Taking AI Projects to New Heights: 7 Kinds of Key Performance Indicators to Track & How Enhanced Data Can Help

12 Mar 2021 12:00 am by Mark Dunn

According to the NewVantage Big Data and AI Executive Survey 2020, 98.8% of surveyed companies are investing in big data and AI initiatives. The good news? Nearly 70% say they're achieving measurable value from their efforts--up from less than 50% three years ago. However, the study notes that the “precise nature of these results has been less explored.” So, how do you measure value when it comes to data-driven projects?

KPI

Whether we are talking about a new business opportunity, a comprehensive strategy transformation or other related activities, monitoring the performance of projects is crucial in today’s business world. Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking progress against them helps determine if performance expectations are being met. What KPIs matter most when assessing data project performance?

Make measurement a priority during data project planning

Start by establishing a sustainable business framework that sets the project’s goals, projected budget and expected timeframe to completion. Include some KPIs within the project timeframe to ensure you are set up to measure performance from the beginning.

After building this framework, get agreement on the additional KPIs to measure in order to gain a clear picture of what the project has—or has not—achieved.

What KPIs should you consider for data projects?

  1. Impact

    Most often, the overall ambition of a project is to enhance a certain aspect of your business. Unsurprisingly each project will have a specific goal that necessitates a detailed understanding of the overall framework of the engaged entity. In order to successfully measure a project’s impact, you should therefore gather robust and comprehensive data between the start of a project and its finalization. This way, a substantial impact assessment can be facilitated.

  2. Finances

    Continuous monitoring of all financial aspects within a project has to be implemented. Being on top of your project’s financial performance at all time provides you with the opportunity to act decisively and fast in case any adjustment has to be made.

  3. Time management

    Solid time management is not only closely related to sound financial planning but also constitutes one of the most important steps in determining project performances. Monitoring the on-time completion of a project, together with previously established budget- and timeline-milestones, can substantially support the success of any activity.

  4. Resources

    Every project takes time, personnel, and budgetary resources. Quantifying both the expected and the real expenditures can help creating a better oversight of a project’s performance.

  5. Quality

    Knowing how the project developed in different phases is essential for evaluating the overall quality of the project’s implementation phase. This does not only entail a final review of the project outcome but also includes a continuous assessment and adjustment of the managing strategy.

  6. ROI

    Has the project fulfilled its desired impact compared to the overall expenses it has created? Applying a detailed assessment of the return on investments is of substantial value both for potential stakeholders and entity executives.

  7. Outcomes

    Did the project achieve the desired change? Did it streamline a critical workflow or accelerate decision making? A robust project performance evaluation should also provide an insight into the final outcome of the project and its global approval or, in some cases, disapproval.

    Ultimately, enhanced data enables more successful project performance evaluations. After all, data that has been normalised and enriched—before you start using it—certainly contributes to positive KPIs. Less wrangling required equals faster time to insight.. More importantly, enhanced data, when combined with intelligent technologies, helps you uncover actionable insights that can boost KPIs across all areas of business—not just those related to big data projects.

    What’s next?  

    1. Take a closer look at how enhanced data can amplify the insights  you get from data.
    2. Explore what’s possible with Nexis® Data as a Service.