/ You’re focusing on the wrong metrics!

I love sports. I love numbers. I love analyzing.

As a kid my mom would complain that I wouldn’t read books, I would only read the sports section of the newspaper. And even in the sports section, the majority of my time was spent reviewing all the stats. In the 80s the sport that had the most stats in the paper was baseball. And the newspaper with the most baseball stats was USA Today. I loved USA Today.

The stat that I always loved was on-base percentage. I could not understand why most people valued batting average over on-base percentage. I thought they were focusing on the wrong metric. The key difference between on-base percentage and batting average is that batting average only counts your hits and your outs, it doesn’t include safely reaching base via a walk or hit by pitch. The best example is if someone walks all the time, their batting average doesn’t go up, but their on-base percentage does go up. I always knew it was more valuable to not get out and it bugged me. That’s why the book Moneyball is my favorite book of all time. In the early 2000s one of the key successful differentiators for the Oakland Athletics was giving more value to on-base percentage rather than batting average. I finally felt validated.

I currently see this same issue of focusing on the wrong metric in the NFL and NBA. In the NFL, analysts often use time of possession as a key metric. Time of possession isn’t an indicator of success (see Chip Kelly and Gus Malzahn). In the NBA, analysts focus on shooting percentage. When shooting two- and three-pointers, making a general shooting percentage statistic is very incomplete. This would tell us that Josh Smith, a career .465 shooter, is more valuable than Stephen Curry, a career .462 shooter. In actuality, every time Stephen Curry shoots the ball, it is worth 1.09 points to his team due to his high percentage of three-pointers, whereas each time Josh Smith shoots the ball it is worth only .96 points to his team.

As a marketer, I see this same issue all the time. Too often we get caught up in the wrong metric and are not focused on the big picture. I began my career as a web analytics consultant with Omniture where I often found B2B clients and B2C clients putting more value on page views and visits over form fills, orders and revenue.

At Domo, we know in real-time how multiple systems work together so that we’re not stuck gathering data or doing the math to find out true value. For example, we generate a lot of leads via our website. And being that we have an offline sales process, the success doesn’t end with a form completion. We tie our web analytics data to our CRM data to our marketing automation data to truly understand the effectiveness of our vendors and campaigns. We know that our most valuable leads are not our cheapest form fills.

Because we have joined these three data systems together (web analytics, marketing automation, and CRM) we hold our team accountable to data farther down the funnel with their vendors/campaigns. When a team member boasts of an increased form fill conversion percentage or a decrease in cost per form fill, Domo tells us if they are focusing on the wrong metric, or if it translates into an increased ROI and a lower cost per sales qualified lead.

What are some of the data systems that you are joining together to take your analysis to the next level?

Try Domo now.

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