Last week I wrote about nonprofit “measurement malaise” that keeps some nonprofits putting a measurement strategy for their integrated communications campaigns into practice. In the comments, I asked how can we make measurement fun? In response, Jono Smith said that was like asking how to make going to the dentist fun!
Or maybe funerals?
Whenever I do workshops and talk about measurement, I immediately see most people’s eyes glaze over unless they are member of the Spreadsheet Appreciation Society. That phrase was used in this job description from Hubspot:
At HubSpot, we dream in graphs and our native tongue is Spreadsheet Speak. Our data might be the most metrically driven data you’ve seen. That’s right, we are metrics freaks. We measure EVERYTHING, all the time. If you are not part of the Spreadsheet Appreciation Society, you will not have a good time working at HubSpot. The right candidate will understand perfectly what we mean and will smile upon reading this bullet point.
Not everyone is born with this gene. Most people view measurement as punishment, not something fun or valued.
Some ways to make measurement sexy include focusing on the results by celebrating them. Also, the reporting by using visual humor. When I asked folks on Twitter, many responded by like Erica Mills and suggested: gamify it.
That made me think of Nicole Lazzaro’s serious fun framework and how to use it to design reports.
I asked how to make measurement fun on Facebook, and here are some suggestions.
1. Celebrate Small Successes: L.P. Neenz suggested rewards. For example, if you get higher conversion rate, you go out for ice cream (or shaved ice if you’re in Hawaii).
2. Humanize the Reporting: Don’t just report numbers, include the stories. Using personas or vignettes can make data come alive and make it more relevant.
3. Visual Humor: Don’t just use numbers, bar charts, and graphs. Find metaphors and use those. John Haydon suggested a horse race. He added that it doesn’t have to be fancy, someone can draw something on a dry erase board.
4. Report the Impact: Connect your numbers or reports to the impact of your nonprofit’s work. This can make everyone not only feel good about the working for the organization, but maybe motivate some to fill those spreadsheets with meaningful data.
5. Cut the Salami Into Smaller Pieces: Don’t wait until the end to collect all your data, collect a little bit each month GiveZooks suggests.
6. Metrics the Musical: Perhaps this was just a fun answer, but reporting in song! I tried to find some interesting YouTube clips and there is a metrics measurement song. Maybe we need to create playlist of “music to crunch data by.”
7. Make the Report Tactile: Of course, this would take way too much time, but letting people play with the data.
What’s the answer? Focus on the reporting of outcomes versus the data and the data collection process. Take for example, if you tried to answer every single data analysis questions from Facebook Insights, you might find yourself exhausted from generating too much “just in case” data. Data is plentiful. What is more valuable is the reiterative process of looking at your data against your objectives and revising strategy, tactics or adjusting outcomes.
How have you made measurement fun for your nonprofit? What are some creative ways that you have used metrics and measurement and had everyone at your nonprofit enjoy it?