Are You Tracking the Right Data?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Chad Herrenbruck, Data Analyst

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana

While I’m sure that George Santayana didn’t say this quote specifically regarding data, the essence of the quote holds true on many levels. In short, data represents your past, and by failing to analyze the past (both the good and the bad), you are condemned to repeat it.

As a data analyst, I am often asked: “What metrics should I have,” or “What are the six to eight data points my company should be tracking?” My answer to this question is simple. Instead of asking “What should I be tracking,” ask yourself, “What activities drive my desired results?” Once you determine what your desired results are, you need to translate them into goals. From there, you can select KPIs for each goal. Many of us are working on our 2015 budgets and goals, which is the perfect time to revisit your key performance indicators and work backwards. This straightforward approach is the key to tracking the right data and will ensure a measurably successful 2015.