A story here, a story there about “franken-measures”

I’ve almost got too much good stuff for my story in BI This Week about offbeat metrics. Stacey Barr, “the performance measure specialist” in Australia and Zach Gemignani at Juice Analytics in North Carolina both came through with insight-provoking cases.

Zach calls metrics for those hard-to-reach places where bookkeepers don’t go “franken-measures.” Stacey calls them “proxy measures.” By whatever name we call them, Zach and Stacey came up with good mini-cases.

  • How a local government governing body figured out how to gauge community involvement. (I wrote about it a few days ago here.)
  • How an IT team won the respect they craved. At first, they tried to count activities, but success came only when they counted results.
  • How a semi-retired firefighter who’d pulled a few too many drunken kids out of wrecked cars proved to administrators that his prevention program really worked.
  • How an online-education organization now decides when a customer should no longer be considered a customer.

The question now is how to weave together their stories and other material.

A story of my own might give the right structure. I used to wonder how to measure success of the rambling and eccentric old ski lodge I once helped lead. With this structure, the article would start with that question and end with an answer.

Not the real answer, though, which offers no hope. The answer will have to be personal: I now know how I could have done it.

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