Peer benchmarking software is a category of software and applications designed to provide organizations with a secure, compliant platform on which to report performance against key metrics and analyze that performance relative to similar organizations.
Remember back to elementary school, when your teachers awarded stickers on a named board and tallied the results each week? Unknown to you or your teachers, every time you looked at that board you were using a form of peer benchmarking.
Peer benchmarking software is a subset of software technology with similar design and intent – they are a way for organizations in a particular sector, industry, region, or association to gain insights from how their performance in key areas varies from the rest of the group.
What makes peer benchmarking software different from other applications?
Peer benchmarking software should always deliver insights to members that they could not gain from within their own organization
Good benchmarking software is built around delivering secure and anonymous insights, powered by collected or reported data. Its primary focus is on providing group-level insights while maintaining a compliant and secure area for individual organizations to analyze their own data. The best benchmarking software maintains individual member anonymity without degrading the significance of the aggregated benchmarks.
Peer benchmarking software should always deliver insights to members that they could not gain from within their own organization, and it should be delivered through an independently-hosted solution so that there’s no risk of compromising member anonymity.
What are the most important features of peer benchmarking software?
Peer benchmarking software is best when purpose-built containing critical features around:
- Compliance, Security and Anonymity
- Data Delivery, Transformation and Quality
- Visualization of Resulting Trends and Insights
- Administrator User Management Controls
- Onboarding and Customer Success
The features needed in benchmarking software must provide users confidence and security, normalized data standards to enable benchmarking of data, clear visualizations so that the average user can instantly understand how they performed, easy-to-use controls so group administrators can add users as needed and an overall sense of customer success, realizing that benchmarking software will be viewed as a “product” by its users and, like all software, must have critical onboarding built in.
Can I use PowerBI or Tableau as Peer Benchmarking Software?
PowerBI and Tableau are two of the most popular data visualization tools available in the market, and they are employed by many companies and organizations to monitor metrics and KPIs. However, they lack many of the security and compliance features that are a staple of good benchmarking platforms. They also require significantly higher commitments to design and build them as a platform. And that’s before you get into the intricacies of hosting and storing high-compliance data, which is another reason to use dedicated peer benchmarking software.
Can I just use a standard survey tool for Peer Benchmarking Software?
Great peer benchmarking software is also designed for the participant, not just the surveyor.
Online survey tools like Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey are designed to make it easy to create questions, distribute them, and get responses back from a sample group. Where they often fall far behind true peer benchmarking software is in the storage and distribution of the resulting insights to those who submitted the survey responses.
Great peer benchmarking software is also designed for the participant, not just the surveyor. Peer benchmarking software must provide insights and feedback by directly comparing participant inputs against the group benchmarks. By building the platform and hosting the data, a good benchmarking application takes all of the work out of distributing the insights.
Common features of ideal peer benchmarking software includes:
- user management
- data normalization / use of standardized taxonomies
- data security
- federal compliance
- easily-understood performance visualization