A few weeks ago Gavin Heaton aka @servantofchaos gave us the heads up on twitter that Linkedin is rolling out new analytics that show you how effective your updates are. Illustrating reach and social heat, the analytics are currently rolling out in waves.

My stomach churned. I think I’ve hit measurement saturation and analytics fatigue. Does weighing the pig make it fatter?  It feels like this obsessive and compulsive focus on measuring likes, comments, ROI, sales, errors, compliance, weight loss, fitness goals, savings, and expenditure might be expressed as…


The Seven Deadly Sins of Analytics.



the coveting of the performance metrics of other business units, of the follower bases that your friends have.


the more metrics you can find, the more platforms you want. We are overfeeding on benchmarking to show off the analytics


we become greedy for data, and the greed overrides the common sense use of the data we find. Smart phones are saturated with apps to measure, record and provide feedback.


the anger we experience when dodgy data is passed off as truth, the fury we feel when endorsed for something that is off brand…


oh who hasn’t puffed out with pride when the data comes back “green” on a score card or you reach a new level of reach with your efforts


the intense desire to have more power – Klout anyone?


the reluctance to change anything as the data tells you you’re doing fine


Now don’t get me wrong, I am a data nerd.

I need that bedrock of truth to provide the foundation to my inspiration and intuition. But this constant measuring breeds perfectionism and I just wonder if that is the most useful outcome to our work and social life?

Do we lose the ability to think as we rely on these smart analytics? As Benjamin Disraeli said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”. Whatever happened to “Life is a journey, not a destination”? Are our journeys being halted and slowed by the obsessive checking of metrics and our identities defined by parameters and scales?

How would work and social life feel if we did what felt right?

Treated yourself, your customer and your colleagues, friends and family with respect. If you did that…would you need the data?

Could work and social life change if we considered data from the lens of the Seven Virtues – chastity, temperance, diligence, charity, patience, kindness and humility?

Sounds like the perfect antidote to analytics fatigue.

Now, if I could just be sure that they are the right antidote. Must find a way to measure them






Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.

1 Comment

  1. Gavin Heaton says:

    They say that you value what you measure – but how do you measure wellbeing? Happiness? Belonging?

    In many ways, that’s what our abstract measurements attempt to do – but we keep holding them at arm’s length as if they belong to someone else. Perhaps it’s time to have metrics more in line with what you are describing.

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