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Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are financial and non-financial metrics used to quantify objectives to reflect the strategic performance of an organisation. A KPI is used in Business Intelligence to assess the present state of business and to prescribe the course of action. When KPI's are monitored in realtime. this is known as business activity monitoring. KPIs are frequently use to "value" difficult to measure activities such as the benefits of leadership development, engagement, service, satisfaction. KPIs are typically tied to an organizations strategy (as exemplified through techniques such as the Balanced Scorecard.
The KPIs differ depending on the nature of the organisation and the organization's strategy. They help an organisation to measure progress towards their organizational goals, especially difficult to quantify knowledge-based activities.
A KPI is a key part of a measurable objective, which is made up of a direction, KPI, benchmark, target and timeframe.
Der Begriff Leistungskennzahl (LK) oder englisch Key Performance Indicator (KPI) bezeichnet in der Betriebswirtschaftslehre Kennzahlen anhand derer man den Fortschritt oder den Erfüllungsgrad hinsichtlich wichtiger Zielsetzungen oder kritischer Erfolgsfaktoren innerhalb einer Organisation messen und/oder ermitteln kann.
Key Performance Indicators are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization.
...which is wrong in so far, as a Key Performance Indicator is not a Critical Success Factor! But overall, the article Key Performance Indicators (KPI) from F. John Reh is helpful describing the idea behind KPIs.