How to Measure Anything

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

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Now updated with new measurement methods and new examples, How to Measure Anything shows managers how to inform themselves in order 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, government agency or other organization 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 a variety of 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" * Provides an online database ( of downloadable, practical examples worked out in detailed spreadsheets 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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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 148 x 245 x 26mm | 706g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 3rd Edition
  • 1118539273
  • 9781118539279
  • 39,404

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Praise for the second edition of How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of "Intangibles" in Business

"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 an 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

"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 for the first edition--The bestselling Business Math book two years in a row!

"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 . . . 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, PhD, MD, Chief Technology Officer, 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

"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.

"Hubbard has made a career of finding ways to measure things that other folks thought were immeasurable. Quality? The value of telecommuting? 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."
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Back cover copy

Anything can be measured. This bold assertion is the key to solving many problems in business and life in general. The myth that certain things can't be measured is a significant drain on our nation's economy, public welfare, the environment, and even national security. In fact, the chances are good that some part of your life or your professional responsibilities is greatly harmed by a lack of measurement - by you, your firm, or even your government. Regardless of your role in business, understanding the power of measurement will make you, those around you, and your organization more efficient and productive.

Using simple concepts to illustrate the hands-on application of advanced statistical techniques, How to Measure Anything, Third Edition reveals the power of measurement in our understanding of business and the world at large. This insightful and engaging book shows you how to measure those things in your business that you may have previously considered immeasurable, including: customer satisfaction, organizational flexibility, technology ROI, and technology risk. Offering examples that will get you to attempt measurements--even when it seems impossible--this book provides you with the underlying knowledge and the necessary steps for measuring anything, especially uncertainty and risk. This revised third edition provides even deeper insights into the fascinating practice of measuring intangibles, with a special emphasis on risk management and customer satisfaction. New and updated chapters also include:

A philosophical discussion of different approaches to probabilities, including what is known as the "Bayesian" vs. "frequentist" interpretations of probability Information compiled from other popular works and compelling articles from Douglas W. Hubbard Enlightening new examples of where seemingly impossible measurements were resolved with surprisingly simple methods More measurement myths and other perceived obstacles to measurement debunked

A complete and updated resource with real-world case studies and an easy-to-follow format, How to Measure Anything, Third Edition illustrates how author Douglas Hubbard--creator of Applied Information Economics--has successfully applied his approach across various industries. You'll learn how any problem, no matter how difficult, ill-defined, or uncertain, can lend itself to measurement using proven methods. Straightforward and accessible, this is the resource you'll turn to again and again to measure the seemingly immeasurable.
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Table of contents

