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Analytics vs. Metrics
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Martin Klubeck, MA
DTRT TRW TFT
If you didn’t hear, Educause is conducting a “three-day sprint” on the topic of Analytics. What that means is that for three days, Educause is hosting 1.5 hours of webinar where some successful uses of metrics are discussed/presented. And then you go to Ideascale (a discussion board) to “discuss” analytics. Today is the last day for the sprint…and so far everything I’ve seen and heard seems to point to “analytics” being another term for metrics.
Educause’s working definition for analytics: “…the use of data, statistical analysis, and explanatory and predictive models to gain insights and act on complex issues.”
I may be on an island here, but I don’t see this as anything different than what we’ve been working with for years now in this CG. At the last Educause Conference, the lunch time birds of a feather type meetings had the normal CG tables, and some “write-ins.” One of them was “Analytics.” I was curious so I asked someone sitting at the analytics table what they discussed…and it was the same things we discussed at the IT Metrics table.
I think there is a place for a new term – “analytics” but, it has to have a meaning different from Metrics. It can be larger, smaller, or a parallel area, like:
“Analytics is the collection, organization, and analysis of existing data for the purpose of identifying areas and themes which may assist in improvement efforts.”
This doesn’t exclude it from metrics, but it focuses the definition on an specific area, allowing for separate but aligned efforts. I’d be happy to see a different (and likely better) definition of Analytics. I just believe we’re renaming “metrics” and creating another venue for the same conversations…
Good news? If it is just a renaming, it will still bring more light to the subject and reenergize leadership around metrics.
Bad news? It could dilute our current efforts.
Martin Klubeck, MA
Strategy & Planning Consultant
Office of Information Technologies
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
DTRT TRW TFT
"If you don't know where you are, a map won't help,
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Please consider the environment when considering printing emails. I mean, I’m flattered that you would think this is worthy of printing and pasting into your scrap book. But wait, you weren’t going to do that, were you? You were going to print (probably single sided, multiple pages) this and make a note or two and then put it on your desk. It would get lost with the other unnecessary printouts you’ve made and eventually it would be tossed in the trash when you clean up your office! First of all – toss it in the recycle bin not the trash! Better yet, don’t print it! I appreciate the compliment, but nothing in this email is worth the paper or ink – really. DON’T PRINT THIS! Call me instead, and we can chat. Thanks.