What do the Oakland Athletics, Hubspot, the Houston Rockets and LEAN Startups have in common?

It’s all about metrics.

Regardless of the business you’re in, you have to be measuring and analyzing everything you can.  Who are your customers? What are their habits? How are they finding out about you?  Which products are each customer type buying? How much money are you making off of each customer?  What are the causes for not converting leads to customers? To understand these questions (and deeper ones) is what creates a competitive advantage.  All of the organizations listed above use metrics to gain their advantage:

Thanks to their metrics-progressive GM, Billy Beane, the Oakland Athletics were able to compete annually in the late ’90s with the economic powerhouses of the Yankees and Red Sox, who regularly spent multiple times more money on their player payroll than the Athletics were able to.  An innovative team led by Billy more deeply analyzed both the the players and the game itself to discover new ways to compete by defying industry norms.  This competitive advantage lasted for years until finally the rest of the league started to catch on and teams like the Red Sox hired GMs who used similar deep, statistical analysis.

The old adage for marketing used to be, “half of our marketing is working…I just don’t know which half.”   Thanks to the Hubspot tools, small and medium sized business can precisely measure and optimize their inbound marketing process.   The advantages of the web are just being realized in many industries. Those that take advantage of them are seeing great results in boosting their sales.

The statistical revolution is just starting to hit the NBA, and MIT alum Daryl Morey is leading the way with the Houston Rockets.  In just 2 seasons as the team’s GM, he has built a team that has surprised the NBA with its level of success.  Just like in baseball, there’s more to be learned if you look past the basic statistics…

Finally, LEAN Startups is all about measuring your customer.  You have to communicate with, analyze and respond to your customer.  If you don’t have great metrics, you won’t succeed in creating that great product that people will pay for.

How are you measuring your business? How else could you analyze it? You could be missing your next great competitive advantage.

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