The Golden Rule of Metrics: Keep It Simple

I’m all for tracking, metrics and dashboards, but more is not necessarily better. In fact more is probably worse. I was working with a client last week who likes to have a report delivered to him every day that lists all the tickets the organization has sold for the last three years, updated with the previous days sales. That’s a lot of data, and my gut said that a simple report that showed just the previous days sales would be sufficient.

That’s the point of this blog post from Kissmetrics, which points out that the fewer measurable goals you have, and the more you focus on those alone, the more likely it is you will reach them. The first example in this post talks about an organization that measures its daily goals against a single number. Period.

Can you identify the two or three metrics in your organization that are the most important? Maybe, ticket sales vs budget, or fundraising vs. budget, or conversion percentage of first-time ticket buyers to repeat buyers? What moves your organization forward more than anything else? If you can identify and measure and track only that, you’ll be doing better than most.

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