Understanding Your Benchmarks on Demand Report

Information found in your report

APQC’s Benchmarks on Demand reports quickly show you the top, median, and bottom performer values for the measures you select within your chosen peer groups.

  1. Measure category – measures are grouped into categories based on the type of information they communicate: cost effectiveness, cycle time, process efficiency, staff productivity, or supplemental information
  2. Measure name – the name of the measure. An asterisk (*) at the end of the measure name indicates that the measure is a key performance indicator this process.
  3. Peer groups (industry, region, revenue, all companies) – the peer groups you selected are represented as columns in the output – one set of four columns for each peer group. The name of the peer group indicates the types of companies whose submissions are included in the sample. If the peer group is an industry peer group, only companies from that selected industry will appear in the peer group; they may be from any region or organization size. The columns that appear here depend on which peer groupings you selected when you generated the report. If a company that submitted data matches all three of the peer groups you selected, they will be counted in each of the sample sizes (N) for the peer groups.
  4. Sample size – this is the number of observations in the sample. In this example, there are XX observations of this measure in APQC’s database. All of these observations share the same criteria as defined by the peer group.
  5. Bottom, median, and top – these three columns represent the value of the observations for the bottom performer, the median, and the top performer in the sample. The numbers are adjusted for directionality – meaning that in some cases the “top performer” number will be less than the median, while in others it may be higher. Some of our measures are non-directional, meaning APQC does not assert a direct positive or negative linear relationship between the measure and performance. Non-directional measures have their values presented in ascending order.
  6. Alternative download formats – you can download alternative formats including PDF and Excel. Just click the link to download the format of your choosing.

Each time you run your report, you’re connecting to APQC’s Open Standards Research database to get the most current performance measure data. The dataset is updated nightly. This means that a report you run in the future may have different numbers than a report you run today. This is to be expected and reflects the dynamic nature of benchmarking.

Where does the data come from?

Performance metrics in your report come from APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking initiative. APQC started the Open Standards Benchmarking initiative in 2004 with support from a variety of partners around the world with the mission of providing the tools, processes, and data needed to simplify the benchmarking process for organizations around the world.

The Open Standards Benchmarking database contains performance observations from more than 12,000 survey submissions from companies around the world in all major industries. Individuals submitting their company’s information use the Process Classification Framework (PCF) and APQC’s Open Standards Glossary to ensure consistency of the information they provide. APQC analysts then use logical and statistical methods to validate each submission to ensure accuracy and “apples to apples” comparisons.

The Open Standards Benchmarking Database processes over 2,000 submissions each year. As time passes, benchmarking data changes. Be sure to check back frequently for the most recent benchmarking data.