The top KPI measurement tools

KPIs (key performance indicators) enable businesses to track, understand and react to essential business issues. 

Setting KPIs is not enough. It’s important to measure KPIs and there are a range of tools available. 

Choosing the right tool for the company and the user is an important decision. That’s why we have taken some of the leading analytics tools on the web and evaluated them based on their personal strengths and weaknesses and how they perform as part of the bigger picture when it comes to measuring KPIs.


Free (Premium version  available, POA)
·      It’s the market leader.
·      Array of tools to measure all KPIs in relation to website.
·      Easy segmentation.

·      Limitations in terms of adding external KPIs (e.g. email).
·      Tracking is slow, not in real time.
·      No onsite help for users to interpret and action data.

Free to £1,200
·      Real time tracking.
·      Event Tracking.
·      Retention Tracking.
·      Funnel data is often inaccurate and unreliable.
·      Not best tool for tracking site traffic.

£13 (1 user) to £580 (50 users)
·      Third Party Widgets allow tracking of all online presence, not just website.
·      Real time tracking
·      Visual interface makes it easy to see and understand stats.
·      Can be pricey depending on how many users are needed.

£97 to £323
·      The best tool on the market for funnels.
·      Visual user friendly interface is helpful for beginners.
·      Integrates with CRM, email, etc.
·      Data offered is visitor-focused rather than broad stats.

·      No measurement of retention.
·      No real time tracking.
·      Not great at analysing site traffic.
Google Analytics
The ‘market leader’ of the analytics world, Google Analytics is mainly a free tool that is useful in terms of measuring KPIs and website traffic.
The main strength in terms of measuring KPIs is the Goals feature. This allows you to track pre-determined events, such as a website visitor reaching a specific landing page like a contact page or email subscription, or for ecommerce sites that Goal could be reaching the final page of the checkout process. Whatever the individual Goals, the tracking method is the same. You set these Goals in analytics and you measure the amount of visitors reaching these Goals and the average time taken to reach them. 

The main downfall of the Goals function is that it is limited to website data only. As the website is just one aspect of the business’s overall online presence, it means you have to use separate tools to track other KPIs such as email marketing success, etc. 

This relatively new tool is on the surface a great event tracking tool, with a heavy focus on user engagement and behaviour analysis, and great features such as retention tracking and real-time data.
The retention tracking is not unique to MixPanel and can be done in Google Analytics, however for users who don’t have the time or knowledge to extract this information, MixPanel offers an easily understandable retention tracking screen with various options. 

Another useful feature of MixPanel is that the data is provided in real time, allowing you to monitor and react quicker to key changes. 

The major downfall of the tool, however is that its funnels when compared with those on KISSmetrics and Google Analytics seem to be less accurate.  This could be user error, but it didn’t work for us.

One of the best all round tracking tools on the market, Geckoboard uniquely uses widgets from third party services which integrate and track KPIs from anywhere in your sales and marketing presence; from website and social media through to email marketing and even SMS and mobile campaigns.
This tracking is all in real time. It’s set out in the one of the best visual formats of any of the KPI measurement tools on the market, allowing you to quickly identify and act upon any changes. 

The main downfall is the cost, as the more users needed the higher the cost rises, especially when compared with free tools such as Google analytics, although there are several varying price steps to accommodate all business budgets and needs. 

When it comes to funnels, KISSmetrics is the market leader. It has the most accurate funnels available, a vitally important feature if you rely heavily upon funnels, and the process of creating and analysing these is the most user friendly, ideal for new start-ups or those who aren’t confident with analytics software and features. 

Although it can’t quite match the broad scope of Geckoboard, it is still a very well rounded tool, allowing integration of CRM, email marketing, etc. so that all KPIs can be monitored in one place and in a simple, easy to navigate and comprehensible format. 

Main pitfalls of the tool are the lack of real-time data, a feature growing in popularity among modern marketers when it comes to measuring KPIs, and the restrictions on retention and site traffic measurement, which can lead to the need to straddle several tools in order to get all the information required. 

Have you used any of these tools, or any others for measuring KPIs? Which ones would you recommend? Tweet me @annmariehanlon, and share with me your own thoughts on these tools and others! Like this story? Please do share it!

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