Just Because You Can Measure It Doesn’t Mean You Should

Ever come across reports that make you scratch your head and wonder “what can I possibly do with the data”?

Apparently, this is not just isolated to web analytics. An analysis of the VP debate by a language monitoring service shows that the phenomenon also applies to the world of politics. Here’s a link to the story.

Highlight KPIs from the VP debate:

Sentences per paragraph: 2.7 for Biden and 2.6 for Palin.

Letters per word: tied at 4.4.

Ease of reading: Biden, 66.7 (with 100 being the easiest to read or hear), versus 62.4 for Palin.

Number of words spoken: 5,492 for Biden and5,235 for Palin.

There is definitely entertainment value in the data, but not much value beyond that.

Why do we bring this up? Because we’ve seen many web analytics practitioners fall into the same trap. Yes, you can measure just about everything online: detailed user interactions, mouse movements, etc. But just because you can measure it doesn’t mean you should. Rather, you should always start with the question “what would I do with the data”.

Recent Posts