A “stat,” a “metric,” a “KPI.” These are all names for basically the same thing. But what is it?
Statistics are pretty straightforward. A stat is a number tracked over a unit of time. For example, “the number of sales made in a year.” By themselves, stats don’t do anything or change anyone’s life; they simply track data over a specific span of time.
You can use your stats though (hence the name “UseMyStats”), to take control of your business or life. Stats can help steer you in the direction you want to go. Stats are very objective. They don’t have emotions. They don’t worry about offending anyone. If you made less money last month than this month, they will tell you that. There are no excuses made with stats; they simply tell it how it is.
Let’s take for example cars.
They require gas to drive. If your gas tank is empty, your car won’t go. You need something to tell you how much gas is in the tank. Enter the gas gauge, which reports a current stat: “currently, you have X gas”. With that information, you can decide how far you can go and when you’ll need to stop and get more gas. Also important to note is that if your gas starts rapidly decreasing, you know something is wrong that you’d better fix.
Businesses and people are the same way. You produce certain products/provide certain services and get money/support in return. This has to happen in order to continue to exist. Stats help you measure those things so you can actually do the producing, selling, collecting, vacationing (very important!), etc., and not have to worry that you might be missing something. Keep in mind that tracking stats is just half the battle. Once informed, you have to take action.
Stats can help you become more efficient.
Watching your statistics over time with graphs, you can more easily spot trends. You can see, for example, that your sales go up every third Tuesday of the month. Once you identify the trend, you can find the reason (and hopefully replicate it!). You may notice that production has dropped since Sally went on vacation, so you need to make sure she is covered. You may also notice that production didn’t drop when Fred went on vacation, so you can ask yourself, “why am I paying him so much money?!”
To sum it all up, stats are just numbers that you can use to objectively watch your business without having to be physically present every second. They are a tool to help you spot where things had changed, for better or worse. Use your stats to make educated decisions.
If you’d like to hear me gab about this topic, hop on over and check out this video here.