Agile Management

A Voice Worth Listening to in the World of Metrics

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7 Min

A Voice Worth Listening to in the World of Metrics 📊

Helge Tennø is a former colleague of mine from my 5 years at MSD, and I have always been an enthusiastic follower of his thought-provoking posts on LinkedIn and Medium. His latest piece, "Nobody needs metrics — what we need are better decisions," caught my attention and resonated deeply.

Here's my take on it, peppered with some reflections.

Introduction 📝

Metrics, in essence, are fundamental tools to understand performance. Yet, they are often misconceived and misapplied. Helge rightly points out that it's not the metrics themselves that matter, but the decisions they lead to. It's time we shift our focus from metrics to the decisions they facilitate.

Breaking Down Helge's Insightful Points 🧠

  1. Over-Marketing Metrics: Helge touches upon a critical aspect - the misrepresentation of metrics. By overselling or wrongly representing metrics to our colleagues, we risk creating a distorted perception of performance. Instead, a clear understanding of what a metric genuinely measures is pivotal. 📏
  2. The Broken Car Analogy: Just as a car doesn't entirely fall apart when there's a malfunction, problems in business often arise from specific areas, not the entire system. To truly understand and improve, we need to identify and measure the root cause accurately. Looking at metrics in isolation can blind us from the bigger picture. 🚗
  3. Prioritizing Decisions Over Metrics: The conversation around metrics should begin with identifying the pivotal decisions we intend to make. Only then can we determine which metrics will guide us best. Helge emphasizes an outcome (decision)-driven approach, which can help organizations channel their energies more productively. A mere focus on output (metrics) could lead to an overflow of redundant data, concealing the real insights. 🎯

CX-Advisory on Metrics & Decision Making: Embracing Data-Driven Decision Making

In today's rapidly evolving business environment, data-driven decision-making (DDDM) has become an imperative, not just a luxury. At CX-Advisory, our understanding and approach towards DDDM hinge on the best practices of data set-up. Here's a more detailed look at the components that build this approach:

  1. Inspiration Through Data: Data isn't just about numbers. It’s a reservoir of untapped ideas, opportunities, and directions. By diving into the depths of available data, we uncover latent trends and insights that can inspire innovative strategies and business models.
  2. Framing the Right Questions: The nature of the question posed determines the value derived from the data. It's essential to understand what you're seeking. By framing the right questions, we can identify the types of data required to provide the desired answers.
  3. Discovering & Communicating Insights: Data, in its raw form, can be overwhelming. Our approach is to sift through the noise and uncover genuine insights. But more importantly, it’s about translating these insights into actionable recommendations and effectively communicating their significance to the stakeholders.
  4. Narrating Stories Through Data: Every piece of data has a story to tell. Visualizing data isn’t just about graphs and charts. It's about creating compelling narratives that resonate with the target audience. By transforming insights into stories, we ensure that the core message isn't lost amidst the numbers.
  5. Human-Centered Data Analysis: Data may be binary, but decisions aren’t. At the heart of every data point is a human emotion, behavior, or preference. Our analysis is grounded in understanding the human element intertwined with data, ensuring our recommendations are not only data-driven but also human-centric.

Reflecting on Helge's article, DDDM involves collecting relevant data, analyzing it, and using the insights to inform and validate business decisions. With humanity generating vast amounts of data daily, businesses, irrespective of their size, have unprecedented access to insights.

The benefits of DDDM are obvious. Decisions anchored in data instill greater confidence and clarity. Such a strategy enables businesses to be more proactive, foreseeing opportunities or threats well in advance. Moreover, leveraging data judiciously can also lead to significant cost savings.

To truly harness the power of DDDM, businesses need to adopt a systematic approach:

  • Constantly look for patterns in data to derive meaningful insights.
  • Ensure every decision, big or small, is backed by relevant data.
  • Leverage data visualization techniques to make sense of complex data sets and communicate insights effectively.

Concluding Thoughts 🌟

Helge's article is a timely reminder for all businesses - let metrics be the compass, not the destination. I eagerly await more enlightening posts from him. At CX-Advisory, we stand ready to assist businesses in using data judiciously and crafting strategies that genuinely resonate with their visions. Let's not get lost in numbers but focus on the stories they tell and the decisions they shape. 🚀

At CX-Advisory, our commitment to DDDM isn't just about following a trend; it's about equipping businesses with the right tools and insights to navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape. Data is the compass, and with it, we guide our partners towards informed, impactful decisions.

Here the original Article and References:

  1. Emily F. Gorcenski, Book Report: The Tyranny of Metrics,
  2. Cathy O’Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction,

A Voice Worth Listening to in the World of Metrics

CXO on Demand

An experienced CX professional with a global journey spanning digital agencies to top corporations, Michal is passionate about helping businesses create unforgettable customer experiences.