About two weeks ago I wrote about Vanity Metrics in Corporate America. Today, I’m going to basically write the same post but with a different spin.
For some reason, our culture (me included) is gravitating towards new gadgets that tell us things. A prime example, health and fitness gadgets.
Off to the right, you can see my most recent Fitbit results. Feel free to take a look and speculate. If you have a Fitbit, you might say that I’m lazy – you might be right. However, keep in mind that these are just numbers about something. Do these numbers actually tell me anything? Can I take action?
- First and foremost, click on the image and review the results. What do they tell you? – Not a whole lot.
- Beyond a count or sum, what do the results really mean? – I walk a certain amount of steps?
- What’s the baseline? What should I be at? – Can’t tell, but I can set a goal.
- These metrics don’t include the 70+ miles I rode on my bike or the kettlebell workouts that I completed. – Not all of the information is present to make an educated decision or next steps on how to improve my overall fitness.
Lastly, these numbers really don’t mean anything… There are other attributes or criteria that I need to know in order to make these numbers useful.
I’m going to leave you with these final thoughts – Challenge all reports and ask questions:
- Can I take action?
- Is this data or information?
- What’s the effort for creating these reports? Should these resources spend their time elsewhere?
- Do I look at these reports and delete them or throw them in the trash after looking at them?
- Do I really need these reports?
Not all reports and metrics are created equal… Also, be wary of reports that are created by different individuals or teams but have the same information. For example, closed incidents (break/fix help desk tickets). Sounds simple but next week, I’ll explain why it’s not so simple.