I've become a <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2554061/security0/measuring-the-value-of-metrics.html">big fan of metrics</a>. I wasn't always, but throughout my career in information security, I've had bosses who have challenged me on metrics, and I have honed my skills so that now I feel the metrics I collect meet the "SMART" test: specific, meaningful, actionable, repeatable and time-dependent.
Funny thing about the word "and." You would think it would function as a connector, a word that implies the togetherness of two entities, like "stars and stripes" or "franks and beans." Yet the phrase "IT and the business" does not work that way. Rather, it connotes separateness and difference, creating an "us and them" perception that belies the actual embedded condition of IT.
CRM systems are almost always used for lead, contact and deal management. Sales and marketing put data into the system so that pipeline formation and deal flow can be seen and worked in a systematic way. Many companies also use CRM for customer service, which uses calls and cases as the core workflow. Once your company gets a decent proportion of the customer interactions in the system, you can easily produce reports and dashboards that allow management to see more about the business, spotting bottlenecks or other problems in your operation. Consequently, most companies use data from the CRM system to set standard performance levels for the sales, marketing, and customer service organisations, measuring them against quotas by month or quarter.
With the scope and amount of data in modern CRM systems, it's easy to ask for reports and get nice-looking dashboards, and get them in short order. Unfortunately, you could ask for lots of meaningless data on these dashboards, and subordinates aren't likely to say no to your requests. How do you avoid the trap of reports that practically beg the users to game the system?