( Compare = standards ) Benchmarking refers to the comparative analysis of results or processes with a fixed reference or comparison process (of English. Benchmark).


Benchmarking is applied in many different areas with different methods and objectives:

  • Benchmarking in Business Management is a systematic and continuous process of comparing products, services and processes within the company and with the operations. Foreign companies in qualitatively and / or quantitatively,
  • Benchmark in the financial sector, the comparative review is for an investment performance ( often confused with " objective " ) based on prevailing application of the term. For stocks and bonds, respectively, a market-relevant index is used as a benchmark.
  • IT benchmarking also falls into the category of court settlement. It measures and compares economic ( non-technical ) aspects of an IT infrastructure.
  • Computer benchmarks, however, are for comparison of computational performance of computer systems. In most cases, software is used to measure the performance of different hardware systems and compare.
  • Process benchmarking compares the processes in the company when internal benchmarking, and the companies involved in external benchmarking, these analyzes and optimizes it then
  • Product benchmarking focuses on products and their attributes such as function, cost, USPs, etc. It is not important whether own and / or competitors' products are considered.
  • Technology Benchmarking compares technologies or processes to each other, for example, in manufacturing, in order to identify cost-effective or stable processes.

Benchmarking software

Analyzing benchmarks must be operated scientifically sound. Because to the importance of benchmarking results for an efficient and effective management, which is always driven figures in modern management companies. Special benchmarking software which was developed as a management tool, such as GOBENCH IQ, allows competition analyzes in real time. It is adapted to the corporate structure and products, collects data / information that already exist in the company and sends the correct decisions from it. Different ways of looking at the data material for product and process comparisons, cost considerations and potential savings to support a rapid decision-making process.

The three quality criteria for good indicators for benchmarking are: objectivity, validity, reliability. For these quality criteria of key figures from all the psychology in recent years has made ​​vital contributions that are respected in the business administration. But often can decide only on the basis of experience and intuition professionals because of the complexity of the subject benchmarking. Benchmarking software can be used in large corporations that require a central network of all data around the world, but also in medium-sized companies, want the decision support for market and product strategies even without your own Benchmarking-Abteilung/Experten.

Three approaches are distinguished scientific benchmarking essentially, from which can be derived essential criteria for a software application:

  • Partial benchmarking methods; Here key figures and / or performance indicators are juxtaposed and compared. Effect relationships are not yet taken into account here. In practice still prevail such trivial benchmarking approaches. The software application is usually limited to simple reporting, for which there are now countless software solutions both as offline as well as IP - based online solutions. Interesting here is to mention the Google approach to provide reliable Excel solutions via Google Docs online.
  • Multidimensional benchmarking methods; here are mainly the parametric and non- parametric Frontier and average approaches mentioned. With these approaches, an effect analysis is desired. Interesting and the future appears in front of all the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA ) for which there is also special software. Even for the professional user has Excel, especially if the VBA programmability is used entirely sufficient opportunities to perform even the most complex benchmarking analysis. About quite easily programmable ETL processes, most existing ERP systems can be supplemented accordingly.
  • Data Mining; a very young branch of science is the application of data mining methods for benchmarking. Click here for a about generating meaningful benchmarking metrics capable, in particular through the external benchmarking and procurement of key figures from outside the company undergoes enormous enrichments. Secondly, the data mining also offers excellent opportunities to draw from the often rich data resources in the companies new insights for management, in particular the process optimization. Data mining software is a standalone software area that is not covered by current ERP systems. Companies are well advised to supporting universities and colleges to use, usually also have the necessary computer capacity.


The word benchmark is a composite of the two English terms bench ( " (school) Bank") and mark ( " mark "). Mark in turn is based on the German word mark, which is borrowed from the French marque ( " characteristic, trademark "). Actually referred to benchmark a trig point and the mark on this or Nivellierzeichen in surveying.

Even today, trigonometric points with a brass plate with the letters OSBM ( Ordnance Survey Bench Mark, roughly, " marking the official National Survey " ) are the largest part of the United Kingdom provided.