Are 'vanity metrics' poisoning your understanding of your real performance potential?
Go further than just skin-deep. Don't think you're done and you know it all just because you've got the standard set of vanity metrics on your screen.
That's the advice from Looker founder and CTO, Lloyd Tabb, when it comes to appraising just how effective your business performance really is... and realistically, how far it's potential could take it.
After three decades leading data teams at companies like LiveOps, Netscape, and ReadyForce, Tabb knows what he's talking about.
Too many of us are falling short of really understanding the true potential of our businesses, including where the cracks and indeed, the opportunities, might lie. Which means that however we decide to handle the findings we make, our decisions and actions are based on incomplete and potentially fatally misleading data.
Tabb provides a compelling case for his assertion that we're all falling short because we're measuring the wrong things - the obvious things - and we're missing the really crucial data.
This is a brilliant read, packed full of practical advice and tips, for anyone interested in how to accurately and reliably measure the performance of their business and its future potential.
Tabb's final warning is a sage one: '[d]on’t settle on vanity metrics. Get caught looking in the mirror and you’ll miss the world that’s changing around you.'
"Vanity metrics aren’t useless. They have their use case, but are points of comparison for other people to evaluate you,” Tabb says. “Don’t focus on them internally. Tracking clarity metrics builds great businesses.” Here’s how he marks the difference: Vanity metrics are surface-level metrics. They’re often large measures, like number of downloads, that impress others. Use them to initiate partnerships and gain a following. Clarity metrics are operational metrics, like the number of minutes a day your product actually gets used or how long it took for a user to get service. These are the hidden gears that drive growth. Use them to solidify your competitive advantage. Confusing the two types of measurements can be a recipe for disaster. Companies can get so enamoured with vanity metrics that they fail to build a viable business strategy.