How to Measure Anything

I’ve recently read and want to recommend Douglas W. Hubbard’s How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of “Intangibles” in Business (2007). The book’s central premise is that anything can be measured and that any measurement, even a very imperfect measurement, provides value by reducing uncertainty and making for better decisions. And when the decisions are big and risky, reducing uncertainty adds a lot of value. Because the object of measurement is to make better decisions, not to collect data that is worthy of publication in a scientific journal, the object is not perfection, but rather good enough. The book introduces creative methods for performing measurements and introduces several basic and practical statistical methods, including an ingenious method for calculating the value of information.

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I’m a solution engineer for Shape Security, an awesome web security startup in Mountain View that defends some of the worlds largest web sites from bot attacks. I see this blog as a learning tool. It gives me a chance to collect my thoughts on topics of interest and to share with others. If you see a mistake or think I’m on the wrong track, please let me know. I appreciate comments. See my LinkedIn profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesdowney and follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/james_downey.

Posted in Analytics, Book Review

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