If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it


"If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it." (source unknown)

Too often I have seen Management run the business based on gut feel and hunches instead of real data.  In this day and age, with the technology we have, that just seems slightly lazy and very risky to me.  

While working at a large automotive information site I learned the value of data.  We measured everything!  It took work to gather the data and to manage all that data, but decisions were based on real data, not on guesses.  We were able to tune and improve even the best idea based on real customer data.  For example – make a change to the page flow, throw it up on an A|B test, measure the results, better? push it up to everyone!  Or worse? tweak based on the results and try again. It took the ego out of the equation.  Decisions were based on real data not someones hunch. 

So are you basing your decisions on data or guesses?

Note:  I tried to find the source of "If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it."   But I couldn't find a clear source.  I was sure it was Deming, but… now I am reading it is often incorrectly attributed to him.  But it seems he did say "In God we trust, all others bring data."  And I found that Wikipedia has a Drucker quote of "You can only manage what you can measure."  So pretty good company and close enough for me.  I would think they would both, within some common sense limits, agree with me!  🙂

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