Goals Vs Targets Vs Thresholds Vs Baselines Vs Benchmarks… Bringing order to the chaos

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If you have been doing any kind of reporting or analytics in any domain starting from more generic project management or team management to any specialised management reporting, etc., you most probably may have had challenge in clearly seeing that blurring line of distinction among the concepts of Goals Vs Targets Vs Thresholds Vs Baselines Vs Benchmarks. Here is a very simple and straight forward take clearly delineating them all.

Note that an essential pre-requisite understanding you should be having for this is about Metrics and KPIs which you can learn from this article: Data Vs Data Points Vs Metrics Vs KPIs

Baseline: A baseline is simply an initial reference point used for comparisons. A baseline for your performance measure is the average level of performance that you are currently at, and that you will compare future performance levels with it to test if the performance is really changing.

Benchmarks: A benchmark is an assessment of an industry-standard, a best practice, or a competitor that can be used to set targets for KPIs

Goals: Every KPI must be accompanied with a goal to be tracked for measuring performance. Goals can be of two types:

1. Targets: Goals that move in positive direction are Targets. i.e., the higher the value the better it is. e.g. Volume of transactions processed.

2. Thresholds: Goals that move in negative direction are Thresholds. i.e., the lower the value the better it is. e.g. Number of errors occurred while processing of transactions.

Hope that’s a good learning! Feel free to leave your comments, roam around this website to learn more and share further,

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