Preface to the Third Edition xiii Acknowledgments xix About the Author xxi Part I THE MEASUREMENT SOLUTION EXISTS 1 Chapter 1 The Challenge of Intangibles 3 The Alleged Intangibles 4 Yes, I Mean Anything 5 The Proposal: It s about Decisions 7 A Power Tools Approach to Measurement 10 A Guide to the Rest of the Book 11 Chapter 2 An Intuitive Measurement Habit: Eratosthenes, Enrico, and Emily 15 How an Ancient Greek Measured the Size of Earth 16 Estimating: Be Like Fermi 17 Experiments: Not Just for Adults 20 Notes on What to Learn from Eratosthenes, Enrico, and Emily 25 Notes 27 Chapter 3 The Illusion of Intangibles: Why Immeasurables Aren t 29 The Concept of Measurement 30 The Object of Measurement 37 The Methods of Measurement 40 Economic Objections to Measurement 48 The Broader Objection to the Usefulness of Statistics 52 Ethical Objections to Measurement 55 Reversing Old Assumptions 58 Notes 65 Part II Before You Measure 69 Chapter 4 Clarifying the Measurement Problem 71 Toward a Universal Approach to Measurement 73 The Unexpected Challenge of Defining a Decision 74 If You Understand It, You Can Model It 80 Getting the Language Right: What Uncertainty and Risk Really Mean 83 An Example of a Clarified Decision 84 Notes 90 Chapter 5 Calibrated Estimates: How Much Do You Know Now? 93 Calibration Exercise 95 Calibration Trick: Bet Money (or Even Just Pretend To) 101 Further Improvements on Calibration 104 Conceptual Obstacles to Calibration 106 The Effects of Calibration Training 111 Notes 118 Chapter 6 Quantifying Risk through Modeling 123 How Not to Quantify Risk 123 Real Risk Analysis: The Monte Carlo 125 An Example of the Monte Carlo Method and Risk 127 Tools and Other Resources for Monte Carlo Simulations 136 The Risk Paradox and the Need for Better Risk Analysis 140 Notes 143 Chapter 7 Quantifying the Value of Information 145 The Chance of Being Wrong and the Cost of Being Wrong: Expected Opportunity Loss 146 The Value of Information for Ranges 149 Beyond Yes/No: Decisions on a Continuum 156 The Imperfect World: The Value of Partial Uncertainty Reduction 159 The Epiphany Equation: How the Value of Information Changes Everything 166 Summarizing Uncertainty, Risk, and Information Value: The Pre-Measurements 171 Notes 172 Part III Measurement Methods 173 Chapter 8 The Transition: From What to Measure to How to Measure 175 Tools of Observation: Introduction to the Instrument of Measurement 177 Decomposition 180 Secondary Research: Assuming You Weren t the First to Measure It 184 The Basic Methods of Observation: If One Doesn t Work, Try the Next 186 Measure Just Enough 188 Consider the Error 189 Choose and Design the Instrument 194 Notes 196 Chapter 9 Sampling Reality: How Observing Some Things Tells Us about All Things 197 Building an Intuition for Random Sampling: The Jelly Bean Example 199 A Little about Little Samples: A Beer Brewer s Approach 200 Are Small Samples Really Statistically Significant ? 204 When Outliers Matter Most 208 The Easiest Sample Statistics Ever 210 A Biased Sample of Sampling Methods 214 Experiment 226 Seeing Relationships in the Data: An Introduction to Regression Modeling 235 Notes 243 Chapter 10 Bayes: Adding to What You Know Now 247 The Basics and Bayes 248 Using Your Natural Bayesian Instinct 257 Heterogeneous Benchmarking: A Brand Damage Application 263 Bayesian Inversion for Ranges: An Overview 267 The Lessons of Bayes 276 Notes 282 PART IV Beyon d the Basi cs 285 Chapter 11 Preference and Attitudes: The Softer Side of Measurement 287 Observing Opinions, Values, and the Pursuit of Happiness 287 A Willingness to Pay: Measuring Value via Trade-Offs 292 Putting It All on the Line: Quantifying Risk Tolerance 296 Quantifying Subjective Trade-Offs: Dealing with Multiple Conflicting Preferences 299 Keeping the Big Picture in Mind: Profit Maximization versus Purely Subjective Trade-Offs 302 Notes 304 Chapter 12 The Ultimate Measurement Instrument: Human Judges 307 Homo Absurdus: The Weird Reasons behind Our Decisions 308 Getting Organized: A Performance Evaluation Example 313 Surprisingly Simple Linear Models 315 How to Standardize Any Evaluation: Rasch Models 316 Removing Human Inconsistency: The Lens Model 320 Panacea or Placebo?: Questionable Methods of Measurement 325 Comparing the Methods 333 Example: A Scientist Measures the Performance of a Decision Model 335 Notes 336 Chapter 13 New Measurement Instruments for Management 339 The Twenty-First-Century Tracker: Keeping Tabs with Technology 339 Measuring the World: The Internet as an Instrument 342 Prediction Markets: A Dynamic Aggregation of Opinions 346 Notes 353 Chapter 14 A Universal Measurement Method: Applied Information Economics 357 Bringing the Pieces Together 358 Case: The Value of the System That Monitors Your Drinking Water 362 Case: Forecasting Fuel for the Marine Corps 367 Case: Measuring the Value of ACORD Standards 373 Ideas for Getting Started: A Few Final Examples 378 Summarizing the Philosophy 384 Notes 385 Appendix Calibration Tests (and Their Answers) 387 Index 397
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About Douglas W. Hubbard

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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Rating details

2,750 ratings
3.92 out of 5 stars
5 32% (884)
4 39% (1,060)
3 21% (581)
2 6% (155)
1 3% (70)
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