Measuring the rights things!

Jack Vinson on his blog Knowledge Jolt references a very interesting article called "The problem with metrics" in this blog post the author who is a numbers guy (I'm not sure I should admit to being a numbers guy but I probably am) looks at well...the problems with metrics..

Now we all know that there are problems with collecting metrics or statistics so is was refreshing to read a concise article on the problems with metrics and to some degree how to resolve them. Here they are:

  • Don’t mistake metrics for what we’re actually trying to measure: metrics are proxies – especially if we are trying to measure something abstract like innovation, or the quality of universities. So don’t get too hung up on your metrics – concentrate on your overall goal.
  • Align metrics with strategy: no one really wants twitter followers. You want something else – influence, or interaction, or something that one way or another actually does you some good. The interim steps are important, but don’t only measure these. You also need to figure out a way to measure the outcomes of your strategy.
  • Use multiple measures of success: this follows from the first two points. Most of the things that we really care about are hard to actually measure. If we are going to try, we need to use multiple measures so that we can triangulate on our desired objectives.