It’s not all about the numbers

numbers and metrics

Numbers and metrics are great because they provide cold, hard facts about what’s really happening.

But they don’t always tell the whole story.

I love the quote from Baruch College professor Aaron Levenstein, “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”

Hilarious and true.

It’s not all about the numbers.

In a past post, I mentioned how Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics used advanced analytics to scout players and find hidden gems. But that didn’t completely eliminate the need for traditional scouts who, with their eyes alone, can accurately assess players’ skills and potential.

Since I’ve been blogging more frequently, my readership numbers have gone up significantly.

That’s nice and all, but what’s been more satisfying is the higher level of engagement between me and my readers.

Many people have asked me about how my blogging is going, how they really liked particular articles, how some posts got them thinking, and how curious they are with my background.

Some have emailed me saying that they read my blog everyday and look forward to my articles.

The numbers can’t show that. And I would trade good metrics for that kind of engagement any day.

Bottom line is that while numbers are important and you should certainly keep your eye on them, they don’t always tell the whole story and aren’t always the most meaningful measurement.

What do you think about hard metrics vs. the softer stuff? I’d love to hear from you. Write your thoughts in the comments, tweet at me @mikewchan, or email me at

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