Benchmarking Graphics

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Tonnis van Dam
Business Consultant, Netherlands

Benchmarking Graphics

Performing a benchmark basically means comparing your organization with other organizations and acting on the difference.
What graphics do you prefer to do the comparison?
In industry benchmarking or competitor analysis I prefer the median diagram or extended box plot diagram. This is a diagram in which you see your own performance, the average of the group organizations you are comparing with and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quartiles of that group. It could also include highest and lowest and 10th and 90st percentile.
I prefer the one without the highest and lowest, because both could be due to very specific circumstances.
This results in the following diagram (in text):
10% 25% 50% (median) 75% 90% combined with average and your own performance.
In an instant you see if you are performing worse than median and average (then you have a real challenge), or worse than median, but better than average (then you have a challenge) or better than median and average (then you still have a challenge, but you are on the right side of the group performances and you are one of the better performing organizations, but you could still learn a lot and have a large improvement potential.
That is what's most visible in the median diagram: your improvement potential.
What graphs do you prefer to see in a benchmark report... Why?

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