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Key Differences between Metrics and KPIs

Have you ever wondered what the difference between metrics and KPIs is? 

Metrics measure the performance of a process or system, while KPIs measure how well the process or system is meeting expectations.

Data-driven organizations rely on these tools to assess their performance, but do you know how they differ – and what each one is used for? 

Understanding the difference between metrics and KPIs is essential for any business looking to measure and track progress

This article will delve into what each of these terms means, how they differ from one another, and how you can use them to better understand the performance of your business.

Importance Of Being Data-driven For Businesses

When it comes to business, data is everything. It helps you understand your customers, what they want and need, and how to best serve them. 

According to Mckinsey Global Institute, data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers.

Another study by BARC suggested that businesses that use big data are likely to increase their profit by 8 percent.

Therefore in today’s data-driven world, businesses that don’t use data to inform their decisions are at a major disadvantage.

Role of KPIs and Metrics in Performance Measurement

When it comes to performance measurement, there are two main types of indicators: metrics and KPIs. But what exactly is the difference between them?

Metrics are simply measures or values that provide information about a certain aspect of your business. For example, you might track how many visitors come to your website each month, or how many new customers you acquire each quarter.

KPIs, on the other hand, are designed to help you assess whether or not you’re achieving your desired results. In other words, they’re indicators of whether or not you’re on track to reach your goals.

So, which one should you be tracking? The answer is: both! Metrics can give you a valuable snapshot of how your business is performing, but if you want to make sure you’re heading in the right direction, KPIs are essential.

What Are KPIs?

What are KPIs and their purpose?

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are quantitative measures that organizations use to track and assess progress towards specific business objectives. 

Purpose Of Using KPIs

There are a few key reasons why organizations use KPIs. 

  • The main purpose is to evaluate progress and performance against strategic goals. This provides valuable insights into whether an organization is on track to achieving its targets. 
  • Additionally, KPIs can be used to identify areas of improvement and potential areas of opportunity. 
  • Finally, KPIs can help benchmark performance against other organizations in the same industry or sector.

Types Of KPIs

There are three basic types of KPIs: lagging, leading, and predictive.

  1. Lagging KPIs are retrospective; they measure past performance. 
  2. Leading KPIs are prospective; they measure future performance. 
  3. Predictive KPIs are based on statistical models that forecast future performance.

Examples of KPIs

Some common examples of KPIs include:

  • Quarterly sales figures
  • Market share growth
  • Net promoter score
  • Employee engagement levels
  • Website traffic from key target markets

What Are Metrics?

What are Metrics and their purpose?

Metrics are quantitative measures that can be used to track and assess the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals. 

They provide a way to track progress, identify areas of improvement, and benchmark against peers.

Purpose Of Using Metrics

Metrics are a key tool that businesses use to measure progress and performance. By tracking metrics, businesses can identify areas of improvement and make necessary changes to achieve desired results.

Types Of Metrics

The specific metrics that a business tracks will depend on its goals and objectives.

There are many different types of metrics that businesses can track, but some common examples include:

  • Sales numbers
  • Customer satisfaction rates
  • Website traffic
  • Social media engagement. 

Benefits Of Using Metrics

  • Offer data to make informed decisions.
    One of the main benefits of using metrics is that they provide hard data that can be used to make informed decisions.
  • Help businesses track progress and identify trends.
    Metrics can help businesses track their progress over time and identify patterns or trends. 

This information can be invaluable when it comes to making strategic decisions about where to allocate resources or how to improve operations.

  • Useful for motivating employees.
    Another benefit of tracking metrics is that it can help motivate employees by setting measurable goals.

When employees see that their efforts are being tracked and monitored, they are more likely to be motivated to meet or exceed those targets. 

  • Help in the accountability of results.
    Tracking metrics can help businesses hold employees accountable for their results.

Overall, using metrics is an effective way for businesses to measure progress, set goals, and make informed decisions.

By tracking the right metrics, businesses can gain insights into their operations and identify areas of improvement.

Types Of Metrics

1. Financial metrics: These include measures such as revenue, profit, costs, and ROI. They are often the most important indicators of success for businesses, but can also be difficult to interpret and may not always give the full picture.

2. Operational metrics: These focus on measures such as productivity, efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction. They can be more useful than financial metrics in some cases, but may also be harder to track accurately.

3. Strategic metrics: These look at broader indicators such as market share, competitive advantage, and brand awareness. They can provide valuable insights into a company’s overall health but may be less actionable than other types of metrics.

