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Measure What Matters: Online Tools For Understanding Customers, Social Media, Engagement, and Key Relationships by William T. Paarlberg, Katie Delahaye Paine

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Chapter 4. Yes, You Can Afford to Measure: Choosing the Right Measurement Tool for the Job

"One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions."

Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

While the fundamental tech-niques of statistics and research design don't change much over the years, the ability of new technologies to get interesting data into our hands does change rapidly. Measurement tools and systems have advanced tremendously in the last decade or so. Gathering data, whether from media outlets or customers, becomes faster and cheaper every year, and new tools and techniques are developed all the time. Electronic access to data from thousands of media outlets combined with automated content analysis has revolutionized the clipping and content analysis business. You can now get daily analysis of your items delivered to your desktop 24/7. Rapidly advancing technology now allows the widespread use of web analytics and unique URLs to tie activities to actual user response.

The only way to stay on top of this change is to continually educate yourself. A good place to start is at one of the best research websites, that of the Society for New Communications Research at www.sncr.org. We also continuously update our readers at www.themeasurementstandard.com and kdpaine.blogs.com.

It used to be that the biggest barrier to measurement was cost. With the proliferation of inexpensive tool choices, the biggest barrier is figuring out just what tools you need. This chapter provides detailed ...

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