Data and stories

There's a thing about metrics and measurement. Especially in digital channels. We all agree we should measure, but most research reports about social media, intranets and websites conclude it's hardly being done.

But the thing I find even stranger is that if we actually measure and share our numbers, big conclusions are derived from them. "Our website is very useful because we have x visits per month." Or: "Our internal microblogging platform is valuable because 90% of our employees has created a profile on it."
To be clear I think we should collect these numbers and share them. They do tell us something. But I find it strange that when these numbers are shared, they are shared without any context. And they are shared as if data can tell us the whole story. Data is the only reality.

We know it isn't. There's much more to life, even digital life, than numbers. Yes, we should collect data and do that much more rigorously, definitely when it comes to internal digital channels. But I think we should do more. And one extra thing we could do quite easily is collect stories. Have people tell us why they visit a website, what they get from the intranet or microblogging platform, etc. Stories are so important in digital channels. For understanding if we created something valuable for people. And also to tell other people convincing stories about the value of the digital platforms we've created. In my experience they're even more convincing than numbers. Curious to hear if you think so too.

Popular posts

Keep the Intranet Small

Enterprise 2.0 Research

Innovation in Turbulent Times