Promoting data literacy with metrichq.org and the power of AI
Published 2023-10-12, updated 2023-10-31
Summary - MetricHQ is the largest open library of metrics and KPIs, contributed to by experts from all over the world. As a core element of our mission to increase data literacy and help businesses make better decisions with data, it’s now accessible on its own domain and has brand new AI-powered capabilities.
With investments in big data analytics and infrastructure expected to exceed $100B by 2027, data is like the new oil. So, why isn’t data literacy keeping up? And, why do most people feel overwhelmed and frustrated when working with KPIs and metrics?
Why? Because most investment dollars are going to the bottom of the data stack instead of to the people who should be using technology to make data-driven decisions. Let’s change that!
At Klipfolio, our mission is to help people succeed with data. That’s why we created PowerMetrics – a BI tool specifically designed for the massive majority of non-data specialists who would benefit from working with data in a way they understand and can be successful with. But, we didn’t stop there. We also curated MetricHQ, the largest open library of metrics and KPIs. Read on to discover why we've given MetricHQ its own domain and how we’re informing and educating users via their own AI-powered Metric Assistant.
Recently I was speaking with someone who works in healthcare management. I raised the topic of KPIs and they had an immediate negative reaction … it’s a waste of time, the numbers are never right, and it often seems like what we’re measuring doesn’t impact anything. Wow … unfortunately, this sentiment seems to be the norm. Many employees only think negatively of metrics as “reporting” on their performance, as opposed to a decision-making or analytics aid.
At the same time, there’s a small group of nerdy enthusiasts who wear their metric knowledge like a badge of honour. They love slinging around abbreviations and talking about how their indicators stack up against the 90th percentile of venture-funded companies. I’ve probably fallen into that camp on more than one occasion. And, if you’re still reading this article, I bet you have too.
But, don’t get me wrong. I think folks like Kyle Poyar, Lauren Thibodeau, David Kellogg, Ray Rike, David Spitz, and Ben Murray have done much to advance and inform critical thinking on how to use metrics (in particular SaaS metrics). They’re the superstars of the metric and benchmarking world.
The data literacy opportunity
The real opportunity though (and I’m sure the luminaries mentioned above would agree) has always been to increase data literacy and decision-making confidence for more than just the founders and analytics elites.
In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, we launched MetricHQ. Initially hosted as part of the Klipfolio.com website, it was a pretty big initiative. We began by reaching out to experts across a wide range of fields asking them to help us write metric definitions and to share their expertise and benchmarking advice. Our goal? To help business leaders make better decisions based on trusted, industry-standard metrics.
The community and popularity of MetricHQ grew quickly. Continuing our quest for increased data literacy, we launched a podcast and a Substack newsletter aptly named Metric Stack. The podcast in particular is lots of fun. I have a great co-host, Lauren Thibodeaux, founder of SaaSCan, and the two of us have interviewed some incredible founders, such as Allen Lau of Wattpad and You Mong Tsang of ChurnZero, and metric experts, for example, Donna Webber and Dave Kellogg. It’s turned into a huge learning archive.
The demand for well-written metric definitions is out there. MetricHQ is a giant step in the right direction, helping business users and data teams speak a common language.
Giving MetricHQ its own space
In July 2023, we set MetricHQ free. We realized that the mission of MetricHQ was bigger than Klipfolio and needed its own, independent space to grow. From the outset we knew we weren’t creating just another content platform. We wanted it to be an open, free community fueled by expert contributors. We were creating a movement for metric-minded people.
Why is it so important to open up MetricHQ to everyone? Because metrics and KPIs are not isolated entities. They form a complex web that directly impacts decision-making processes and organizational performance. This web is best understood and navigated collectively, with diverse expert insights enriching our understanding of and implementation of metrics.
“Customer Lifetime Value” is an example of a popular metric on MetricHQ. Each metric includes a definition, a calculation and some additional information.
By establishing metrichq.org as an open community, we enable the cross-pollination of ideas, fostering an ecosystem of learning and growth. This open-source approach democratizes access to knowledge, ensuring everyone, regardless of their background or resources, has the opportunity to learn from the best minds in the field.
Inviting expert contributors to share their knowledge adds depth and varied perspectives to our content, enhancing its value and relevance. Their insights, derived from unique experiences and expertise, are instrumental in shaping comprehensive metric definitions and methodologies. All of this works together to fuel data literacy and decision-making confidence among business leaders and data teams alike.
New: AI-powered Metric Assistant
In our relentless pursuit to break down barriers in data literacy and drive confident decision making, we’re opening up the magic of our Learning, Language, and Metric (LLM) AI for any and all metric questions. Our Metric Assistant, an AI-powered tool, is at the core of this pioneering initiative.
The Metric Assistant is designed to answer any metric-related question you might have, whether it's a definition, calculation methodology, or interpretation of a specific metric. This AI-powered assistant is not just a tool; it's your personal guide to metrics, providing real-time, comprehensive, and insightful responses. It comprehends the complexity and interconnectivity of metrics and gives clear, concise, and easily understandable answers.
The wonder of LLM AI lies in its machine learning capabilities, which allow it to continually improve based on the questions it receives. This interaction enhances its response accuracy and depth over time. The more questions it’s asked, the smarter it becomes, turning it into an invaluable resource for your organization.
With the Metric Assistant we’re not just providing immediate access to metric knowledge, we're nurturing a data-literate culture. Everyone, regardless of their data background, can ask about, understand, and learn how to apply metrics accurately in their everyday decision making. The Metric Assistant is truly a marvel, embodying MetricHQ's mission of fostering a more data-driven and metric-minded business landscape.
This newly independent MetricHQ is not just a platform – it’s a movement that champions the belief that better understanding of metrics leads to better business decisions. It's a collective stride towards a more data-driven, metric-minded culture.
Sign up for the Metric Stack Newsletter to learn more about metric-centric decision making from thought leaders in the modern data stack space.
Unlocking the Value of Metrics for Everyone: Introducing PowerMetrics + revamped dbt Semantic Layer
By David Mennie — October 17th, 2023
Let’s fix analytics so we can stop asking you for dashboards
By Cathrin Schneider — September 11th, 2023
Why metrics are the key to confident decision making
By Graham Watts — July 31st, 2023
Metric-centric analytics - What it is and why it matters
By Cathrin Schneider — July 12th, 2023