When you die what will your friends and family know of who you were?
At work they may try to measure you with numbers, but to your spouse, daughter and friend those measurements are meaningless. They know you from how you have helped them and hurt them. How you loved them or rejected them. What is measured about you in numbers has little bearing on the experience the people who matter most have.
I do understand the power of measurement. Carefully chosen data can help us see. We are distracted creatures and a stream of good data helps us pay attention to important things we’d otherwise overlook in our daily chaos. I like the ideas in Moneyball, where data helped people open their minds about what things matter and what things don’t.
But the trap is what is easiest to measure is always the least important thing. You can measure kisses per day, but that won’t tell you how much you’ve loved someone. Bad data is the most abundant kind. And even good data can be used in dumb ways.
The rub is any measurement can be gamed. The person with the highest score may be the one who has the least integrity.
It’s a mistake to allow data to be a god. Data is dead. Numbers don’t know why they were created. Data, if granted the power, will lord over people mercilessly without any awareness that it’s out of date, behind the times, or having the opposite effect its creators intended.
It is wise to be informed by data, but only a fool is data’s slave. You are more than what is measured about you.