Lag and Lead Indicators

I’ve been thinking a lot about my business, the statistics around my websites, and lag and lead indicators. There was a period of time when I did not look at Google analytics or any other statistics. I guess I didn’t want to be disappointed by what I saw or did not see. But I got past that and realized that not knowing where I stood was far worse that knowing but wanting things to be better.

So I looked and began tracking statistics for the prior month around the first of the each month. I learned what the different statistics meant and started to figure out how to use the information to make improvements. I’ve also learned that statistics from last month, like the number of items I sold, are lag indicators. Lag indicators measure something that has passed and I cannot do a thing about.

That’s where lead indicators come in. Lead indicators are things I can so something about. And they should be things that will help me reach my goals with my lag indicators. Examples of lead indicators might be adding x number of products each week or contacting x number of blog owners a month about guest posts. And then tracking my performance. Of course, I have to pick lead indicators that will actually help me meet my goals. And truthfully, I don’t know if I have the right ones or I have all I need.

But, I am looking at the numbers. I am figuring out what I can do. And I’m holding myself accountable for doing it.

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