All metrics are not created equal
In an Internet-driven, ROI-obsessed world there’s a natural tendency to keep one eye on the road and the other on the dashboard. So how can you be sure that the gauges you’re looking at are delivering the information you really need? Or that you’re even looking at the right gauge(s)?
For a metric to be useful it must reveal not just data but information you can synthesize into actionable knowledge. Consider the example of Twitter and what Megan Berry at Klout had to say about it. Is is applicable to your business? You might be surprised. Essentially, lots of people believe a big crowd of followers equates to big influence. The assumption being that a follower is a follower is a follower. So the name of the game is to grow the following, right? Turns out it’s not. It’s highly unlikely that all those people are in fact “following” you. And how many of them are all that influential to begin with? The 80-20 rule applies here and in some cases might be more like 95-5. The relevance to you is this: Trust, but verify. And keep verifying over time. You might be getting accurate data, but is it relevant given a changing competitive landscape and marketplace? Are you rewarding the right behavior and offering the right incentives? Are your metrics delivering the right readings?