In God We Trust… All Others Bring Data


Wikipedia defines Data as “pieces of information that represent the qualitative or quantitative attributes of a variable or set of variables.”

Successful business leaders know that good decisions must be based on good data.  Few leaders accept the decisions of others without knowing that these decisions were based on sound information.  It’s not really a question of trust, rather a question of judgement. They trust these individuals have sound judgement based on a solid understanding of the facts which their decisions are made.

At no time in the past has data ever been so available and accessible.  The information age has allows the world to transfer data and information freely and quickly. However, the rate at which information is transferred has a direct affect on the rate at which decisions must be made… or so it may seem to some people.  Today we make an average of 3,000 decisions each day!

We need good business metrics in order to make good business decisions.  Metrics help us to;

  • monitor our progress toward achieving our goals
  • Identify existing problems
  • Spot opportunities for improvement
  • Identify the key drivers of customer satisfaction


Understanding where we need to improve requires a strong understanding of the current performance of the church and the resources available to them.  It also requires a clearly defined mission and vision that is understood and aligns with the needs and expectations of the stakeholders.

Here are 4 steps you can follow to develop effective measures for your online business.

1)   DECIDE on the key goals for your business. If you have a clearly defined mission and vision as I stated earlier, you’ve got this one beat. If not, complete this step first before moving on.

2)   DETAIL your customers and outputs of your process. Get it on paper. Chances are you already have a solid understanding of who your target market are and what they are looking for in a product/service. Your target market and product/service characteristics should align with your mission and vision.

3)   DEVOTE attention to your customer’s needs and expectations. Let me be more specific – ask them what their needs and expectations are for your product/service.  This is an important step so I’ll cover this in more detail in an upcoming article.

4)   DEVELOP effective measures.  The key word here is effective (I’ll talk more about this in a moment). When developing your metrics, I suggest you follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” method.  Each letter stands for one of the five criteria for effective metrics, which are; Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely.

S – Specific (targeted to the area you are measuring)
M – Measurable (collect data that is accurate and complete)
A – Actionable (they are easy to interpret)
R – Relevant (don’t measure things that are not important)
T – Timely (getting the data when you need it)

Remember, you don’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.  You can’t track progress towards your goals without metrics… the right metrics.

And that can make or break your customer support system.


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