How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business / Edition 1

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Overview

Now updated with all-new measurement methods, 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, organizational flexibility, technology risk, and technology ROI.

  • Adds new measurement methods, showing how they can be applied to areas such as risk management and customer satisfaction
  • Simplifies overall content while still making the more technical applications available to those readers who want to dig deeper
  • Continues to boldly assert that any perception of "immeasurability" is based on certain popular misconceptions about measurement and measurement methods
  • Shows the common reasoning for calling something immeasurable, and sets out to correct those ideas
  • Offers practical methods for measuring a variety of "intangibles"

Written by recognized expert Douglas Hubbard—creator of Applied Information Economics—How to Measure Anything, Third Edition illustrates how the author has used his approach across various industries and how any problem, no matter how difficult, ill defined, or uncertain can lend itself to measurement using proven methods.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"How to Measure Anything was already my favorite book (just ahead of Hubbard's second book, The Failure of Risk Management) and one I actively promote to my students and colleagues. But the Second Edition, improving on the already exquisite first edition, is and achievement of its own. As a physicist and economist, I applied these techniques in several fields for several years. For the first time, somebody wrote together all these concerns on one canvas that is at the same time accessible to a broad audience and applicable by specialists. This book is a must for students and experts in the field of analysis (in general) and decision-making."
—Dr. Johan Braet, University of Antwerp. Faculty of Applied Economics, Risk Management and Innovation

"Now, performance measures can be defined for even the most difficult problems. Doug Hubbard's book is a marvelous tutorial on how to define sound metrics to justify and manage complex programs. It is a must read for anyone concerned about mitigating the risks involved with Capital Planning, Investment Decisions and Program Management."
Jim Flyzik, former Government CIO, White House Technology Advisor and CIO Magazine Hall of Fame Inductee

Praise from How to Measure Anything, First Edition

"I love this book. Douglas Hubbard helps us create a path to know the answer to almost any question, in business, in science or in life...Hubbard helps us by showing us that when we seek metrics to solve problems, we are really trying to know something 'better than we know it now,' to put something into context, to find insight to help us get our jobs done, to be more successful, to discover things, or to build things. How to Measure Anything provides just the tools most of us need to measure anything better, to gain that insight, to make progress, and to succeed."
Peter Tippett, Ph.D., M.D., Chief Technology Officer at CyberTrust and inventor of the first antivirus software

"Interestingly written and full of case studies and rich examples, Hubbard's book is a valuable resource for those who routinely make decisions involving uncertainty. This book is readable and quite entertaining, and even those who consider themselves averse to statistics may find it highly approachable."
Strategic Finance

"Hubbard has made a career of finding ways to measure things that other folks thought were immeasurable. Quality? The value of telecommuting? The risk of IT project failure? the benefits of greater IT security? Public image? He says it can be done—and without breaking the bank.... If you'd like to fare better in the project-approval wars, take a look at this book."
ComputerWorld, August 2007

"I use this book as a primary reference for my measurement class at MIT. The students love it because it provides practical advice that can be applied to a variety of scenarios; from aerospace & defense, healthcare, politics, etc."
Ricardo Valerdi, PhD, Lecturer, MIT

"This book is remarkable in its range of measurement applications and its clarity of style. A must-read for every professional who has ever exclaimed, 'Sure, that concept is important, but can we measure it?'
Dr. Jack Stenner, Cofounder and CEO of MetaMetrics, Inc.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470110126
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/3/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1240L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.41 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

DOUGLAS W. HUBBARD is the inventor of Applied Information Economics (AIE), a measurement methodology that has earned him critical praise from The Gartner Group, Giga Information Group, and Forrester Research. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of decision analysis and challenging measurements and is a popular speaker at numerous conferences. He has written articles for Information Week, CIO Enterprise, and DBMS Magazine. He is the author of The Failure of Risk Management: Why It’s Broken and How to Fix It and Pulse: The New Science of Harnessing Internet Buzz to Track Threats and Opportunities.

