5 Ways to use index results

July 31, 2023
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Index reports are an essential tool to not only measure social and economic conditions but also to assess the state of various markets and industries. In other words, an index can help measure performance and gain insights in various areas such as assessing a country’s economy or the health of a particular sector or industry or analyzing the stock market.  

Nevertheless, knowing how to interpret and utilise the results of an index is also important.

The following section explores five ways to use the results of an index:

1. Identify trends and pattern

Indices have often been used to decipher emerging trends and patterns over time. By analysing the data in the index, we can track how a particular country, region, sector, or asset has performed in due course of time whether it is in days, months or years. These trends help guide key decisions in policy making, governance, and even business strategy.

A report on the Global Cybersecurity Index would identify key trends in cybersecurity that impact economies across the world. It examines important pillars such as legal and technical measures, organizational measures, capacity development, and cooperation. Such a report also increases awareness and helps organizations and countries mitigate possible cyber threats and risks. Deciphering trends and patterns is an important step in making informed decisions.

2. Enable informed decision making

The results of an index play a critical role in driving important decisions.Index reports can be the means of communicating performance results to key stakeholders and decision-makers and the public at large.

Valuable insights are driven by analyses and the performance of carefully selected indicators. These insights can determine new initiatives to improve performance or even guide investment decisions.

In the East of Doing Business report, for example, if a particular country showcased low scores in specific pillars such as regulation, we would know which area needs to be addressed by the governing bodies to help create a more enabling environment for businesses. Similarly, companies and organizations would also be aware of what prominent obstacles they may or may not encounter in a particular region.

3. Evaluate performance

Another way to use indices is to evaluate performance on many aspects and multiple levels, highlighting key areas of strength and weakness. Assessments can be carried out across important pillars of development and economic growth for a comprehensive and inclusive evaluation.

The Social Progress Index examines the ability of governments to meet the needs of the citizens. It aims to reconcile both economic and social progress for a holistic evaluation. The report evaluates countries based on their absolute performance as well as relative performance compared to their peer economies, and the results place all the countries on various levels of advancement. Upon evaluating performance, countries can also be effectively benchmarked.

4. Benchmark performance and best practices

One of the most renowned features of an index is its benchmarking capacity. Indices can examine and benchmark countries and highlight best practices to set examples for peer learning. Countries or businesses alike can learn how they measure up to their peers and gauge whether they are underperforming or over performing.

In the Global Innovation Index, countries that appear to deliver the best innovation practice are termed “innovation leaders”. They benchmark best practices that offer learnings to their peers that have not gained high scores and promote healthy competition among countries.  

5. Monitor progress and track results

Since an index has the ability to provide a clear and concise measure of performance, a set of indicators or metrics can be used to monitor progress and track results.

Specific indicators, metrics or areas can be monitored to check their progress over time or measure their resilience in the aftermath of an event. For instance, economic progress and recovery can also be tracked with the help of an index.

The COVID Economic Recovery Index assessed how countries across the globe were set up to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and its impact on their economy. Countries were evaluated on their absorption capacity, economic resilience, and health resilience to monitor their progress. The report helps people understand the impact of an event they had never encountered before, enabling them to make more informed decisions and creating awareness.  

In conclusion, an index can help us derive valuable insights in multiple areas by providing a consistent and standardized method to measure performance.It can help ensure that we make data-driven, informed decisions and make concerted efforts to achieve the desired outcome and make progress towards established goals.

If you need help in building an index or would like to know how to improve on it, get in touch.

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