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How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business
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How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  742 ratings  ·  68 reviews

Now updated with new research and even more intuitive explanations, a demystifying explanation of how managers can inform themselves to make less risky, more profitable business decisions

This insightful and eloquent book will show you how to measure those things in your own business that, until now, you may have considered "immeasurable," including customer satisfaction,

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Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published (first published July 30th 2007)
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Takuro Ishikawa
The most important thing I learned from this book: “A measurement is a set of observations that reduce uncertainty where the result is expressed as a quantity.” Finally! Someone has clearly explained that measurements are all approximations. Very often in social research, I have to spend a lot of time explaining that metrics don’t need to be exact to be useful and reliable. Hopefully, this book will help me shorten those conversations.
Jurgen Appelo
297 references to risk, and only 29 references to opportunity. No mention of unknown unknowns (or black swans), and no mention of the observer effect (goodhart's law). A great book, teaching you all about metrics, as long as you ignore complexity.
Marcelo
An excellent read. It could be summed up as a "basic statistics for business" book, although it definitely goes beyond that in many aspects.

As the title suggests, throughout the whole book the author strongly defends the case that everything can be measured, even though the method may not be obvious at first glance. The book structure basically consists of the explanations of why this is so and various examples and methods that should help the reader to deal with many types of such problems.

Alon
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Steve Walker
There is a lot of good information here but it is more of a text book and very dry. I read this book because I have to make decisions every day. Some decisions are very easy because I have the intell and facts that make the decision for me. But other decisions aren't so easy. What are my "real" risks? How do I separate emotion from a decision? What about all the things involved that can't be measured?

Ah, that is where this book was insightful an helpful. Hubbard aserts that there isn't anything
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Yevgeniy Brikman
As an engineer, this book makes me happy. A great discussion of how to break *any* problem down into quantifiable metrics, how to figure out which of those metrics is valuable, and how to measure them. The book is fairly actionable, there is a complementary website with lots of handy excel tools, and there are plenty of examples to help you along. The only downside is that this is largely a stats book in disguise, so some parts are fairly dry and a the difficulty level jumps around a little bit. ...more
Martin Klubeck
I really like this book. Hubbard not only champions the belief that anything can be measured, he gives you the means (the understanding of how) to get it done. I have used his book on numerous occasions when tackling some difficult data collection efforts.

Hubbard's taxonomy and mine don't fully jive, but that's a minor point; I found much more to like than not. I like to highlight and make notes in good books...this book is full of both. I especially like one of his "useful measurement assumpti
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Nils
An OK popularization of measurement techniques. But it downplays the key issue—which is data quality challenges, of which there are at least two types.

The first is the "moneyball" type: a phenomenon where we know intuitively that there are important differences in measurable outcomes but we lack statistically significant explanations. The challenge here is to find things to measure that are consistently revealing of the phenomenon you are ultimately interested in measuring (say team wins). Maki
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Jeff Yoak
This was a fantastic read. It helps with general numeracy as well as providing an overview on how to think about measurement and statistics practically. This is an area where I have some experience and I still learned a lot. This book, especially the first half, should be accessible to everyone.

The second half is a bit more technical and I wished I had been reading in paper instead of in audio. I may do that eventually. The pacing is a little hard in audio and I could have benefited from notes,
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Bibhu Ashish
Happened to read the book from IIBA.org site where I have been a member since last year. The best takeaway from the book is the structural thought process it brings in while dealing with intangibles which we always are demotivated to measure. To summarize my learning, I would just mention the below which I have copied from the book.
1-If it's really that important, it's something you can define. If it's something you think exists at all, it's something you've already observed somehow.
2-If it's so
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Rob
A colleague of mine from work had the 2nd edition of this book sitting on his shelf. After thumbing through it for a bit I borrowed it and am so happy I did! There are so many “Aha” moments in the book that directly relate to my own work, that I waited for the 3rd edition to come out, purchased it, and read it cover to cover.

Hubbard starts with shattering the myth that some things just can’t be measured (if it can be observed, it can be measured), then goes on to give methodology with understand
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Kim Mcnelly
How To Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business by Douglas W. Hubbard
I chose to read this book because it seems to be focused around analytics and measurements and this is a field that I would like to get back into at work.
I found after I started listening that this book is heavy on statistics and some of the parts were well beyond my curve for this topic. I did find that having taken the Grainger/CLC Intro to Statistics course, most of the terminology and references were
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Jon
Simply put the first half of this is just awesome. As I listened to this via audio the second half is plagued by many formulas that doesn’t translate or understood well when listened to. The second half is also very heavily into statistics which could be a somewhat laborious read for some.

The first half is very recommended as it goes into what it means to “measure” something and suggest some very fundamental questions regarding measuring. E.g.:

What is it you want to have measured? E.g. what does
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Alissa Thorne
While this book could be described as basic statistics for people responsible for making business decisions, that would not do it credit. For me, by far the greatest value was around the pragmatic and down to earth approach to decision making.

The approach challenges decision makers to figure out what tangible outcome they actually care about, and think creatively to come up with low cost observations that can be measured. It goes on to give readers tools to determine how much they don't know an
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Erwin
I only read the first half. It got too boring.

