’Tis the Season — of Unprecedents: Welcome to Our Ho, Ho, Holiday Issue

’Tis the season here at Shankhassick Farm. Lights are up in all the windows, the wreaths are up on all the doors, and the tree has taken over my living room. There it is, up top, awaiting some presents beneath. So it must be time to write our annual Holiday and End-of-Year Issue of The Measurement Advisor.

What a year! “Unprecedented” gets my vote for word of the year. Here’s a little data to back me up:

So many things this year have been called unprecedented — especially news and media-wise — that I’ve got to wonder:

Are there are any precedents left?

The good news is that all this upheaval has been great for journalism, especially in-depth reporting and the media outlets that publish it. The bad news is that we are so frequently alerted to breaking news that one becomes inured to it. As a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me quipped, “You know its bad when your phone beeps and you think, phew, it’s not a crisis, it’s just that Mary Tyler Moore died.”

Between presidential and political breaking news, celebrity scandals, and corporate wrongdoing, it’s hard to know where to focus one’s attention. Never mind where to try to get your own messages out there.

Which may be the best news of 2017. There is so much news and so many outlets and channels with which to communicate it that measurement is no longer seen simply as a way to justify one’s existence. It is, as it should be, used to evaluate options and make better choices about where to devote resources. And even though we may feel like we’re drowning in data, more and more organizations are corralling that data into integrated dashboards. And using them to make better decisions.
For more superlatives of the past year, see our roundups:

Plus don’t miss our Measurement Mavens and Menaces of the Year:

But we’re a long way still from where we need to be: AVEs and impressions continue to muck up the measurement environment, the explosion of bots and programmatic advertising has made it harder than ever to get clean data, and we need measurement systems to evolve to a higher level. So we’ve put together a wish list of fantasy measurement tools for Santa to help improve everyone’s metrics:

And speaking of holiday gifts, we’ve got a special measurement-skewed selection for the accountable communicator on your list:

And for an end-of-year feather in your thinking cap, special correspondent Alan Kelly provides an influence strategy-perspective review of a recent IPR event:

Finally, I want to express my profound gratitude to all the Measurement Mavens, clients, subscribers, and professors who are part of my measurement “tribe.” Without your efforts, support, and encouragement I’d be hard-pressed to find something to write about every month.

We wish you all a very Happy Holiday and an even better New Year,


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About Author

Katie Paine

I've been called The Queen Of Measurement, but I prefer Seshat, the Goddess.