I attended a great workshop last week and throughout the day the speaker peppered the audience with questions related to quantifying our experiences — how many of you measure these outcomes? how many constituents do you have in these categories? how would you measure success if your email includes 4 call-to-actions?
More on that later. First I thought I’d take a minute to refresh my memory about the distinct difference between measurements and metrics. Seems like the words are interchangeable. But there’s a big difference.
A measurement occurs when you assign a finite number to something. Like 451 first-time donors last month. Or 295 leads assigned last quarter. Or 148 major gifts received last year.
Sometimes you can count something in a more complicated way, describing it in two dimensions, but it’s still a measurement. Like 129 first-time donors last month who live outside of Houston. Or 113 leads assigned last quarter with giving capacity of at least $100,000. Or 99 major gifts received last year from alumni-donors. These are all examples of drilling down into the data. This is always a valuable exercise, but it doesn’t make it a metric.
So how does a measurement become a metric? When you calculate something. Like lead conversion rate. Or cost per dollar raised. Or percent of market share. Or donor retention rate. Or median donation per campaign.
I referred to an article by BSC Designer to check my definitions. It is a great article and discusses Key Performance Indicators at length. To read the article, click on the image above.