There was a time people would rally around a published metric and hold it up at monthly reviews as if it was a merit badge, but these days analytics are everywhere, and they are renewed or replaced daily. Those numbers, trends, buying patterns, and customer segment analyses are quickly replaced by something new. The old analytics are quickly forgotten….disposed of to make way for the next hot metric or key performance indicator.
Good analytics support business decisions. They provide some direction as to which option is better than the rest. They increase our confidence and reduce risk. But once you make a decision to change something, their usefulness is limited. A short period of validation and they are no longer of interest. The next decision will require different numbers, a different analysis.
Business analysts and I.T. shops hate this scenario – they work hard on an urgent analysis and “the user” looks at it for a couple of months, then ignores it. They continue to run the reports, update the dashboards, but no one cares. That was last so month’s decision. It’s ancient history.
People still dream of the simple, magic little red/green indicator that shows the business is running fine today or indicates trouble ahead. They talk about a dashboard that reflects the health of the business at a glance. Great dreams, but it would be very short-lived. The business will change, the environment will change, the business ecosystem will change, and the analytics will need to change, too.
So, when you find yourself searching for the right analytics to measure your business, remember that they are disposable, and you are really looking for the right metric for right now.
Mike Sullivan is the founder of Analytics Edge, providing simple Excel-based report automation products for individuals and small businesses.
You can post a new message in the Community or find us on Twitter Mon-Fri 8am-8pm ET, Sat 10am-8pm ET, & Sun 10am-6pm ET. We've got real people waiting to help you out. Click below to start a conversation!