When I was at school going metric meant switching from inches to centimeters, but today “metrics” is whole new mindset. If you want to track your performance, if you want to set goals you need metric to see just how well of badly you did.
So how many metrics do you need? How many is too many? I wish I knew the answer to that question. Any takers?
With the explosion of Web 2.0 tools like YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn metrics jump to a new league.
In fact it’s the Web where it can really go to your head.
Did we ever used to count our friends – no! Well now you can count friends, connection and even followers? How many followers are good – you decide! Sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn allow you to build huge social networks – your ‘social graph’ to use the cool term, but then perhaps the definition of “friends” has changed too.
My background is in Business Intelligence so I have an excuse for how I became metrically obsessed. There’s scarcely a company on the planet that isn’t run by numbers, forecasts, and variances. Those daily and weekly reports keep us in check. It’s become a science and a sport. You can collect metrics like trophies.
Who doesn’t keep an eye on their inbox count, the points on your Club Penguin account or your neighbors on Farmville! We live in a transparent world run by metrics. Everyone can see just about all the metric for me and for anyone. You can run, but you cannot hide. Your numbers are there for all to see – whether personally or professionally.
Take any website – what’s it’s Alexa Ranking or Compete Ranking? These metrics simply track how popular your site is compared to other sites. Google Page Rank? These are all just measure of web traffic and search importance, but when used intelligently they tell you what is important and what’s not.
We need metrics to filter out the junk in our lives, ironic when you get to many metrics. Who looked at the top Books on Amazon or checked to see what a book’s average review score. I never buy a book without checking its Amazon reviews and ratings – it’s like an insurance policy.
Personally we all get credit scored, risk assessed – yet more metrics. Try to pass the border and yet more metrics kick in to determine if we get stopped of checked.
My biggest source of metric overload comes from my board game, GiftTRAP with dozens of metrics to check daily.
BoardgameGeek.com – Number of games registered, number of ratings, average rating, overall ranking, ranking in party games, total page views
Facebook.com – Number of fans on Facebook (1,000+), number of user interactions
Twitter.com – number of followers, number of retweets
Funagain.com – sales ranking, ranking in the party game category, overall sales ranking (over time)
GiftTRAP.com – number of page hits, average visit duration, top referring sources., Alexa Ranking, Compete Ranking, Google Page Rank (and endless others besides).
YouTube.com – How many video views
The list goes on.
Now I manage to calm my obsessions for most of the year, but on the run up to Christmas my obsession explodes simply because the numbers change so much faster in the all-important fourth quarter.
Right now GiftTRAP is the top selling party game at Funagain.com. We’re in the top 10 best selling party games of all time.
We’ve got 800+ ratings with over 1000+ registered users at BoardGameGeek.com. We’ve received of 40k+ page views on their site. We’re in the 20 party games of all time.
GiftTRAP has an Alexa rank of 320k, a Compete Rank of 195k and a Google Page Rank of 4. The average visitor spends 2 minutes. We get 40-50,000 visitors per month.
We have over 1000 fans on Facebook
All very impressive stuff, but wow does that ever feel like too many numbers.
Too many numbers or not, it is without question these metrics that have allowed us to create a global brand and learn as we went.
So my advice would be go find your metrics and learn to use them to drive your business performance, and personally it can be a lot of fun too! Embrace the geek within.
What metrics do you track?