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How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of 'Intangibles' in Business | [Douglas W. Hubbard]

How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of 'Intangibles' in Business

Anything can be measured. This bold assertion is the key to solving many problems in business and life in general. The myth that certain things can't be measured is a significant drain on our nation's economy, public welfare, the environment, and even national security. In fact, the chances are good that some part of your life or your professional responsibilities is greatly harmed by a lack of measurement---by you, your firm, or even your government.
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Publisher's Summary

Anything can be measured. This bold assertion is the key to solving many problems in business and life in general. The myth that certain things can't be measured is a significant drain on our nation's economy, public welfare, the environment, and even national security. In fact, the chances are good that some part of your life or your professional responsibilities is greatly harmed by a lack of measurement---by you, your firm, or even your government.

Building up from simple concepts to illustrate the hands-on yet intuitively easy application of advanced statistical techniques, How to Measure Anything reveals the power of measurement in our understanding of business and the world at large. This insightful and engaging book shows you how to measure those things in your business that until now you may have considered "immeasurable," including technology ROI, organizational flexibility, customer satisfaction, and technology risk. Offering examples that will get you to attempt measurements---even when it seems impossible---this book provides you with the substantive steps for measuring anything, especially uncertainty and risk. Don't wait---listen to this book and find out:

  • The three reasons why things may seem immeasurable but are not
  • Inspirational examples of where seemingly impossible measurements were resolved with surprisingly simple methods
  • How computing the value of information will show that you probably have been measuring all the wrong things
  • How not to measure risk
  • Methods for measuring "soft" things like happiness, satisfaction, quality, and more
  • How to fine-tune human judges to be powerful, calibrated measurement instruments
  • How you can use the Internet as an instrument of measurement

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2010 Douglas Hubbard (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"I use this book as a primary reference for my measurement class at MIT. The students love it because it provides practical advice that can be applied to a variety of scenarios, from aerospace and defense, healthcare, politics, etc." (Ricardo Valerdi, Ph.D., Lecturer, MIT)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (208 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 03-16-12
    Douglas C. Bates Boston, MA 03-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Let go of "I don't know""

    This book thoroughly debunks the idea that some things cannot be measured.

    The principal problem is that when people think of measurement, they think of precision. If they cannot think of a way to measure something precisely, then they think the thing cannot be measured. By letting go of of this attachment to precision one finds that there are lots of ways that things can be measure that provide tremendously useful information. In most cases some rough measurements will reduce considerable uncertainty, and greatly improve decision making.

    Warning. While this is a great book, it's hard to follow math on an audiobook. I'm glad I read it, but I wish I'd been using my eyes rather than my ears on this one.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 04-18-12
    Amazon Customer United States 04-18-12 Member Since 2008
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    "This book has changed my life!"

    This book has changed the way I think about my life and my business. Since reading this book my head has been filled with ideas for quantifying and measuring everything. Not everything should be measured... but after reading this you'll start to believe that anything can be measured.

    Also wanted to mention that since listening to this book I have picked up 'Pulse' by the same author. It was also a good book, but not quite to the level of 'How to Measure Anything' IMHO.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 10-19-13
    Robert Placentia CA, United States 10-19-13 Member Since 2011

    Iranians keep their nukes, Americans lose their insurance.

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    "Wow is all I can say!"

    This book will forever change how you perceive measurement and risk. And told in a way that is easy to understand. I really enjoyed it. BUT don't stop with just this book! The Failure of Risk Management is required reading along with this one. Seriously!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Ringkøbing, Denmark 02-11-13
    Amazon Customer Ringkøbing, Denmark 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "How to create solid business cases for intangibles"
    Would you listen to How to Measure Anything again? Why?

    For sure I will listen to it again to capture the finer points of the arguments made as some of them are requires a return to the math of my high school and college years.

    My job resolves to a large degree around being able to assist my business stakeholders with identifying opportunities and risk and being able to quantify these in business cases. And in that light, this book was a very welcomed input to that work which in many case can be quite frustrating when it comes to the so called "intangibles".


    What other book might you compare How to Measure Anything to and why?

    I don't know any that does when it comes to an approach based on mathematics and statistics


    Have you listened to any of David Drummond’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was the first of David Drummond's performances I've hear, but he did very well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It's a book on mathematics and statistics, so feelings are not the focus, but yes it was in general very encouraging to realize that it is actually possible to get a grip on things that seem quite elusive.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada 10-08-11
    Peter Lac-Beauport, Quebec, Canada 10-08-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Great book"

    Great book. Immediately applicable to my job. recommend for managers looking to measure intangibles when doing business cases.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 01-30-14
    Sam Motes Tampa 01-30-14 Member Since 2011

    Audible obsessed lifelong learner.

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    "Good but challenging in audible format at times"

    Hubbard presents a pretty compelling case that anything can be measured and that you should start by measuring what you can and then build your measuring instrument to fine tune your results as the needs are better understood. Hubbard covers many fallacies of why many business say they or their industry is unique and thus their needed info can't be measured. If I had read the physical or Kindle version of the book I probably would have given it 4 or 5 stars, but the Audible version I consumed was challenging at times. Hubbard tries hard to keep the math simple, but I found myself re listening to some parts multiple times to get some formula down.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip D. Mann Oklahoma City, OK, United States 03-26-13
    Philip D. Mann Oklahoma City, OK, United States 03-26-13 Member Since 2010
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    "An Essential Listen for Analysts Everywhere"

    Full of practical guidance accompanied by insights from theory and experience, this book is essential for any analysts (or manager) interested in truly measuring everything they want to measure now, but simply do not know how. This book will not help those looking for a way to defend "intangible" characteristics, but will focus the willing on asking the right questions the right way to reduce uncertainty and make better decisions. As a professional analyst myself, I have used many of the techniques outlined in this book – though I did come up with some of them on my own, years before I read this book — and I find myself revisiting it periodically.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    blu United States 08-08-14
    blu United States 08-08-14 Member Since 2012
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    "This was an insightful book!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. It's well explained and interesting material. Being interested in decision science, risk management, and general stats, I found this fun.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Endicott, NY, United States 08-20-12
    Douglas Endicott, NY, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Good Information but a Little Nerdy"
    What made the experience of listening to How to Measure Anything the most enjoyable?

    The author explains how even a little information can dramatically lower your uncertainty.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The jelly bean experiment where he asks people to give a 90% confidence level of the average weight of a jelly bean. After giving the weight of only one bean, everyone was able to dramatically narrow their estimate. Great stuff.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No way. It is too dense and too long.


    Any additional comments?

    The equations are difficult to follow in audio format.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alford Lau Canada 08-22-12
    Alford Lau Canada 08-22-12 Member Since 2012

    Alford

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    "Content not good for audio"
    What would have made How to Measure Anything better?

    The book is indepth, highly technical and constantly referring to a good amount of numbers. At first, I would rewind to cross check and try to understand the tabulation and processes involved, then I stopped doing that thinking I would just learn and try to have a high level understanding, then I quit as the audio content faded into background noise.


    Would you recommend How to Measure Anything to your friends? Why or why not?

    No.


    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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