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Metrics that Matter...NOT


The request appears to be simple and straightforward and should not be too difficult to fulfill - because after all, there are many tools to measure a variety of operational functions. How you respond to this request ultimately depends on where you are in your “Metrics Evolution.”

Metrics Evolution
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic growth in tools available to capture, analyze and create a more holistic view of “the business,” which has created the perception that metrics have evolved at the same rate.

The reality is that because there remains a significant focus on operational metrics and efficiencies, a huge gap still exists between metrics and “Metrics That Matter.”

Much of the gap is the result of a reticence to recognize the direct correlation (and benefits) that operational metrics have on overall business objectives.

The evolution is depicted in the following states:

• Original
• Current
• Future

Historically (and still in many organizations) the tools in place for the capture and utilization of metrics have been limited. As a result, the actual value of those metrics is minimal. Traditional call center measures often suffer from, “that is how we always measured it” syndrome. With this level of availability and utilization, the critical alignment of metrics with business objectives further reduces this value.

Original State; Non- aligned

As the tools available to capture and distribute metrics have increased and evolved, the utilization of those metrics has kept pace neither in sophistication nor strategic alignment, which has resulted in a marginal increase in the value those metrics provide.

Current state: Limited Alignment

With the current tools capabilities and the expected evolution of data capture, correlation and automation already envisioned in the near future, the real value will only reach its potential with dedicated focus on the critical alignment of operational and strategic metrics to ensure that we optimize the value from our newly defined, “Metrics that Matter.”

Future state: Robust Alignment

One of the largest impacts of moving in this direction is the ability to make significantly more targeted, data-driven decisions. Metrics need to be multi-dimensional to include both numbers and the context, or behaviors, behind those numbers. Sophisticated metrics are those that are performance-driven and are the difference between providing, “the moment in time snapshot,” and, “the movie,” a.k.a. - data over time. In addition, this allows you to more accurately separate the “important” from the “urgent,” so you can more efficiently and effectively act on what you discover. When operational measures align with strategic goals they become elevated to the status of trusted sources of valid data and can directly drive key decisions and organizational direction.


In order for Contact Centers to maximize the real value of their metrics, they need to ensure that the tools they select provide the ability to capture and communicate not only those tactical datapoints we are all so familiar with, but also those insights most critical to aligning their day-to-day operations (the “moment in time snapshot”) with the mid- and long-term business objectives (“the movie”).

At NICE, we believe in matching the right tools with current, reliable and consolidated data over time and ensuring this is done within a well designed analytics framework. This framework has to include the metrics that matter to your organization in order to inform your data-driven decisions.

So the next time you receive your version of Joanne’s email, you should be able to easily provide not only the snap shot, but also any related trends and data anlysis which supports Joanne’s tactical and strategic decisions. You will be in a position that most contact centers still only aspire to.

Ann Traurig is a Sr. Business Consultant for NICE Systems

David Johnson is a Sr. Business Consultant for NICE Systems