4. Tactical metrics: These are specific measures related to a company’s marketing or sales efforts. They can be very useful in guiding decisions about where to allocate resources, but may not always give a clear picture of overall performance.

5. Behavioral metrics: These focus on employee behavior and attitudes, as well as customer behavior. They can help identify issues early on, but may not always be indicative of future trends.

Examples of Metrics

Many different types of metrics can be used, but some common ones include:

  • Revenue growth
  • Customer satisfaction rates
  • Number of new customers/clients
  • Website traffic statistics
  • Conversion rates (of website visitors into customers/leads)
  • Number of social media followers/engagements
  • Employee retention rates

Key Difference Between Metrics And KPIs

Let us look at the key differences between metrics and KPIs in detail.

  • Objective vs Subjective
    The most important difference between metrics and KPIs is that metrics measure objective data while KPIs measure subjective data.
  • Numerical value vs Judgement
    Metrics are numerical values that can be measured or calculated, such as website traffic or number of sales. On the other hand, KPIs are values that express a judgment about whether something is good or bad, such as customer satisfaction or employee engagement.
  • KPIs are a subset of metrics
    While metrics can provide a broad overview of organizational performance, KPIs zero in on specific areas that are most important to the success of the business.
  • Tracking progress vs Setting goals
    Another key difference is that metrics can be used to track progress over time while KPIs are used to set goals.

    For example, if you want to increase web traffic by 10% over the course of six months, web traffic would be a metric you use to track progress. 

However, if your goal is to increase web traffic by 100% in the next year, web traffic would be a KPI you use to set your goal.

  • Resource Allocation vs Gauge achievement of objective

    Metrics are often used to help make decisions about where to allocate resources or how to improve processes. 

For example, a company might track the number of customer complaints per month as a metric. If they see an increase in the number of complaints, they can investigate the root cause and take steps to mitigate it.

KPIs, on the other hand, are used to gauge whether or not a company is achieving its objectives. 

For example, if one of a company’s objectives is to increase market share, they might track the percentage of new customers acquired each month as a KPI. 

If they see that the percentage is increasing, they know they are making progress towards their goal.

Both metrics and KPIs are important for tracking and measuring success. However, it’s important to understand the difference between them so that you can use them effectively.

3 Commonalities Between KPIs And Metrics

While both KPIs and metrics are tools that businesses use to measure progress and success and require careful planning and implementation in order to be effective. There are several commonalities between KPIs and metrics. 

  • Both need to be aligned with the company’s overall strategy.
    This means that the goals of the KPIs and metrics should support the company’s larger objectives. Without this alignment, it can be difficult to accurately measure progress.
  • Both KPIs and metrics should be reviewed on a regular basis.
    This helps to ensure that they are still relevant and accurate. It also allows businesses to make necessary adjustments if needed.
  • Both KPIs and metrics can be used to help identify areas of improvement.
    By tracking specific data points, businesses can pinpoint areas where they may need to make changes in order to improve results.

How KPIs And Metrics Work Together

In order to understand the key differences between metrics and KPIs, it is important to understand how they work together. 

Measuring progress and success in achieving goals. 

However, KPIs are typically more specific and tailored to a particular goal, while metrics are more general and can be used to measure a variety of things.

For example, let’s say you are trying to increase sales by 10% this quarter. 

A metric could be the total sales dollars generated, while a KPI could be the total number of new customers acquired. 

By tracking both of these numbers, you can get a sense of whether or not your efforts are leading to the desired results.

KPIs Vs Metrics: How Do Data-Driven Businesses Use Both

In order to make data-driven decisions, businesses need to track both metrics and KPIs. 

Metrics are simply a measure of something.
They can be quantitative or qualitative. 

For example, if you’re tracking website traffic, the metric would be the number of visitors. 

If you’re tracking customer satisfaction, the metric would be a score out of 10.

KPIs are a measure of performance. 

They help you understand whether you’re meeting your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to increase website traffic by 20%, then your KPI would be website traffic growth. 

If your goal is to reduce customer churn by 10%, then your KPI would be customer churn rate.

Both metrics and KPIs are important for data-driven decision-making. 

Metrics provide insights into what’s happening, while KPIs provide insights into whether or not you’re achieving your goals.

How To Choose The Right KPIs And Metrics For Your Business?

There are a few key things to keep in mind when choosing the right KPIs and metrics for your business

  • Ensure that both are aligned with the company’s strategy.
    Without this alignment, it will be difficult to measure your progress toward your goals.
  • Choose KPIs that are relevant to your business.
    Relevancy is important because you want to be able to track progress and identify areas of improvement.
  • Ensure that your KPIs are actionable.
    This means that they should be measurable and give you insights into what actions you can take to improve your business.

