Analyticscamp – or when is a metric not a metric

I was fortunate to host AnalyticsCamp on 30 November at the National Audit Office.

The whole event was a great success and a credit to Rachel Christopher who managed to line up some fascinating speakers. The success of the event was a reflection that this was a topic whose time had come, there were people with things to say who just needed an outlet.

Others have written about AnalyticsCamp already so what can I add? Well clearly we need to run it again and of course happy to host again if it is useful.

For me the whole event was about sharing and learning from others. There was also a genuine support element and a chance to say ‘ah, so its not just me who was not sure about this’.

The standout talk was of course Robin Riley who started by highlighting the kind of pseudo metrics we use when we want to make our own case, whatever variety that this might be – he introduced a level of rigour that was worthy of an auditor.

For me the two key topics were dashboards and examples of these and their use; and the wider use of monitoring tools and their effectiveness.

One common theme here was dashboards are useful especially if they can be shared with non-digital teams to highlight sometimes hidden activity/results. On the monitoring side there was a clear split between free and paid for tools. The concensus on the latter was that they can add some value as long as some caution is exercised and time does need to be invested to get the best from them.

This led to sentiment analysis where even more caution is needed depending on if you can agree what you are measuring. The sentiment to an organisation as a whole; a particular campaign etc.

Hopefully we can follow these topics up more at the next Govcamp on 19 January.