Metrics your mother warned you about

I could easily find a parking place in Berkeley on Saturday! What could it mean? On a normal afternoon in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto, I usually find just one space open, and often I have to drive around the block once…. Ah, it’s the end of Easter week and a bunch of the university people have gone away. So much for bigger meanings like recession, breaking news on TV or sunspots.

Sometimes such offbeat indicators do mean something. How would we know if the U.S. economy has begun sliding into a severe recession? By a surge in the number of eBay items for sale, according to one article in the March 23 New York Times. That would indicate, I assume, that people had become unusually motivated to liquidate whatever belongings they could.

These metrics measure hard-to-reach places, internal or external. They may be eccentric, creative and even strange.

That’s what I’m writing about next for TDWI’s BI This Week.

So far, my sources include these people:

  • Stacey Barr, a woman in Australia who comes recommended by performance-dashboard expert Stephen Few.
  • The ever-inventive Zach Gemignani of Juice Analytics, whose recent blog post on “Franken-measures” helped inspire the idea.
Filed Under: Uncategorized

The data industry thrives on conversation. Please submit a comment.

Other recent posts

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading

Favorite Star Trek, a data story

This story shows how elemental data stories really are. Humans come ready to tell and hear them, requiring no plug-ins at all. This young person can do a good job of it. There was a question, followed by data, then questions and answers, and and finally a conclusion. It’s all there. It’s elementary. Sure, this… Continue Reading

Bad stories stop good data at the water cooler

We agree by now that data’s a good compass. One neglected question is tougher: Which map? Everyone’s known the kind of “grouchy guy” TDWI instructor Kellee M. Franklin, Ph.D tells about. This guy knew better than most of his co-workers about how their Washington, D.C. defense agency worked. And he was frustrated. Over the years,… Continue Reading