Metrics

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The Big Data Problem That Market Research Must Fix

  • Blog
  • Read Time: 9 min 

Insight into what customers really care about often is hampered by the quality of the information being collected. Big data can support smart market research, but only if researchers embrace psychometric best practices and the basics of understanding what it is they want to measure and how. That means asking the right questions, asking enough questions, understanding how to weigh questions, and taking into consideration how people felt about the brand to begin with.

Leading With Next-Generation Key Performance Indicators

MIT Sloan Management Review and Google’s new cross-industry survey about key performance indicators (KPIs) asked senior executives to explain how they and their organizations are using KPIs in the digital era. The results shed light on the challenges and emerging opportunities companies face when using KPIs, demonstrate the many ways advanced use of KPIs can benefit organizations, and offer steps executives can take to make the most of KPIs going forward.

Your Data Is Worth More Than You Think

Data has become a key input for driving growth, enabling businesses to maintain a competitive edge. Given the growing importance of data to companies, how should managers measure its value? An increasing number of institutions, academics, and business leaders have begun tackling the valuation problem to help organizations realize more value from their data.

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A Three-Point Approach to Measuring Supply Chain Sustainability

A sustainable supply chain must operate within the limitations imposed by nature and society — but most approaches don’t explicitly take those into consideration. A new framework for supply chain sustainability assessment lays out eight key considerations organized into three categories: sustainability context, collaboration, and communication.

‘Moneyball’ for Professors?

While there’s a boom in using analytics for HR decisions, predictive analytics hasn’t yet made substantial inroads in the place of its birth: academia. Tenure decisions for the scholars of computer science, economics, and statistics — the pioneers of quantitative metrics and predictive analytics — are often insulated from these tools. Now research we conducted with Dimitris Bertsimas and Shachar Reichman finds that data-driven models can significantly improve tenure selections and predict future research success.

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Are Nonfinancial Metrics Good Leading Indicators of Future Financial Performance?

Although using nonfinancial metrics like customer satisfaction has become increasingly popular in assessing executive performance and determining compensation, the practice has some significant drawbacks. Not all metrics apply equally to all industries. Companies considering such metrics for strategic performance management frameworks should be mindful of the importance of knowing their strength as lead indicators and applying them appropriately.

Monitor, Measure, Incentivize: Is Management as Simple as That?

Nicholas Bloom, William Eberle Professor of Economics at Stanford University, conducted an extensive study of 30,000 US factories, and found that two practices, underpinned by innovative software and IT systems, stand out in highly effectively managed operations: monitoring and incentives.

Avoiding Analytical Myopia

Analytics offers managers a great way to fine-tune processes, but too many executives focus on metrics at the expense of the bigger picture. The blinders and focus that work well to optimize the details of a problem may prevent managers from seeing other options, and intense focus on a narrow measure can address only the well-specified puzzle — resulting in a myopic view of the problem. Executives who desire bigger breakthroughs need to encourage exploration.

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Why Your Company Is Probably Measuring Social Media Wrong

If a teenage girl retweets you in Japan, will your video go viral in Brazil? Social business expert Jerry Kane argues that it might — because social media is a complex system, where small or seemingly unimportant factors can converge to produce large or unexpected effects. The challenge for managers in the social arena is to consider the unexpected instead of the linear “X means Y” thought processes. Managers should pay attention to four characteristics of social media that can affect outcomes.

Veronika Belokhvostova, head of Global Business Analytics at PayPal.

Mining Data at PayPal to Guide Business Strategy

“The kind of people we hire want to know that their work is not gathering dust on some shelf, but has a real impact on the company,” says Veronika Belokhvostova, head of Global Business Analytics at PayPal. And indeed, business analysts there are collaborating with business leaders to answer the “what should we do next?” question.

Image courtesy of Flickr user mag3737.

Using Facebook Helps Customers Solve Problems

MetroTwit is a tool that helps Twitter users track their Twitter feeds, see several columns at a time and easily tweet, reply or retweet. MetroTwit’s managers use Facebook to talk to customers and let them help each other with questions.

Social Business By the Numbers

The general interest magazine Harper’s includes a famed feature every issue called the Harper’s Index. It’s a list of facts about anything and everything in the world. Here, we present our version of an Index highlighting the facts and stats we’re intrigued by in the world of social business. Among them: the contrast between the percentage of CEOs and CIOs who believe social media is important to their business.

Showing 1-20 of 28