5 Steps to Clarifying the Metrics You Actually Care About: Step4

In this episode we’re digging into how to Step 4 of Measuring the Metrics that Matter: how to track data for those metrics. In the past 3 Episodes we walked through the first 3 steps: 

  1. Have clear, specific goals with timelines
  2. For each goal, determine how you will know when it is “done”
  3. Make a list of leading indicators for that goal – what actions are taken in pursuit of getting it “done”?


Now that you know what you want to do, when it is done and what actions show progress towards it, let’s break down how to get the data that allows you to see progress, or lack thereof, towards your goals.

Measuring Progress and Track Data

When it comes to “measuring progress” there are all kinds of fancy, advanced, complex ways to track data and report them. And while that type of automated dashboard may ultimately be desirable, it is usually not the place to get started. I prefer to go with the “start simple, get fancy later” approach to save time, energy and money. If we build a complex system for the first version, there’s likely a lot of things we don’t know – then the complex system has to be updated.

If we start simple, we can get the learnings and iterations without a ton of effort and once we have a well-defined and tested system, then we can put in automation or other systems to support it.

The other challenge with gathering data is that it is hard to know where to start and once started, being consistent.

Let’s take a moment and sync up on the purpose of having this information: to evaluate progress towards stated goals and have real-time information to make adjustments to activities to stay on course. In other words, to connect the dots between what efforts are being made and the results of those efforts. 

So what if there could be a simple way to capture the data that is needed to regularly check in and see if we are on track with the defined leading indicators? There is!

Set up a Scorecard

The simplest version of tracking anything is to set up a scorecard. See – I don’t really even have to explain it, you can already picture a scorecard in your head – maybe yours looks like a golf score card or a bowling score screen, but the concept is straightforward. 

Definitely keep simple in mind when setting this up. A spreadsheet with a date column and a column for inputting the score for the leading indicator is really all that is needed. When setting up a scorecard, I recommend starting with just 1 or 2 leading indicators. 

Back to the example

If we go back to the leading indicators discussed in the last episode for weight loss, we might choose number of workouts & steps per week to track. In that case a spreadsheet would be created with the week number or date, a column for number of workout minutes and a column for number of steps. Then each week on Friday or Sunday the data can be entered here from a fitness tracker. I will also typically add the goal for each column in the title, for example Workout Minutes (target=90). Then each week progress can be evaluated and for the weeks where the targets are met, reviewing what enabled that. For the weeks when the target wasn’t met, evaluating what happened that prevented that from happening.

Need help or want a written guide for this? No problem, we’ve got you. Head over to fieryfx.com/5steps to download a worksheet to help you define the metrics that matter to your business and success.

Ready to start tracking metrics? In the next episode we’ll cover the final step of the 5 step process to Discover Metrics that Matter. Worried you’ll miss it? Do your future self a favor and subscribe to Leverage Your Spark on your preferred podcast platform. You can also subscribe & share at leverageyourspark.com.

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