A flying lesson.

Or, why it’s important to connect KPIs to a clear
objective

Adrian Kingwell, Mezzo Labs
November 2013
Why is this date so
important?
th December
17

1903

“

“
On 17th December 1903, Wilbur and
Orville Wright achieved the first
sustained, controlled, powered heavierthan-air manned ...
Samuel Pierpont Langley
(1834 – 1906)
American astronomer,
physicist, inventor of the
bolometer and pioneer of
aviation.
•...
Langley received US War
Department grants of
$50,000 and $20,000 to
develop a piloted
airplane.
They wanted something
to h...
On May 6, 1896
Aerodrome 5 was
catapulted from a boat on
Potomac River.
It flew over 1000m.
Proved that stability and
suff...
So Langley scaled up the
original models.
He developed a more
powerful engine.
But it didn’t work.
Two launches in October...
Langley taught us some
valuable lessons:
1. There’s always
someone, somewhere
who has the budget
you need
2. Align yoursel...
“
So how did the Wright brothers beat
Langley?

“
Wright brothers started
with a more achievable
objective…
Get a man and an engine
in the air and keep it
there.
• They sta...
Their objectives were to find
more lift and better control
•

They built a wind tunnel to
test their hypotheses
before com...
The Wright brothers were
first – but not by much.
• 1 man
• 1 engine
• 37 metres
• 12 seconds
What did the Wright
brothers teach us?
• Set achievable
objectives

• Test and learn
• Optimise (they refined
the principl...
The Wright brothers
made no flights at all in
1906 and 1907.
They spent their time
trying to persuade the US
and European ...
“
So how does this help us web analysts?

“
5 steps to Data-Driven Marketing

This is your vision
• Your vision may be clear
– The objective is to get marketing driven by data,
not misinformed personal opinion

• But thi...
You need a model - one that will scale
to board level

Business
objectives
Your
objectives
Your
activities

KPIs

Metrics
Business
objectives

• Win the Spanish-American war

Your
objectives

This is how it
looked for Langley

• Build a spy pla...
Business
objectives

• Be the first manned, powered flight

Your
objectives

• Build a plane that gets a
man off the groun...
Business
objectives

This is how it could
look for you

• Sell more product at lower cost

Your
objectives

• Sell more on...
This is how it looks
once you’ve
planned it out
Objective
Nail the requirements
and get the right data.
Dashboards align with
audience types
• C-level needs very
simple m...
What Langley should
have done…
• Clearer alignment
between US Govt
objectives and
Langley’s KPIs
• More testing and
learni...
Conclusion
• Digital objectives must be aligned with
business objectives
• Objectives must be realistic and achievable
• D...
A flying lesson, or why it's important to connect KPIs to clear objectives - Adrian Kingwell
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A flying lesson, or why it's important to connect KPIs to clear objectives - Adrian Kingwell

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Adrian Kingwell, MD of Mezzo Labs, talks at Getting Ahead in Web Analytics 2 on how to improve the performance of any project by having clear objectives, KPIs and underlying data.

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  • Thanks Dororteya... Very kind of you to say so! Glad you enjoyed it.
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  • Great presentation, interesting choice of examples and great talk overall. Fingo Marketing
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  • Wilbur Wright flew 852 feet (260 m) in 59 seconds. The flights were witnessed by three coastal lifesaving crewmen, a local businessman, and a boy from the village.Making these the first public flights and the first well-documented onesBut it wasn’t the first powered flight.
  • Some would say he’s failure.But it’s not quite that simple…
  • Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before.Their first U.S. patent did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine's surfaces.
  • “Using a small homebuilt wind tunnel, the Wrights also collected more accurate data than any before enabling them to design and build wings and propellers that were more efficient than any before.”Their first U.S. patent did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine's surfaces.
  • A flying lesson, or why it's important to connect KPIs to clear objectives - Adrian Kingwell

