Indicators & KPIs

September 9, 2009
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In a recent Wired magazine article “American Vice: Mapping the 7 Deadly Sins” (the original was in the Las Vegas Sun’s One Nation, Seven Sins), a group of KSU students did a great job mapping data geographically. In no way is the data perfectly accurate, but in the same way it is a logical indication of behavior. You can spend time arguing the merit of the work, or spend that same time debating the implications of the information. Either way, it is a rather entertaining visual display of information.

In the business world, we struggle with trying to be perfect, or perhaps afraid of not being completely accurate. Indicators do not need to be perfect, they just need to trigger a discussion by highlighting the potential of an issue. The downside is that when we try, we often try to find indicators for everything (spandex rule) and “a point in every direction is like no point at all” (Harry Nilsson, for those who like eccentric music). Too many indicators and we spend too much time on data collection and visualization with no time for analysis and discussion. The point is to discuss information.

Posted in Analytics & Business Intelligence, Communication, Visualization Tagged: ..


In a recent Wired magazine article “American Vice: Mapping the 7 Deadly Sins” (the original was in the Las Vegas Sun’s One Nation, Seven Sins), a group of KSU students did a great job mapping data geographically. In no way is the data perfectly accurate, but in the same way it is a logical indication of behavior. You can spend time arguing the merit of the work, or spend that same time debating the implications of the information. Either way, it is a rather entertaining visual display of information.

In the business world, we struggle with trying to be perfect, or perhaps afraid of not being completely accurate. Indicators do not need to be perfect, they just need to trigger a discussion by highlighting the potential of an issue. The downside is that when we try, we often try to find indicators for everything (spandex rule) and “a point in every direction is like no point at all” (Harry Nilsson, for those who like eccentric music). Too many indicators and we spend too much time on data collection and visualization with no time for analysis and discussion. The point is to discuss information.

Posted in Analytics & Business Intelligence, Communication, Visualization Tagged: Graphical display, Indicators, KPIs, Measurement, Seven Deadly Sins


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