What are some of the possible attributes of an effective measure?

In episode 3 of the Two Harbors Consulting podcast, we discussed attributes of measurement.

Measurements have attributes – some simple, and some perhaps a bit more complicated.   A complete set of measurement attributes for an organization provide a clear, concise, detailed definition of a measure and the process used to collect it.  They preserve the unambiguous meaning of the metric, and increase:

  • Data quality
  • Understanding and use of measurements
  • Availability of useful historical information
  • Ability to make informed decisions

Measurement attribute, or definitions, or specifications typically include:

  • Name of measure
  • Description, context, and purpose
  • Reason for the measure, e.g., performance, legal, management
  • Visual display of measure (indicator)
  • Data elements for derived measures
  • Definition for each element
  • Data collection
  • How data are collected
  • When data are collected
  • Who will collect data
  • Forms and templates for collection
  • Tools for data collection
  • Validation and quality
  • Data reporting
  • Responsibilities
  • To whom data are reported
  • Frequency of report
  • Algorithm or calculation for derived measures
  • Any assumptions
  • Interpretation for the measure
  • Analytic techniques
  • Traceability to objectives and source
  • Cross reference to any other measures