Utilizing KPIs for Performance Management in Academic Research

Universities shoulder an important responsibility of producing a society with scholastic records. This calls for leaving no stone unturned in efforts of coming up with outcomes that include people with unconventional thinking. Such results can be realized only if they possess equipments with cutting-edge technology.

But, the access to this domain of 'Research' remains restricted as it asks for a tremendous amount of investment and that too without the surety that it will prove to be a magic wand. However, there is still a way out of this dilemma; it being 'KPI'. By setting such indicators that help in knowing whether the proceedings will be fruitful or not is like 'predicting the future'.

KPIs in this regard can be arranged under four major perspectives- financial, research performance, operational and learning and growth. Financial perspective comprises of KPIs such as % of research quantum received from government, research income per academic staff FTE, etc. Research performance perspective includes KPIs like number of international research publications, number of research grants sanctioned, number of national research publications, etc. Operational perspective consists of KPIs like research output of research assessment exercise (RAE), number of higher degree by research completions per 10 research staff FTE, etc. KPIs such as percentage increase in student involvement, number of feedbacks, number of research initiatives, etc are included in learning and growth perspective.

Among the umpteen challenges standing in the way of these research institutes to empower them, the immediate one is to arrange for and utilize the funds. At times, incredible amounts of moolahs have to be put in. Government aided programs are a respite in this sense. The next is the high quality service they are expected to deliver to students. Another addition to the list is the requirement for recruiting and retaining equally competent professors. Creating conditions of continuous learning is yet another hurdle in the way. By using KPIs, it is possible to manage the core responsibility of the institutes along with the ancillary ones.

KPIs help in setting and achieving world class standards in performances, thereby leading to a win-win situation for the people associated with it. This acts as a way of filtering 'what works' from 'what does not'. By shaping the organizational culture in a KPI oriented way, the problem of managing and maintaining 'performance' is sorted out. This will further render help in having optimum utilization of resources, providing desired levels of education and auxiliary services to the students and professors. All this culminates in the form of ground-breaking discoveries, inventions and highly capable scholars.

To sum it up, area of Research has low tolerance for errors; so a foolproof tool for performance management is desired. KPIs do this task efficiently. A BSC, well structured and customized enough to reflect the internal and external factors that have a bearing on the movements is all that is needed to track the performance and ensure success of the project. So, the pre-requisite is to analyze the situation from every possible angle and formulate measures along with the target values to be achieved. Once this task is done, organization can proceed with it, with minor changes being introduced into it.

How does KPI library work?

1. Find KPIs that you need - use search or browse appropriate categories.

2. Read description carefully to find out if these KPIs are what you need.

3. Download trial version for free to get an idea about what is inside.

4. Buy the full version to have KPIs in Excel with formulas and BSC file.

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Software that will help you to manager your KPIS

Balanced Scorecard Designer (BSC Designer) is a tool that supports building a Balanced Scorecard system for a company, department or for a sole person. This program helps to build a Balanced Score Card system and provide business alignment.

BSC Designer helps to measure and control business performance using Scorecard and KPI tools.

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