    1. 1. A flying lesson. Or, why it’s important to connect KPIs to a clear objective Adrian Kingwell, Mezzo Labs November 2013
    2. 2. Why is this date so important? th December 17 1903 “ “
    3. 3. On 17th December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright achieved the first sustained, controlled, powered heavierthan-air manned flight… But it wasn’t the first powered flight… “ “
    4. 4. Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834 – 1906) American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation. • Professor of mathematics US Naval Academy • Director, Allegheny Observatory • Professor of astronomy, Western University of Pennsylvania • Third Secretary, Smithsonian Institution • Founder, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
    5. 5. Langley received US War Department grants of $50,000 and $20,000 to develop a piloted airplane. They wanted something to help them win the Spanish-American War – a spy plane. He connected his project with their strategic objective.
    6. 6. On May 6, 1896 Aerodrome 5 was catapulted from a boat on Potomac River. It flew over 1000m. Proved that stability and sufficient lift could be achieved in an aircraft. But it was un-manned. Next challenge: put a man in it.
    7. 7. So Langley scaled up the original models. He developed a more powerful engine. But it didn’t work. Two launches in October 1903 both immediately crashed into the water. It wouldn’t fly. It was uncontrollable. Result: no more state funding.
    8. 8. Langley taught us some valuable lessons: 1. There’s always someone, somewhere who has the budget you need 2. Align yourself with business objectives 3. Don’t set unachievable milestones, or KPIs that don’t measure progress 4. Give stakeholders regular updates of progress 5. One man’s opinions may work when you are small, by they rarely scale
    9. 9. “ So how did the Wright brothers beat Langley? “
    10. 10. Wright brothers started with a more achievable objective… Get a man and an engine in the air and keep it there. • They started with man on-board a glider • They did not waste time developing a more powerful engine
    11. 11. Their objectives were to find more lift and better control • They built a wind tunnel to test their hypotheses before committing to the full-scale world. • They used data from the wind tunnel to improve the efficiency of the wings and propellers. • They created a different sort of “model”. • Their fundamental breakthrough was invention of three-axis control.
    12. 12. The Wright brothers were first – but not by much. • 1 man • 1 engine • 37 metres • 12 seconds
    13. 13. What did the Wright brothers teach us? • Set achievable objectives • Test and learn • Optimise (they refined the principles of flight, rather than build a bigger engine) • You don’t necessarily big budgets But they were NOT a commercial success.
    14. 14. The Wright brothers made no flights at all in 1906 and 1907. They spent their time trying to persuade the US and European govts to buy their flying machine. Replying to the Wrights' letters, the U.S. military expressed virtually no interest in their claims.
    15. 15. “ So how does this help us web analysts? “
    16. 16. 5 steps to Data-Driven Marketing This is your vision
    17. 17. • Your vision may be clear – The objective is to get marketing driven by data, not misinformed personal opinion • But this journey will fail if it is not closely aligned with board-level objectives • So how do we align objectives, activity and data? “ “
    18. 18. You need a model - one that will scale to board level Business objectives Your objectives Your activities KPIs Metrics
    19. 19. Business objectives • Win the Spanish-American war Your objectives This is how it looked for Langley • Build a spy plane Your activities • Scale our model • Build a more powerful engine KPIs • Distance flown Metrics • Metres
    20. 20. Business objectives • Be the first manned, powered flight Your objectives • Build a plane that gets a man off the ground Your activities This is how it looked for the Wrights • Build better wings • Build better propellers KPIs • Lift • Power used Metrics • Lbs/ft • HP
    21. 21. Business objectives This is how it could look for you • Sell more product at lower cost Your objectives • Sell more online, with less budget Your activities • Improve SEO • Increase social reach KPIs • Increased visitors from Google • Increased visitors from Twitter • Google visitors Metrics • Twitter visitors
    22. 22. This is how it looks once you’ve planned it out
    23. 23. Objective Nail the requirements and get the right data. Dashboards align with audience types • C-level needs very simple metrics and lots of pictures • Management need some depth but not too much • Campaigns and content KPIs are deep KPI KPI C-Level Management Campaigns Content Data Layer
    24. 24. What Langley should have done… • Clearer alignment between US Govt objectives and Langley’s KPIs • More testing and learning • Better reporting of progress to all stakeholders The result… • The funding continues • The Aerodrome flies • America wins the war
    25. 25. Conclusion • Digital objectives must be aligned with business objectives • Objectives must be realistic and achievable • Decide tactics, agree KPIs • Report progress back to the board via a few simple KPIs • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, test and learn, pivot or persevere “ “

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