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Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results


Metrics are a hot topic. Executive leadership, boards of directors, management, and customers are all asking for data-based decisions. As a result, many managers, professionals, and change agents are asked to develop metrics, but have no clear idea of how to produce meaningful ones. Wouldn’t it be great to have a simple explanation of how to collect, analyze, report, and use measurements to improve your organization?

Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results provides that explanation and the tools you'll need to make your organization more effective. Not only does the book explain the “why” of metrics, but it walks you through a step-by-step process for creating a report card that provides a clear picture of organizational health and how well you satisfy customer needs.

Metrics will help you to measure the right things, the right way—the first time. No wasted effort, no chasing data. The report card provides a simple tool for viewing the health of your organization, from the outside in. You will learn how to measure the key components of the report card and thereby improve real measures of business success, like repeat customers, customer loyalty, and word-of-mouth advertising. This book:

  • Provides a step-by-step guide for building an organizational effectiveness report card
  • Takes you from identifying key services and products and using metrics, to determining business strategy
  • Provides examples of how to identify, collect, analyze, and report metrics that will be immediately useful for improving all aspects of the enterprise, including IT

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the difference between data, measures, information, and metrics
  • Identify root performance questions to ensure you build the right metrics
  • Develop meaningful and accurate metrics using concrete, easy-to-follow instructions
  • Avoid the high risks that come with collecting, analyzing, reporting, and using complex data
  • Formulate practical answers to data-based questions
  • Select and use the proper tools for creating, implementing, and using metrics
  • Learn one of the most powerful methods yet invented for improving organizational results

Who this book is for

Metrics: How to Improve Key Business Results was written for senior managers who need to improve key results. Equally, the book is for the department heads, middle managers, analysts, IT professionals, and change agents responsible for collecting, analyzing, and reporting metrics. Finally, it’s for those who have to chase data and find meaningful answers to the “interesting” questions executives ponder.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How You Use Metrics
  2. Establishing a Common Language 
  3. Where to Begin: Planning a Good Metric
  4. Using Metrics as Indicators
  5. Using the Answer Key
  6. Start with Effectiveness
  7. Triangulation: Essential to Creating Effective Metrics
  8. Expectations: How to View Data in a Meaningful Way
  9. Creating and Interpreting the Metrics Report Card
  10. Final Product: the Metrics Report Card
  11. Employing Advanced Metrics  
  12. Creating the Service Catalog
  13. Establishing Standards and Benchmarks
  14. Respecting the Power of Metrics 
  15. Avoiding the Research Trap  
  16. Embracing Your Organization’s Uniqueness
  17. Appendix: Metrics Tools to Use and Useful Resources
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