The whole idea of tracking performance is exciting for me. Why? Because it means I get to use Excel and I love Excel! Whether I’m tracking my performance, another staff member’s performance or the performance of the business, the best way to do so is to use Microsoft Excel.

Why is it important to track performance? Well, if you don’t know how well someone is doing then how can you manage them. Or if you’re analyzing the performance of a business then you’ll need something to compare it too. It’s simply about creating a timeline which tells you where you were when you started, where you are now and how you got there. This kind of information is useful for your own personal performance, in meetings to show how well someone or something is doing, or you can even use it in an interview. Having a record of your performance handy at an interview will not only impress but will show you’re prepared, capable, willing to improve and have an impressive performance in your previous role. Providing you did well of course!

How should you capture this information? There are many different ways of which you can do this but personally Microsoft Excel provides you with the perfect platform to do so. You can create Area Charts, Line Charts, Scatter Charts, Pie Charts, the list goes on and if you’re not a fan of charts then you can simply list. I would encourage you to use a chart because they’re extremely simple, you enter the data and the charts are created for you.

Why create a chart? It’s simple, having a visual aid enables you to analyze a performance with just a quick glance meaning you spend less time trolling through information looking for a shortfall or spike in performance. The time spent creating a chart or graph will saving you time in the long run. And we all know time is money!

If used properly, the chart will be updated regularly ensuring any issues will be noticed very quickly. Being able to pick up on issues in their early stages means you’re able to react quicker resulting in minimizing any short fall or maximizing performance.

Just as an example; using a chart in a sales scenario you can compare the amount businesses you’ve contacted to the amount of business won. From this you’ll be able to calculate conversion rates, revenues, methods etc and all of this can be available to you just by inputting information into a spreadsheet.

So, how important is tracking performance? Very.

Matthew Jenkins