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Why Everything that Counts Can't be Counted
As much as we don’t want to believe it, some people matter more than others. This isn’t based on inherent worth but some individuals' opinions on matters that pertain to your product or your business.
In a restaurant, for example, if there are 20 guests in the dining room and one is a restaurant critic, then not all 20 meals take equal weight in evaluating performance. It’s more important for that one critic to have an absolutely perfect dish rather than have staff agonize over garnishes for the other guests.
Quantitative evaluations are great for measuring things that can be counted, like event attendees or products sold. But by just counting things or using quantitative methods, you don’t necessarily know whether or not you did a good job. You need qualitative evaluations to tell you that.
Human-to-human interactions are important and spot-checking with people that matter is crucial. Getting good, old-fashioned advice and feedback from actual people, and not just relying on survey data, is essential. Asking, "Hey, did you enjoy the event?" or even better, “What did you like most about the event?” gets you insight that all the surveys in the world can’t capture.
Telling me how great something is isn’t the same as learning what can be better. Qualitative evaluations allow you to see where improvements can be made and provide a sense of what people actually think and feel. This is critical for making informed decisions and raising the overall quality of your work.
Don’t get us wrong, numbers have their place but they can only tell us so much. Everything that counts can’t be counted and that’s where conversation comes in.