Lies, Damned Lies and Metrics

Mark Twain once famously said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

With all of the emphasis put on metrics nowadays, Twain’s quote should be gaining notoriety at a breakneck speed. But is it? It seems that some people blindly believe in the metrics without thinking about their origin or destination. With the potential for statistical aberrations abound, maybe its time to think about the numbers, instead of letting the numbers think for you.

Here’s an example

If Salesperson A is making 10 calls a day, while Salesperson B is making five calls a day, then Salesperson A will have the better metrics, right? Of course this is wrong because without a qualitative context, it’s impossible to figure out who will have the superior numbers (especially if Salesperson A is cold-calling and Salesperson B is calling qualified leads). And what about the sales cycle? This should also be considered when looking at metrics. How long did it take to augment the figures in this particular way?

Like anything else, metrics require perspective and a comprehensive understanding before they can be used correctly.

Contributing Author

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