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Planning and Strategy

5 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to Measure DAM Success

Ben Owen

By Ben Owen | Jul 06, 2022

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How do the coaches and general manager of a sports team go about making the team better? Among other things, they study different kinds of statistics and performance metrics. Performance metrics allow coaches to hold individual players accountable for improving areas where they are deficient. They also inform them what skills their team needs to practice. In addition, they enable the team’s general manager to learn where the team needs improvement. For example, if the team is fantastic on offense but its defensive numbers aren’t great, they can seek to add a player to the team who is strong on defense.

Statistics and performance metrics play an integral role in effectively managing any system, whether it's a sports team or a digital asset management (DAM) program. However, not all measurements are equal. The world is full of “vanity” statistics, or those that look great on paper but offer very little actionable information. Just like a good coach who wants to get the most out of their players and practices, you must identify metrics that provide real value to your organization. These statistics are often called key performance indicators, or KPIs. KPIs are different in each industry and situation, but identifying and tracking them effectively will revolutionize the way you manage and govern your DAM system.

Just as in sports, statistics and performance metrics can’t capture everything you need to know, but they can provide valuable information your team can reference quickly. In addition to KPIs, you must also develop relationships with DAM stakeholders and end-users, SMAART goals, and documented standards and workflows in order for your DAM system to be effective.

Identifying and Measuring Key Performance Indicator

How do you differentiate key performance indicators from “vanity” metrics? To start, look at your goals. The goals you’ve created for your DAM system should be measurable and time-sensitive, with clear parameters for success. Given that, what statistics allow you to easily determine if you're on the right track or not? Which help identify problems or the reasons you’re successful?

There is another important factor to consider when identifying KPIs. Your metrics may line up with your goals and help diagnose problems, but if you can't evaluate and visualize them, they won't be useful. KPIs must be measurable and easy to read and understand. They should be organized into dashboards that can be used by your team as well as for presentations to other teams and management. Dashboards allow you to both clearly communicate your needs to manage and hold your team accountable for making needed improvements. To make visualization easier, set a target or range for each KPI that defines its success. If your metric lands in that range, make it green!

Example of Developing a Key Performance Indicator

Suppose your business goal is to cut the length of your organization’s sales cycle in half by the end of June. You’ll need to know the average time clients spend in the sales cycle to determine whether or not you are on track, diagnose problems, and communicate actionable insights to your team. What is the best way to do this?

First, leverage the tools already at your disposal. Most customer relationship management (CRM) systems have reporting capabilities. Check whether yours has data your team can easily use to develop key performance indicators for your sales cycle. For example, let’s assume your CRM tool has data on the number of days that each of your clients is in each stage of your sales cycle. After accumulating the data for your last three clients, whether through a script or manually, your chart looks like this:

Besides using a chart, you can also visualize your data by graphing it. Graphs make it simple to understand numbers and diagnose causes of statistics outside your optimal range. Below, we’ve provided a graph of the above data so you can compare it to the chart.

By reviewing the graph, your team can quickly see that Step 2 in the sales process is the best place to start shortening the sales cycle. You can then determine what happens in that step and how to improve your processes. Once your data is visualized and understandable, decide how often you want to update and review it. Regularly review your statistics and compare them to one another to ensure your goal is on track!

5 Key Performance Indicators for DAM

When it comes to digital asset management, there are a few key performance indicators that apply to most industries and tend to provide valuable insights. Below, we provide information on five of these important KPIs for DAM.

1. Popular Downloads and Tags

One of the key things to identify when managing digital assets is your most valuable assets. A small group of assets, or particular asset types, often holds a significant percentage of the total value in a library. Track what assets are downloaded by whom to find this “priority” group. This will help you know what kinds of assets to continue to produce and which to stop creating. Additionally, monitor which metadata tags are the most searched for and applied in your library. This offers even more details about what shoots, time periods, and uses your popular assets are related to.

2. Searches without Results

If one of the goals of your organization is to reduce the amount of time it takes to locate a specific asset, track how many keyword searches produce zero results. This statistic allows your team to monitor your progress over time in achieving that goal. It also helps your team diagnose problems. If search time is high, but results are low, perhaps your folder structure is complicated and employees have a hard time navigating it. If both search time and results are high, you may need to invest in tagging some of your assets with metadata or standardize your organization’s controlled vocabulary to make it easier to find particular assets.

3. Assets without Metadata

Adding metadata keywords to your assets in a standardized way can make a huge difference in the searchability of your library. Throughout this effort, track the number of assets without metadata in your DAM system. Hopefully, the number will decrease and stay low. However, if the number rises following your initial round of tagging, you may need to hold your creators or uploaders more accountable for tagging assets as they’re moved into your library.

4. Most shared Assets

Many organizations have external partners, vendors, and clients they share assets with. If this is your situation, track the assets you share with these external parties. This information allows you to identify what kinds of assets are most important to your partners and clients so you can focus on creating the most valuable kinds of content for them.

5. Monthly, Weekly, or Daily Asset Requests

Along with tracking which assets are downloaded and shared most, it’s beneficial to know how often assets are requested and by whom. With this information, you’ll know what groups within your organization use which assets. You can then tune your system and standards to meet the needs of your end-users more effectively.


Every organization is different and has some unique key performance indicators. Take the time when developing your goals and objectives to decide how they’ll be tracked and visualized, how regularly you'll pull statistics, and from where. If you need help in this process, contact Stacks today!

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