentages are easy to understand and create a clearer perception. "Growing sales by 100%", is better than “doubling the sales.” Keep it realistic though.
  • Set deadlines: Avoid open-ended deadlines such as, “by the end of the month.” Instead, use specific days and dates. The best practice is to break the goals into smaller periods.

Step 3: Create a KPY story

Data storytelling is an excellent way to communicate your goals to your audience. To make good use of your KPYs you need to develop a compelling KPY story that has three parts: KPYs, Trends, and Actions.

The trends are metrics that provide the reasons why the KPY could be below or above the target. The actions define how to fix the problem (if one exists) to ensure the KPY hits the desired goal.

Step 4: Tracking KPY performance

Measuring the effectiveness of a KPY involves the following four things:

  • Accountability: Indicating the person responsible for every KPY
  • Goal Breakdown: Breaking the goals of the KPY into smaller targets and deadlines
  • Monitoring: Regularly monitoring the progress of the KPYs with the owners
  • Adaptability: Adjusting the KPY as the business changes


Data visualization has become the gateway to achieving business goals, ensuring you are tracking the right metrics is critical. It is impossible to succeed without mastering the art of turning your KPIs into compelling KPYs, then turning it into a compelling data story that is easy to visualize and communicate.

To get more details on each step of this process, check out our free SAP whitepaper Creating Actionable KPYs That Drive Results.

BI Data Storytelling Online Live Accelerator

3-Day 100% Virtual Workshops with Mico & team! Oct 20-22, 2020 | Feb 16-18, 2021  

Mico Yuk

Mico Yuk

As the Co-founder and CEO of BI Brainz, I've been in the Business Intelligence/Analytics industry since 2009. Trained 10K+ using our methodologies and frameworks! I love our amazing team and community! I share my passion for data to 20,000+ followers via the Analytics on Fire Podcast, our BI Brainz academy, blog, social media, global keynotes, training, and workshops. Our model is simple. We take what is successful for our customers and teach it! I'm a bonafide beach bum on days off!
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

It's Time for a New Kind of BI.

Get a backstage pass into our BI Brainz lab. We’ll show you unconventional ways to boost user adoption rates, design amazing data visualizations, avoid scope creep, and keep your users happy. The old ways are broken. Let’s change the BI world together.


Ask us a question, or lets arrange a time to talk!

  • We respect your privacy. We will never share your information.

Want to learn how to use our FREE 50-page Analytics Design Guide?

Share on linkedin
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email


The BI Dashboard Formula Course will re-open for you to join soon! Get on the waiting list and secure your spot to be notified about the next opening

  • We respect your privacy and will never share your information.