October 2017

The last quarter of 2017 has arrived. Are you analyzing this year’s metrics and using that data as a tool for insight and decision-making? If so, how do you know what data to measure and manage? Although data is important, the right data is essential. As Albert Einstein said, “Not everything that can be counted counts and not everything that counts can be counted.”

For many businesses, the prime focus is of course on sales. It is relatively easy to review the sales you have made so far this year. According to a recent survey, 70% of companies measure results only. This type of data analysis manages metrics through lagging indicators, which measure what has already happened.

Although lagging indicators allow us to review past performance, they don’t foretell how what we are doing now will impact the rest of the year. In other words, lagging indicators tell you “what” but they don’t tell you “why.”

To understand the cause of specific data, it is important to use leading indicators, which detail day-to-day metrics. If you had fewer calls, fewer hits on your website or fewer quote or RFP requests, this would be a leading indicator that your sales were down.

Combining lagging and leading indicators can give you a comprehensive view and provide you with insight to make changes, increase marketing, heighten customer service and create a strategic plan for next year. Lagging and leading indicators are all part of business intelligence and smart businesses use this intelligence as a means to effect better decision-making. This summer 78Madison’s phones were ringing more than usual - prospects seeking marketing expertise. I wondered what caused the unexpected surge, and began to study all of the intelligence I could…and indeed found some leading indicators.

When it comes to your business, it’s not just about where you’ve been but where you are going. Businesses today require measurements that can predict, determine and influence our decision-making. It is essential to look beyond the historic data and understand the causes behind them. Remember, a useful metric is both accurate (in that it measures what it says it measures) and aligned with your goals. Don’t measure anything unless the data helps you make a better decision or change your actions.

Need some guidance? Give a call.

Joe Bouch
CEO, 78Madison

78Madison is a full service Marketing Communications Firm (Advertising Agency) located in Orlando (Central) Florida – Altamonte Springs Florida.