Archive for the 'definitions' Category

What measuring Olympic athletic performance can teach business

How should one measure the performance of countries at producing Olympic medal winners, and of the Olympic athletes themselves?  Some members of the press are having some fun answering that question—and there are some lessons for business too. The National Post played around with various ways of adding up the medal count to compare countries. [...]

Facebook’s new check-in measure: accuracy vs practicality

Facebook sent out a message the other day on its new way of counting “check-ins” to improve accuracy. The result of the increased “accuracy” will be a drop in the number of check-ins.  The message said: “We are revising check-in numbers on Facebook Pages to give you a more accurate picture of how people are [...]

How do you measure the performance of a business book?

Today* stores start selling our book—misLeading Indicators: How to Reliably Measure your Business. It has been a while coming. It’s natural for us as authors to wonder how it will “perform”. Many of our acquaintances wonder too, and ask us how we expect it to perform. Their indicators are usually sales or royalties.  Those are [...]

Can you make sense of on-line media metrics?

On-line advertizing has grown immensely over the last few years. One estimate pegged growth from $55 million in 1995 to $54 billion in 2009, an annual growth rate of 63%. It’s not surprising then that there is some interest in trying to measure on-line advertizing. If an advertiser pays for a thousand ad “impressions” with [...]

The definitions of performance indicators are critical: the case of unemployment.

The US Bureau of Labor statistics calculates inflation several different ways. The mostly widely reported is U-3, and what people generally call the “unemployment rate.” U-6 has a broader definition and includes discouraged workers and those that work part time because they cannot find full time work. In the 1930’s depression many workers were given [...]

You can manage many things without measuring them

There is a common saying that “if you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” Many people mistakenly think the reverse is true, that if they can measure it, or something they call “it,” they can manage it. What they ignore is an old lesson from some of the greatest scientists—just because you can obtain [...]

Good definitions needed for reliable measurements

The trustworthiness of any measurement depends crucially on the definition of the thing you are measuring.  This in turn depends on having adequate background information to define it. Even apparently simple things can be devilish to define: take on-time delivery. What is on-time? What counts as a delivery? Or try absenteeism. Is an employee ‘absent’ [...]