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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

©2010 Douglas Hubbard (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

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.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • MAGNA, UT, US
  • 09-15-15

not a good fit for audio

I read some reviews warning that this was a math heavy book and tough to follow on audio, but I figured that I was well versed enough that I could follow it. that didn't end up being the issue. the math isn't overly complex if you've had a statistics class, there's just so much if it that large parts feel like listening to the phonebook.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.<br/><br/>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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book

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

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Great content, not best suited for audio

Because of the math heavy nature this would be better with a printed supplement or just as a hard copy book.

Great content though.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Douglas
  • Endicott, NY, United States
  • 08-20-12

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful