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Measuring and Experiments January 7, 2008

Posted by cjescribano in measurement, performance support.
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What’s an experiment without measurements?

The Data Stream and Your Mental Agenda
Today, I saw this wonderful blog post at the Vital Smarts Influencer blog about the power of measurement. I can’t seem to find the permalink to the specific entry, so if you want to see it, you’ll have to scroll down to the December 19 entry called The Data Stream and Your Mental Agenda. The big point is that “Your data stream determines your mental agenda” and if you aren’t getting the right information daily, you may not be aware of important issues. One fact that really got my attention was “People who consistently track what they eat lose twice as much as people who don’t track or who track inconsistently.”

An Experiment in Measurement
For me, I know that one area that’s suffering from a lack of measurement is my finances. A few years ago, when my mother was sick, my husband took over our finances. Now, I have no idea how much we have in our accounts. And I have no idea how much I spend. It’s not a good situation. A year ago, as a New Years Resolution, I started writing down everything I spent. I only managed to keep it up for a couple of weeks. But I think it made a difference. Sometimes, I decided not to buy things because I didn’t want to write them down.

Data as a Performance Support Solution
The data stream is also worth looking at with my clients as I help them design performance support solutions. I collect data to help design good solutions. But I’ve never thought of the data itself as part of the solution. I have an opportunity tomorrow to weave this into a design. I think I’ll try it and see where it goes. Stay tuned.

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