Key Performance Indicators

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Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a set of metrics that highlight the primary functions which contribute to the achievement of the unit’s mission (e.g., total number of attendees at all events during a given year, total number of students served in a given year).

(The information below has been adapted from University of Wisconsin-Platt Student Affairs and Campus Labs.)

Identifying Performance Indicators

When identifying performance indicators, the goal is to identify measurements which when viewed together will provide a summary of the unit's work as a whole. The focus should be on the aspects of the unit that are critical and have a significant impact on daily operations. Preliminary questions units may consider are:

  • What are the primary or most important parts of the programs and services we offer?
  • What has the greatest impact on the student experience?
  • Where do we dedicate most of our time and resources?
  • What do we want to be able to quickly and concisely communicate about our department to those who work in other areas?

Identifying KEY Performance Indicators

While a unit may track many performance indicators in order to guide internal decision-making, most performance indicators will generally only be of interest to those deeply invested in the implementation of those programs and services. Key performance indicators instead focus on those metrics which are critical to communicating the work of the unit to an external audience. REMEMBER: The more KPIs a unit externally reports the more the message gets muddled. UL Annual Assessment Planning guidelines recommend that units enter 3-5 KPIs into Tk20 by August 16th each year. To determine which performance indicators should make the final KPI list, units should consider the following questions:

  • Does this indicator have a clear connection to the unit's outcomes and/or institutional/divisional strategic priorities?
  • Is this metric something that could be easily understood by an external audience? How much field-specific expertise and knowledge is needed to make sense of this number?
  • Is this indicator going to showcase growth and change? Will the indicator tell a story about the unit?

Sample KPIs

Below are suggestions for KPIs organized by CAS functional area: