October 30, 2009, 12:00 AM

The Right Metrics

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The old adage “Measure twice, cut once” assumes the measurement tool is accurate and precise. We need to apply the same principles to our businesses, and we need to ensure our measurements are reliable before we try to use them to increase sales, cut costs and increase customer loyalty.

If we want our analyses to be precise, accurate and useful, we’re collectively going to have to get over our fear of complexity and embrace the types of statistical analyses that have been proven over the years to provide truly reliable and actionable information. When the result is accuracy, it’s not a bad thing to be complicated.

Kevin Ertell is vice president of retail strategy at customer satisfaction measurement firm ForeSee Results. He can be reached at kevin.ertell@foreseeresults.com.

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