We talk about measurement these days as if it gives us confidence. Sit through any sales pitch by an agency or tech company and they'll describe some version of a narrative in which some poor client goes from craven uncertainty to fearless innovation. (Sign on the line.)
In some ways, of course, measurement can and should make us more confident in making decisions.
But the best measurement is done with confidence, not before it. No amount of measuring will ever galvanise an organisation to act until it believes it can do something powerful. Good measurement and a data-driven approach can help define what to do, but the will has to be there first.
Richard Huntington wrote recently about the power of a confident client to generate great creative work. It's the same with measurement. A confident business does better measurement, even if it doesn't do more of it, because when we're confident, we're unafraid of answers that challenge us to change our ways.
Those of us who help clients measure should be unafraid to be confident ourselves about the value of what we do. We should help create the conditions for fundamental change, not just fractional improvement. That starts before we've measured anything.
# Alex Steer (20/03/2015)