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What Are Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?

Need to manage key performance indicators and want practical standards and best practices for information management governance and accountability?

Key performance indicators are financial or other corporate metrics usedKey Performance Indicators by organizations to measure progress towards business objectives and goals.

Corporate metrics are approved standards of measure used to drive management decisions utilized within corporate reports used for corporate governance and oversight.

What standards and best practices are required?

All corporate and senior management metrics should be adequately controlled and documented in an approved and published metric repository or lexicon.
  • Corporate Metrics should be maintained in a corporate metric lexicon by the corporate metric lexicon owner;
  • Senior management should establish and maintain metric repositories/lexicons for the senior management metrics within their respective areas;
  • The metric repositories/lexicons that contain corporate or senior management metrics should have: 
    • A single set of approved metric attributes for each metric entry;
    • A documented metric definition owner for each metric, who is responsible for validating the metric attributes;
    • A metric repository/lexicon owner, who is responsible for managing the metric repository/lexicon;
    • A documented, approved and published metric management process for adding, deleting and modifying metrics to the metric repository or lexicon;
    • Appropriate segregation of metric repository/lexicon-related duties and approvals by corporate or senior management metric definition owners.
  • The following metric attributes should be required for each corporate and senior management metric:
Metric Attributes
Metric Name Identifier (abbreviation) or full English name of a given data element used for providing performance information or performance measurement
Metric Alias An alternate or abbreviated name, or acronym, by which the metric is also known
Metric Definition The concise and complete description of the business purpose or function of the metric
Calculation Formula(s) used to derive values and/or fields within a spreadsheet or database
Metric Source The most immediate system/database/spreadsheet from which the metric is obtained
Metric Element The physical name of the metric as it appears in the Metric Source
Metric Definition Owner Accountable for the definition of the metric, all changes made to the metric and for ensuring the metric is current and consistent with regulatory guidance

  • Senior management metric repositories/lexicon owners should ensure the accuracy, completeness and consistency of all corporate metrics attributes that appear within senior management metric repositories/lexicons to the attributes documented in the corporate metric lexicon.
  • The corporate and senior management metric definition owner to ensure accuracy, completeness, consistency and relevance of documented metric attributes should conduct an annual review of all corporate and senior management metrics.
  • Discrepancies with metric attributes unresolved by the corporate and senior management metric definition owner should be escalated to an executive committee for resolution.
  • Corporate and senior management metric repository/lexicon owners should ensure that appropriate change control processes are in place for all additions, deletions or modification to existing corporate or senior management metrics.

Accountabilities for each key role involved with KPI's should be defined and communicated to all stakeholders.


Key performance indicators and corporate metrics are vital components of information management and require standards and best practices to ensure common understanding.

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