Finding The Meaning Behind The Numbers

    Sam Mutimer

    What is effective measurement in 2011? I truly believe we all have different perceptions about what it truly means, but one point that does stand true is the fact that it needs to mean something, numbers need to have context behind them.
    I recently read a post by Amber Naslund pointing out that “counting something gives you a singular, rather meaningless number” For example, if a person is 70kg – that doesn’t really tell you too much about them. They could be obese, underweight or in a normal range, they could be male or female? What does give us more information is asking the question, why do they weight that much? The context behind this could be – male, 5 foot 11, medium build, goes to the gym 3 days a week for 60mins and works at a high level of intensity. If suddenly the male increases in weight, then the context behind this could be analysed and a reason behind this could be made, as opposed to “he’s put on weight”
    It’s true, after reading Ambers post, and looking back over the past year with some of the businesses and brands that I have been speaking with; a significantly high number do not fully understand the meaning behind the numbers and do not report with a level of detail and attention that is needed to run any successful business. I’m not sure if it’s laziness or simply a lack of education, yet being satisfied with simply comparing last months and this months web traffic stats with no context is craziness, if you don’t look into why it’s increased or decreased then these numbers and the report means nothing.
    If you’re spending money and time in the social media space then it’s crucial that you measure what you are doing and match these measurements up to your objectives. Analyse the data and find out the meaning to the numbers, anything less is a waste of time. There’s no winning formula if you simply look at a bunch of bar charts and pie graphs and leave out the context and substance.
    Amber states this, and I couldn’t say it any better: “When you’ve collected a number, start by asking yourself the most important question of all: “Why?”
    Why does it matter? Why did it get there? Why isn’t it smaller, or larger, and what might impact either direction? Why is this important for us to know? Why is it going to drive a decision we might make (or why isn’t it)? Why this number over another one? Why does this number have a bearing on the results we want to be able to see?
    kaarinadillabough points out a very strong quote: Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that’s counted, counts. ~ Einstein
    Is now a good time for you to reality-check on the significance of your numbers and measurements? Hit me up below!