When To Use KPI Or Metrics?

There are a few key differences between metrics and KPIs that should be considered when trying to decide which one to use

Metrics are often used to measure performance, while KPIs are meant to track progress. 

This means that KPIs are more focused on the future and setting goals, while metrics tend to be more present-oriented. 

Additionally, KPIs are often specific to an industry or company, while metrics can be more general.

When should you use a KPI? 

If you’re looking to track progress toward a goal, then a KPI is likely the best option. 

When should you use a metric? 

On the other hand, if you need to measure something in order to improve performance, then a metric might be a better choice. 

Ultimately, it’s important to understand the difference between these two types of data before making any decisions.

How To Track Performance KPIs And Metrics

Performance KPIs and metrics can be tracked in the following ways:

1. Set up Google Analytics tracking for your website or app.
This will give you valuable insights into how users are interacting with your product and where they drop off.

2. Use a tool like Heap Analytics to track user behavior and conversions.
This can be particularly helpful in understanding which features of your product are driving engagement and sales.

3. Keep tabs on social media metrics such as reach, engagement, and sentiment.
This will give you an idea of how well your marketing campaigns are performing and how your brand is being perceived by the public.

4. Make use of A/B testing to compare different versions of your product and see which one performs better.
This is a great way to fine-tune your offering and make sure that you are always delivering the best possible experience to your users.

By tracking these performance KPIs and metrics regularly, you will get a clear picture of how your business is doing and where there is room for improvement. 

This information can then be used to make informed decisions about where to focus your efforts in order to drive growth and achieve success

How Dashboards Can Help You Track KPIs And Metrics

As a business owner or manager, you need to track KPIs (key performance indicators) and metrics to ensure that your company is on track. 

Dashboards can help you keep track of both KPIs and metrics. 

By displaying key data points on one screen, dashboards make it easy for you to see how your company is performing across multiple areas. 

This allows you to quickly identify areas that need improvement and makes it easier to take corrective action.

There are many different types of dashboards available, so it’s important to choose one that will meet your specific needs. 

If you’re not sure where to start, consider using a dashboard tool like Dotnet Report.

With DoNet’s report builder, users can export, view, list, and generate reports with ease.

You can learn how to get started with Dotnet Report within minutes. 

Best Practices For Identifying & Monitoring KPIs And Metrics

There are a few best practices for identifying and monitoring KPIs and metrics that can help organizations ensure that their data is accurate and actionable.

  • First, when identifying KPIs and metrics, it is important to involve all stakeholders in the process. This will ensure that the data collected is relevant to the needs of the organization.
  • Second, KPIs and metrics should be selected based on business objectives. This will help to ensure that the data collected is focused on achieving specific goals.
  • Third, KPIs and metrics should be monitored on a regular basis. This will help to identify any trends or changes in the data that could impact decision-making.
  • Finally, KPIs and metrics should be reviewed periodically to ensure that they are still relevant and actionable. This will help to keep the data collection process focused on meeting the changing needs of the organization.


Metrics and KPIs are two regularly used performance measurement tools that should be utilized by businesses to measure their progress toward predefined goals. 

It is important for businesses to understand the distinctions between metrics and KPIs in order to best achieve those objectives. 

By understanding these differences, companies can strategically manage their resources and ensure they are achieving their desired outcomes.


Are all metrics KPIs?

No, not all metrics are KPIs. A metric is a measure of something, while a KPI is a measure of performance against a specific goal. 

Many metrics can be useful for tracking progress toward a goal, but not all of them will be KPIs.

Are KPIs the Same as Metrics?

No, KPIs are not the same as metrics. Metrics are data points that measure progress or performance, while KPIs are specific, measurable goals that indicate whether or not you are meeting your objectives. 

While metrics can be helpful in tracking progress, they should not be used as a substitute for KPIs.

What are devops KPI Metrics?

Devops KPI Metrics

There are a number of metrics and KPIs for devops that can be used to measure the success of a DevOps initiative. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Lead time for changes: This measures the time it takes for code changes to be made, tested, and deployed to production.
  • Mean time to recover (MTTR): This measures the time it takes to fix production issues and get the system back up and running.
  • Change failure rate: This measures the percentage of changes that result in production issues.
  • Deployment frequency: This measures how often code changes are deployed to production.
  • Number of open bugs: This measures the number of outstanding bugs that have not been fixed.

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