I’m a big believer in using data to help inform decisions. From Google Analytics to our weekly scorecard, we measure as much as we can, and then take appropriate action based on the data.
That said, some of the most important numbers can be the most difficult to obtain. As Albert Einstein has said:
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts”
As time has gone on at GreenMellen, we’ve slowly gone deeper and deeper into our client’s numbers. From web visits to form submissions to CRM data to sales to revenue, there is a long path you can follow. The further you go, though, the murkier it can get.
For example, our marketing efforts might send 10 great leads to a client and they close on eight of them, but what does that really mean? Were eight of those leads amazing ones to send and easy to close, or is the internal sales team for that client really solid? It’s very difficult to know for sure.
Charlie Munger had some longer thoughts on that, and while his angle comes from investing, the overall sentiment holds true for many of us:
“You’ve got a complex system, and it spews out a lot of wonderful numbers that enable you to measure some factors. But there are other factors that are terribly important and there’s no precise numbering you can put to those factors. You know they’re important but you don’t have the numbers. Well, practically everybody overweighs the stuff that can be numbered, because it yields to the statistical techniques they’re taught in academia, and doesn’t mix in the hard-to-measure stuff that may be more important.”
It can be tough to avoid overreliance on available numbers, because it makes the math easier. Keeping the weight of your number accurate can help a lot, even if the “best” numbers are impossible to compute.