How many metrics are on you dashboard? 10? 30? 60? 100?
How many do you actually look at on a regular basis?
How do you use that information? If a metric goes up or down, how does that guide a specific action?
In other words, what actionable insight does this data provide? The main problem is, data’s good at telling you what your customers are doing, but not WHY they’re doing it.
A recent Ad Age article, Move From Metrics Overload to Actionable Insights (paid subscription required), takes a look at this problem:
According to a 2006 study by the Association of National Advertisers and Marketing Management Analytics, 58% of companies surveyed have formal marketing accountability programs, but only 28% report being satisfied with their ability to use ROI metrics to take action. Often, companies are swept up in the “metrics mania” without any way to tie insights to business results.
It is not uncommon, for example, to see organizations with more than 40 metrics on their dashboards. Addicted to metrics, these marketers create new metrics every time they initiate a program. Ask them why they are capturing these metrics, and they can’t tell you. Not only that, but the metrics captured aren’t even relevant to the business. And they can’t be acted upon.
What metrics do you look at on a regular basis? What acitonable insight does this data give you? What if you only had one report? What would you choose?
P.S. This is one of Jeffrey‘s pet peeves. He says that if you can’t determine what impact a metric has on one of the three financial statements, it’s probably not worth measuring.