Measurement is about reducing uncertainty, reducing risk. There are many simple ways to measure anything, especially the so called intangibles.

The point is a good one. Measurements don't need to be precise (exactly how many?) if you have a lot of uncertainty.

The book is a bit slow and dry. Feels more like a text book than a good teacher. Accept the premise (you can measure it and reduce uncertainty!) and your most of the way there.
Karen
This book is a *must read* for anyone who needs to compile coherent, useful business cases in scenarios where "intangibles" exist. As the author notes, it's not about compiling exact data but rather reducing uncertainty (and thus risk). I found the concepts and approaches outlined by this book to be very useful. While not a whispersync title, I bought both the kindle version and the audible.com version -- while it's nice to have the concepts available for visual review, I found the audible.com v ...more
Abdulrahman
A very important book, especially if you are a person who is having trouble putting a measure into functions you would normally consider unmeasurable. This understanding is pivotal if you want to create solid KPIs and/or go crazy on the details of a valuation. It is a mindset that we should all be aware of; Everyone should know that everything can be measured, you just have to find the right measure.
Daniel Carlson
Measuring is all about reducing uncertainty.

I enjoyed this book, even though it has much jargon about statistics and formulas, mainly because it helped change my presuppositions about measurements.

This book has some good concepts about measuring that anyone can benefit from; it also has more in depth explanations for those who want to really dig deep.

If you listen to this book don't forget to download the charts and graphs to look at.

Joseph Santiago
This book was one of the best written books on applying measurement to the workplace and life in a variety of settings. The bonus excel documents allow you to quickly do the exercises that are gone over in this book and utilize them to do data collection simply. This book starts with a challenge that dares you to find something that cannot be measured and have rough or specific value. I picked quantifying motivation for change. This book allowed me to come up with that measure and more. This was ...more
Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne
This book made me realise how ignorant I was about the fundamentals of statistics and scientific observation. I no longer fear quantitative information now that I understand that pursuing exact values is often futile and that educated estimates wrapped in a confidence interval can be more useful and more readily obtained. It has really changed the way I look at analysing information and drawing conclusions from both quantitative and qualitative information to input into my design and evaluation ...more
P
The intangibles and the challenge -- An intuitive measurement habit : Eratosthenes, Enrico & Emily -- The illusion of intangibles : why immeasurables aren't -- Clarifying the measurement problem -- Calibrated estimates : how much do you know now? -- Measuring risk : introduction to the Monte Carlo -- Measuring the value of information -- The transition : from what measure to how to measure -- Sampling reality : how observing some things tells us about all things -- Bayes : adding to what you ...more
Greg Streech
Kind of exhausting read. Truly, it's not hard to measure anything using basic statistics and logic. I was kind of expecting more. By the end I found the book to be drudgery any only decided to finish since I started. Maybe this will be good for people who can't think and need a place to start.
Scott Harris
This book offers value to anyone who has ever had to manage a program or attempt to provide results for a large organization. While the back-end of the book is highly technical, it is nevertheless useful for beginning to understand some key concepts. Some great definitions here such as:

Measurement: A quantitatively expressed reduction of uncertainty based on one or more observations.;

Uncertainty: The lack of complete certainty, that is, the existence of more than one possibility.

Risk: A state
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Sam Motes
Hubbard presents a pretty compelling case that anything can be measured and that you should start by measuring what you can and then build your measuring instrument to fine tune your results as the needs are better understood. Hubbard covers many fallacies of why many business say they or their industry is unique and thus their needed info can't be measured. If I had read the physical or Kindle version of the book I probably would have given it 4 or 5 stars, but the Audible version I consumed wa ...more
Joel Tone
I plan to try the methods described in this book to see if I can measure my department's performance. It should be an interesting experiment.
Dan Just
Outstanding resource for professionals and laymen alike. He cuts through a lot of the haze and effectively explains abstract concepts. Every point is based on solid research and anyone who reads this book carefully will have to accept his key points: we can learn how to quantify our own uncertainty, that uncertainty can be modeled in decision analysis, the reduction of uncertainty has a value, and there is almost always an observation that can economically reduce the uncertainty. Even profession ...more
Petr Šídlo
Great book. Eye opener to anyone managing anything :-)
Mathieu Lalonde
It will change how you think about measuring problems.
Zach
Not well-written, but some good stuff, including calibration tests and a how-to for running Monte Carlo simulations.
Jessica Buike
This was a required textbook in a research methods course that I took for my Master's degree. I found it to be quite a bit dry, and not as helpful as I was hoping. I was hoping it would help to break down the world of statistics a little more, but it felt mostly full of over-complicated scenarios and difficult language. I am sure that had I picked this up in an attempt to read outside of the classroom environment that I would not have made it past more than the first couple of chapters before mo ...more
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“If a measurement matters at all, it is because it must have some conceivable effect on decisions and behaviour. If we can't identify a decision that could be affected by a proposed measurement and how it could change those decisions, then the measurement simply has no value” 5 likes
“When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science. —Lord Kelvin (1824–1907),” 0 likes
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