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Redefining Success: The Metric Metamorphosis

A casual Friday evening starts with exploring movies just released and of course...how could I forget! Mission Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One was released on Wednesday. So, my husband and I decided to go see it. The movie opens with Tom Cruise (and someone else) requesting the audience to watch the movie on the big screen as a lot of effort has been put towards it. In my experience, such a request has never been seen before.

Now, it may make you wonder why I am discussing a movie screening, but I promise it will make sense shortly. The request made by Tom Cruise immediately sparked a thought in my brain regarding the metrics to measure the success of a movie. (remember that a person so tied to data sees data in every aspect of life!). I realized this is yet one other area where COVID has impacted how this is measured.


Let’s look at how industries have adapted to changing metrics to measure their growth or success in the last three years.


In the movie industry, as I mentioned, the focus has shifted from box-office ticket sales to alternative metrics like streaming viewership, digital rentals, and online purchases. Even though the theaters are open back up, with audience behavior changing, these new metrics provide a better understanding of a movie's success in the current landscape.

We all know how the Shipping and Logistics industry was heavily impacted. If they followed their usual metrics of on-time delivery, transit time, cost-per-mile-per unit and customer satisfaction, each metric would have been red for reasons outside of their control. Now their success is in implementing safety protocols for employees and customers while continuing to be in business, optimizing costs, successful renegotiation of contracts, etc.


The Retail industry may have measured its success of a brick-and-mortar store through in-store foot traffic in the past, but in the current landscape, consumers have become more comfortable with online shopping. So, in-store foot traffic and individual store-sales have become less relevant and the emphasis has shifted to online sales, conversion rates, customer engagement on digital platforms, and last-mile delivery metrics to assess their performance.


The Travel and Tourism Industry also had to shift their focus to survive during COVID. Companies such as Airbnb had to come up with new services such as online/ team experiences. This means that their metrics probably are not limited to physical building reservations. Traditional metrics like hotel occupancy rates and airline ticket bookings are no longer reliable indicators of success. Instead, industry players now focus on metrics such as travel sentiment analysis, online searches for future travel, and hotel bookings made well in advance as indicators of recovery.


I am sure all of us are ordering more take-outs than ever before COVID. The restaurant industry has experienced a significant shift towards takeout, delivery, and online ordering during the pandemic. Metrics like dine-in sales and table turnover rates have been overshadowed by metrics such as online orders, delivery sales, customer reviews, and social media engagement to gauge success and customer satisfaction.


As a consulting organization working in various industries, we have seen similar shifts. Helping our clients reevaluate metrics to keep up with ever changing situations and trends is part of our Data Management strategy and generating actionable insights. There are many more examples in every aspect of every industry but the point that I want to make today is that metrics are never set in stone and the management in every industry is forced to rethink.

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