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Table of Contents


Preface     xi
Acknowledgments     xv
Measurement: The Solution Exists
The Intangibles and the Challenge     3
An Intuitive Measurement Habit: Eratosthenes, Enrico, & Emily     7
How an Ancient Greek Measured the Size of Earth     8
Estimating: Be Like Fermi     9
Experiments: Not Just for Adults     12
Notes on What to Learn from Eratosthenes, Enrico, and Emily     16
The Illusion of Intangibles: Why Immeasurables Aren't     19
The Concept of Measurement     20
The Object of Measurement     24
The Methods of Measurement     27
Economic Objections to Measurement     33
The Broader Objection to the Usefulness of "Statistics"     34
Ethical Objections to Measurement     36
Toward a Universal Approach to Measurement     39
Before You Measure
Clarifying the Measurement Problem     43
Getting the Language Right: What "Uncertainty" and "Risk" Really Mean     45
Examples of Clarification: Lessons for Business from, of All Places, Government     47
Calibrated Estimates: How Much Do You Know Now?     53
Testing Your Ability to Assess Odds     53
Calibration Exercise     55
FurtherImprovements on Calibration     59
Conceptual Obstacles to Calibration     61
The Effects of Calibration     65
Measuring Risk: Introduction to the Monte Carlo Simulation     71
An Example of the Monte Carlo Method and Risk     74
Tools and Other Resources for Monte Carlo Simulations     79
The Risk Paradox     82
Measuring the Value of Information     85
The Chance of Being Wrong and the Cost of Being Wrong: Expected Opportunity Loss     86
The Value of Information for Ranges     89
The Imperfect World: The Value of Partial Uncertainty Reduction     92
The Epiphany Equation: The Value of a Measurement Changes Everything     95
Summarizing Uncertainty, Risk, and Information Value: The First Measurements     99
Measurement Methods
The Transition: From What to Measure to How to Measure     103
Tools of Observation: Introduction to the Instrument of Measurement     105
Decomposition     109
Secondary Research: Assuming You Weren't the First to Measure It     113
The Basic Methods of Observation: If One Doesn't Work, Try the Next     115
Measure Just Enough     117
Consider the Error     119
Choose and Design the Instrument      124
Sampling Reality: How Observing Some Things Tells Us about All Things     127
Building an Intuition for Random Sampling: The Jelly Bean Example     132
A Little About Little Samples: A Beer Brewer's Approach     133
The Easiest Sample Statistics Ever     138
A Biased Sample of Sampling Methods     141
Measure to the Threshold     147
Experiment     151
Seeing Relationships in the Data: An Introduction to Regression Modeling     155
Bayes: Adding to What You Know Now     161
Simple Bayesian Statistics     161
Using Your Natural Bayesian Instinct     165
Heterogeneous Benchmarking: A "Brand Damage" Application     170
Getting a Bit More Technical: Bayesian Inversion for Ranges     174
Beyond the Basics
Preference and Attitudes: The Softer Side of Measurement     183
Observing Opinions, Values, and the Pursuit of Happiness     183
A Willingness to Pay: Measuring Value via Trade-offs     187
Putting It All on the Line: Quantifying Risk Tolerance     192
Quantifying Subjective Trade-offs: Dealing with Multiple Conflicting Preferences     195
Keeping the Big Picture in Mind: Profit Maximization versus Subjective Trade-offs     199
The Ultimate Measurement Instrument: Human Judges     203
Homo absurdus: The Weird Reasons behind Our Decisions     204
Getting Organized: A Performance Evaluation Example     207
Surprisingly Simple Linear Models     208
How to Standardize Any Evaluation: Rasch Models     210
Removing Human Inconsistency: The Lens Model     214
Panacea or Placebo?: Questionable Methods of Measurement     219
Comparing the Methods     226
New Measurement Instruments for Management     229
The Twenty-First-Century Tracker: Keeping Tabs with Technology     229
Measuring the World: The Internet as an Instrument     232
Prediction Markets: Wall Street Efficiency Applied to Measurements     235
A Universal Measurement Method: Applied Information Economics     243
Bringing the Pieces Together     244
Case: The Value of the System That Monitors Your Drinking Water     248
Case: Forecasting Fuel for the Marine Corps     253
Ideas for Getting Started: A Few Final Examples     260
Summarizing the Philosophy     267
Calibration Tests     269
Index     279
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    How to Measure Anything

    Finding the answers to most questions usually begins with measuring. But when it comes to answering questions that plague business and society – Will this new product succeed? Will that company fail? How valuable is a human life? – the usual tools of measurement fall short. Metrics expert Douglas W. Hubbard offers a logical, reasoned explanation of how to assign a dimension to anything, especially intangibles or “soft” issues. He makes a strong case for why failing to measure such issues can lead to unsatisfactory or even disastrous decisions. His straightforward approach to the sometimes off-putting field of statistics will appeal to even the most numerically challenged. getAbstract recommends his advice to anyone charged with making critical decisions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Anything can be measured

    This is a truly eye-opening book. I, too, once fell into the trap of thinking that certain things were simply not measurable. But this book has clearly pointed out the fallacy of that way of thinking. Anything can be measured if you understand that measurement is not always an exact figure but rather is a way of reducing uncertainty. This book explains these ideas very clearly and includes many tips and shortcuts to help you. I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2008

    Best measurement book ever written for management

    Do you think the most important things can't be measured? Of course, they can, says Doug Hubbard. I picked this up as a skeptic and I have to say that Hubbard has completely addressed every reason I ever said something was 'immeasurable'. He carefully identifies, and then demolishes, every myth about measurement and its alleged impossibility in so many situations. I particularly liked his treatment of established methods for measuring uncertainty, risk, and the value of information. He even shows how various studies measured happiness and how much we value endangered species or our own safety - all by examining the choices we make. This is the only measurement book I've ever found worth recommending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2014

    Excellent and enlightening.

    It's taken me a while to get to this volummme, but so far, I've found it enlightening and thought-provoking. Hubbard takes a very obtuse approach to looking at what might be thought of as common things and drawing interesting conclusions as to how they can be more meaningfula dn useful as metrics.
    i am throughly enjoying this book.

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    Posted March 18, 2010

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    Posted January 11, 2010

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