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Summer Success Series Part 2: More Metrics Not More Magic

A short sharp and effective metrics overview to dispel performance myths.

Enjoying some family time on vacation

Enjoying some family time on vacation

The second short publication in our summer success series. The purpose of this series is to provide some short but impactful insights on each subject. Today we cover metrics for your performance. It will be possible to read this with a few breaks, so you can put on some more sun tan lotion, take a dip in the pool and take a job with some fresh air in between. Don’t forget to bookmark the read and pop back later if you are caught between flights and no wifi!

Making metrics great again.

There is no question that data visualization and the realization of big data insights are helping make data great again. We read so much about fancy analytics software, the latest trends in machine learning algorithms and remain almost blinded by the advances in artificial intelligence. But what about metrics? Yes, the front line of basic data. The most we have seen for a while is nicer dashboards and real-time overviews of key performance indicators and financial results. So, is there something else missing within this world of data that could be overlooked?

According to the business directory.com definition, metrics are “standards of measurement by which efficiency, performance, progress or quality of a plan, process or product can be assessed”. Yet this more sexy definition is not the one we see applied to metrics within a business context behind the doors of “corporatopia”. No, in there, the word “metrics” is seen as stuffy and old-fashioned as a top hat and not as sexy as “analytics”.

If you do not know what you are looking at, data viz will just appear like art!

If you do not know what you are looking at, data viz will just appear like art!

So, is metrics just gaining bad press? Well, yes and no. I see it at a deeper level of concern. Metrics has never been fully applied by most companies and instead it has been replaced and outsold by the term analytics. I see the same calculations, the same information, the same presentation but under a different brand name. It is here we have a danger.

For metrics to become great again, we need to lift the skills and understanding of the users and readers of the data. In short, we need to boost the skills in statistics and operational models so managers and leaders can use metrics for what they have always been designed for. Solid performance improvement and insightful understanding of the business and its market environment.

A splash of social media chatter 

Why waste time looking at tacky garden gnomes to buy for your garden that you will hate in 3 months time, instead, take a look at these 5 social media accounts to keep an eye on the latest chatter for metrics news and ideas.

JAMSO_Resources on Twitter

Similar to our original JAMSO twitter account but with a tighter focus on our own published and shared information.

JAMSO on Pinterest

A board dedicated to key performance indicators and metrics with over 171+ links, free resources, and infographics including tactics and strategy ideas plus and case studies.

Vision Edge Marketing on Twitter

We see Vision Edge Marketing as the most definitive marketing focused accountable metrics service on social media. Take a look and make up your own mind.

Responsible Metrics on Twitter

Shares the voice with a principle focus on debating responsible uses of metrics in higher education and research.  

World Economic Forum on Twitter

The international organization for public-private cooperation. They publish research, insight, and analysis on the global issue.

Four top Slideshare picks for your summer post-picnic relaxation

Here is a list of JAMSO decks on Slideshare that provide some direct insights, tips and takeaways for metrics improvements. Feel free to use this as your excuse to avoid talking to an annoying person during your summer BBQ!

Extra bonus tip: If you prefer to listen to podcasts then list to the Data Stories podcast hosted by Enrico Bertini and Moritz Stefaner. Here is a mix of discussions and interviews on the theme of data metrics being used within data visualization.  

Extra summer metrics instead of martinis

During your summer vacation, enjoy the fresh breeze on one of your evenings. Use the time to not drink another Martini but to reflect on some of your personal and business metrics. Just what exactly are you measuring at work or in life? Take the time to discover ways to ensure you measure improvements, progress and have a robust method of doing so. Consider some improvements through measurement to boost productivity through efficiencies at every level of the business. Just consider, a 12 minute per day saving of time is a one hour per week productivity booster. So, the little details do matter. Indeed over time, they add up to considerable opportunities.

Grab a piece of paper or create some notes on a mobile device right now on your answers to these steps to boost metrics within your life and business.

  1. What is not being measured consistently that impacts results and performance.
  2. How are you sure the current measures have the correct accuracy, scale, and frequency of measure?
  3. Create a deadline to improve some graphing, Excel and statistics skills.
  4. Specify a plan and specific action to improve at least 3 areas in life and business.
  5. Identify how you will become accountable for these areas.
  6. Create a rapid feedback system for improvement.
  7. Deploy, monitor and improve.

Extra points of consideration: Your priority may not be the same as another. So be prepared to negotiate, listen and debate your case as to why your specific metric area is important. Beware of the use of over complex analytics or too data heavy Excel files. Create the right tools and balance for positive results and ease of use.

Congratulations you are now on the way to being part of this revolution in making metrics great again.

This series of posts will be in a variety of formats, depth and subject matters. We make it clear in each article header the main theme to make it easier for you to select the most appropriate and interesting read for your day.

Photos of vacation time

Photos of vacation time

Drop us a comment and feel free to upload a video or photos where you have read this article. Over time, we expect some to read this series outside of the summer season, so just post any image regardless of the season.

Once you return from your vacation feel free to contact us to see how we can help you specifically to lift the performance of your organization.

Bonus Extra Read: Well done for reading all this so far. As an extra reward, take a look at this article we wrote to help solve your post-vacation blues and lift your productivity.

Metrics is not a magical formula or a fluffy packaged tool to be sold to the highest bidder. We see it has been over sold and dressed up then used in many various forms for a few decades. The most impactful success with business or personal metrics comes typically in two phases.

Phase 1: Realisation that something needs to change.

Phase 2: Attaining the skills and desire to improve based on findings.

These phases can stop a leader or business from reaching their full potential. If you are at risk of stopping to make progress then reach out for best practice help so you can reap the rewards metrics has to offer.