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Benchmarking Is About Relevance and Action

I’m lucky. I get to work with organizations using benchmarking data and best practices to improve. This also affords me the opportunity to talk to individuals just starting their benchmarking journey. Those that are successful, and see improvement, are those that take benchmarking data and information for what it is and ACT on it. Those that don’t move forward get stuck in details.

Finding good data isn’t hard

Ten years ago, my conversations (especially around benchmarking data) focused on issues like security, confidentiality, validity, and reliability of data. That problem has been solved. If you don’t have a provider of benchmarking data and information that can satisfy your requirements around these issues within the first 10 minutes of a conversation, find another provider. There are some good ones out there.

Determining relevance is the key

Now conversations (rightfully so) are about the relevance of the data and information. Understanding the attributes of the dataset or information and being able to extrapolate that to your situation is the key to success. I’ll save you the trouble now; there is not a dataset out there that represents companies that are EXACTLY like you, not even your industry peers.

Successful companies act

The use of the benchmarking data and information we provide our members continues to increase. Here are just a few tidbits to show that there are organizations looking at benchmarking data and information, understanding its relevance, and making decisions to move forward and improve.

  • Over 12,000 submissions into APQC’s Open Standards Benchmarking service where users get a comparative report in return for submitting their metric-based process data.
  • More than 10,000 unique views of best-practice content from APQC’s Knowledge Base each month by APQC member organizations.

Clearly, there are organizations interested in using benchmarking data and information to improve their performance. They’ve found relevance in the data and information and are moving forward. Are you standing still there?