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Infographic of metrics from a business view

Metrics – the ‘what pays the bills’ view

category February 27, 2018

Asym is built to boost business success. That means defining ‘business success’ is a big deal.  At Asym we believe ‘delivering profit’ is most often the ultimate measure of business success, which is why our pricing structure requires no net spend. 

This post is the last in our series on Metrics. It highlights the metric that most clearly contributes to business profitability. It also offers examples of less common success paradigms and suggests metrics that may be more applicable in those specific situations.

The other posts in the series provide different perspectives on which metrics are most valuable. The first post looks at a Harvard Business Review perspective on how Tesla shows existing metrics are outdated. The second post helps make sense of metrics by grouping them into 4 broad categories. The third post presents the traditional view of metrics, with consumption metrics driving everything else. The fourth post considers the balanced view, with each metric contributing an equal measure to business success. The fifth post looks at the business view.


apple logo, representing business success


The horse before the cart

Apple is the most profitable company in the world. When it comes to defining business success, Apple is iconic. There are other metrics that are more open to evaluation and judgement – IBM or Microsoft may have more customers using their products (thus generating more engagement), and Facebook and Google may lead the field when it comes to offering consumable media. Different metrics yield different interpretations of success. Yet Apple having a net worth higher than all but the top 16 countries in the world has a gravitas other metrics struggle to deliver. Business success remains linked to the most profitable company. Profit drives business success so closely you could say profit is business success.


Profit drives business success so closely you could say profit is business success.


When it comes to which is the cart and which is the horse, it can be deceptively easy to put data science ahead of ultimate business success. There is a logical flow to seeing consumption metrics drive business success. Yet consumption metrics can be misleading when there are many people paying little attention. Getting the largest audience doesn’t work when that audience has no intention of purchasing, or is browsing your content to kill time.

We firmly believe when it comes to choosing metrics based on business success, profit is the ultimate measure that needs to inform all other choices. With a caveat.


Success paradigms

Business success is not the only measure of ‘success’. The Salvation Army may not be extremely profitable, yet in providing food, shelter and employment opportunities to marginalized people it ranks as one of the most successful. The Correspondent is not the largest media corporation, yet in terms of providing bias-free thought-provoking news articles, it ranks as an industry leader.


Use a feedback loop to choose appropriate metrics


Adapting your metrics to suit your success paradigm is key to creating feedback loops that build company success. Where ‘reaching the greatest amount of those in need’ is the success paradigm, the metrics used to inform decisions will be very different from the metrics involved in maximizing profit.


The profit problem solves itself

When profit is seen as the ultimate measure of business success, the thorny problem of choosing which metrics lead the cart and which metrics are the cart is already defined.


pic of cart and horse to illustrate which metric to invest in


Profit is the metric that leads the cart. Profit is the ultimate measure of business success. So software, usability choices, and investments that directly boost profit are clearly indicated. Profit is the action and result that pays the bills.

Which is why at Asym we offer a free trial period. You can directly test and get results to evaluate how Asym’s microcharge per dollar of profit delivered will affect your bottom line.


Summing up

Bain and Company have an article on navigating data analytics that has a total of 6 recommendations. To sum up with one quote:


“Many will rush to invest in the latest analytics software and infrastructure vendors and hire data scientists, but the ultimate winners will align these investments with their strategic and organizational needs in ways that lead to action and results.” 

– Bain and Company Management Consultants, 2017.


The two specific recommendations that stand out as most unexpected may be:

  1. Put business science before data science.
  2. Look well beyond the traditional metrics.

We agree.

Hopefully, our dive into the world of metrics has been useful. Its intention was to cut through the clutter and help you inform your success the best way possible. Which leads us to a final point.


pic of ship used to indicate the direction is yours to choose


Your definition of success matters. It may be (and often is) pure profit, but it doesn’t have to be. Your company is a ship, and we aren’t here to suggest there is a best way to steer it. Our job is to provide very specific technology that can help you get closer to your destination.

Connect with us and start a conversation to see if Asym can boost the metrics that matter to you.

Thanks for reading.

Chris, Ken, & Edward


Here is the Bain and Company insight article.

Asymmetrica Team
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