There’s nothing like a dashboard full of data and graphs and trend lines to make us feel like grown ups.
You’re supposed to put these dashboards up on a wall, on a huge plasma screen. Because of course numbers are twice as persuasive if you make them twice as big.
Stijn DeBrouwere, Cargo cult analytics
Go read this post, it’s awesome.
h/t David Churbuck, who added:
The admonition that, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” has built a corporate culture more concerned with looking buttoned-up, on the ball, and obsessively accurate than being intuitive, empathetic and innovative.
I was the guy who built these dashboards, peered at them for magical insights, puked them at my bosses, and over time I started to get really cynical and put tired old quotes pissing on measurement into my PowerPoint presentations:
Einstein: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
Warren Buffett:”They studied what was measurable, rather than what was meaningful”
I know Debrouwere’s post appealed to me because he was specifically addressing metrics in the newsroom — a place I spent most of my career. But it also struck a current chord with me because of my work for clients, all of whom cite Big Data incessantly as a force for disruption and transformation, yet haven’t the faintest clue of how to harness it or whom the Oracle will be in their organization who will study the digital tea leaves and come up with the single “AHA!” that will make them Measurement Legends.