The success of an airline KPI dashboard stands and falls with the right KPIs — and following the right rules.

Indeed, there are many other factors I’m not getting tired of mentioning. Perfect visualization, seamless integration, or mobile usage are just a few aspects in this context.

Nonetheless, without the right KPIs, your dashboard project is definitely going to fail. Remember: Content always wins. Now the logical question one can ask is, “what are the right KPIs?”

So, bad news first: I can’t provide you with the exact set of airline operations KPIs you’d probably need. This is related to many factors. Your airline’s business model, corporate goals, and many others.

However, I can provide an essential rule to structure your KPI dashboard in the right way. A practice that combines overall benchmark KPIs, dedicated performance KPIs, and even leaves space for trying new things.

How Has This KPI Rule Evolved?

We’ve set up so many dashboard during the last years. And every time we went down this road with our product we were confronted with the question “how to compose the dashboard.”

Certainly, the client always has requirement. Nonetheless, most often is is/was up to us to suggest additional KPIs and the composition. That’s why we regularly sat together, brainstormed, and defined dashboard frameworks. The dashboard rule I’m going to introduce to you is probably the most essential rule in terms of the framework.

60-30-10 The Most Essential Airline KPI Rule

So what’s the idea behind the 60-30-10 rule? With 60-30-10, we suggest combining three types of KPIs with your dashboard or KPI app.

Evergreen KPIs — 60%

Evergreen KPIs are the ones that have been relevant for decades and will be relevant in the future. Pretty sure, you know each of them. Here are a few examples:

  • Departure Punctuality
  • Arrival Punctuality
  • Regularity
  • Seat Load Factor
  • Number of Passengers
  • Number of Flights
  • MisConnex Ratio
  • Etc.

Evergreen KPIs are vital. Most airliners understand them easily. And since they are kind of standard, they help to compare or benchmark your operations with other airlines.

Of course, you can also have Evergreen KPIs that are relevant to your airline only. Probably a specific KPI you set up years ago that became an integral part of monitoring your operations.

Therefore, you should dedicate roughly 60% of your KPIs on your dashboard to evergreen KPIs.

Dynamic KPIs — 30%

Dynamic KPIs are entirely different from Evergreen KPIs. These types of KPIs are only relevant for a specific period and can change frequently. Although many airlines still haven’t discovered the huge potential of dynamic KPIs I’m not getting tired of promoting the powerful tool.

Usually, there are two sorts of dynamic KPIs. 

The first one is related to a specific period. For example, KPIs that are only relevant in winter (e. g. de-icing time, or de-icing pads) or especially during the summer peak.

The other sort helps to track specific (short-term) corporate or project goals. Accordingly, once the project is completed, the KPI is no longer of essential relevance.

Dynamic KPIs should account for approximately 30% of your KPIs. Worth to mention, that it is, of course, essential to keep these KPIs dynamic. That means exchanging them from time to time.

Test KPIs — 10%

A small amount of 10% of your KPIs should be dedicated to testing new things. This is basically your playground. Try new KPIs, new concepts, new ideas, and visualizations.

I always like to call this part the innovation lab. Things can and should go wrong here. Not every KPI you test will be a future cornerstone of your operations.

Accordingly, it is important to gather feedback from users and stakeholders continuously. Is a new KPI providing value? Does it help to improve? What’s positive and what’s negative?

And in case a new KPIs turns out to support the staff, you can use it as dynamic or even Evergreen KPI.

What Do You Think?

Always happy to receive your feedback and thoughts. Just hit me up on Twitter or get in touch on LinkedIn.


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Benjamin is an aviation-enthusiast, a content-maniac, and CEO of Information Design (in this order). His daily business revolves around pioneering solutions with the aim to change the aviation industry. His visions are based on expertise gained in more than 15 years in the industry, and working with renowned airlines such as Lufthansa, Emirates, Air India, Aegean Airlines, Saudia Airlines, S7, Icelandair and many others.