10 May 2012

What Do You REALLY Want to Know?

Data, data everywhere - but what does it MEAN?

We can measure a lot of stuff - opens and clicks and visits and time on page and community engagement scores and number of members and average tenure and number of attendees and satisfaction scores and followers and fans and shares and who's talking about this and reach and RTs and responses, ad infinitum ad nauseum.

In fact, we can measure just about everything at this point, if we're dedicated and have reasonable tech systems. So we drown in data, inundate decision makers, and produce analysis paralysis. 

We lose sight of why we were tracking all this stuff in the first place: to make an impact. To drive decisions. To change our behavior and our organizations.

So the next time someone says, "Let's start tracking this new metric!" make sure to ask why. Why do you want to track this? What are you looking to accomplish? What are you trying to decide? What impact with the data have on our organization? How will what you discover change your behavior?

Remember, the flip side of "you can't change what you don't measure" is "measure what you value, or you'll only value what you measure."

2 comments:

Jeffrey Cufaude said...

So I can ignore my Klout score, right? :)

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE said...

HELLZ yes - I do :)

(then again, I might be the "cautionary tale" in this scenario)