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Measuring data – Do numbers tell the tale?

  • Workplace Data & Insights

Justin Timmer is our In-House Researcher. Contact him via

The Dutch expression “Meten is Weten!” is a common saying, it implies that if you don’t know something, you should measure it! The English equivalent is “Numbers tell the tale”. At Measuremen, we of course completely agree with this statement, and it’s actually one of our company core values. In these dynamic and chaotic times, measuring is the only way to get certainty and take the right actions. But how can we use measuring to guide your organisation?

Measuring – getting close to the truth

During these uncertain times, world leaders, experts, managers, and individuals all have opinions about how we are dealing with COVID-19. Unfortunately, we know that many of these words don’t align with the actual facts that come from the numbers. Overconfident ego’s blur the reality of what is going on through making approximate guesses, which hurt more than doing good. To get to the truth, we need to measure, data truly tell what is going on.

Measuring what matters – Getting your focus

When you want to know what is going on, you need to measure the right things. For organisations, this means different variables than for nations. In fact, what you want to measure differs between each organisation. For example, you can prioritise measuring the average well-being of your employees. Discover which type of support employees need to work remotely effectively. Focus on the status of your inventory, or how many employees you can house on the square meters you have available.

Measuring by itself will also guide your thinking. Some managers see their success in cost savings, others see it in engaged employees, and others see it in functioning buildings. I hope it’s no surprise that dollar signs, engaged employees, and functional building are all parts of one puzzle. Strictly focusing on saving costs might have devastating effects for employees and for buildings, giving the opposite effects in the long run. An organisation is one connected system where all these factors interact with each other.

Measuring change – Getting predictions

The Heisenberg uncertainty principle says that when you measure where something is, you don’t know where it’s going. That is the problem with questionnaires, if you’ve measured the productivity of your employees after 3 weeks of Lock-down, you know their ratings at that moment, but you won’t know where it will be after 6 weeks of Lock-down. It is quite likely that the productivity of employees is unstable during this prolonged lockdown. When you have repeated measures (like small questionnaires every week), you can work to identify trends and make solid predictions of where your workforce is likely to go and what they need.

Measuring interactions – Understanding your organisation

Your office has an impact on your employees, and the well-being of your employees has an influence on your revenue. Only by having repeated measures across variables, you can see how these factors have an impact on each other. For example, if you have weekly information about the well-being of your employees, you can see how re-entering the building affects them, or how a potential second wave alters their behaviour. This type of data is interesting for managers but might also be interesting for the employees themselves as a form of self-reflection, similarly to people who are wearing Fitbits to measure (and improve) their steps. Through the dynamics in the data, you can get a lot of valuable data and see which factors interact.

Measuring data – Improving your organisation

Through having relevant and truthful data, reliable predictions, and understanding the interactions within your organisation, you can start to make big changes that improve your organisation. From this moment on, you can go on and tweak your organisation improving the well-being, the building, the productivity, and the revenue. You can prevent potential problems by getting the right information on time, understanding what your employees do. But you could also see how new interventions affect your employees through A/B testing, for example.

Measuremen – We measure

Measuring holds many potentials but understanding your own data can be quite difficult if you don’t have the right tools. Measuremen can help you with that through our services such as our employee experience app Habital®, Workplace Asset Inventories, and a Sensor Connected Workplace. With our interactive online Measuremen Portal, you can retrieve live data and play with the graphs to get the right insights you need.

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