Indirect indicators of performance
I’ve realized just how connected all metrics can be. Even if the two numbers aren’t directly related they can be affected by each other indirectly. Even though correlation doesn’t neccessarily mean causation sometimes it actually does in the weirdest of places.
A few examples:
Increase in the number of messages
That might mean that you’ve done a good job on making messaging more usable. But, it can also mean that you’ve made your primary process less usable so more messages are needed to get through it.
Increase in your sales staff followup numbers
They might have really hit their stride, but it can also mean that your site isn’t converting as well as it should.
An increase in demand and enquiries for a product in a marketplace
It might be that it’s the new hot thing, the new flavour of the month or it might mean that your search or SEO aren’t working well enough to allow users discover it themselves.
An increase in 499 responses status codes
Your clients might be timing out and cancelling requests or might mean that your delayed AJAX requests aren’t being completed because the user moves on to another page.
The lesson is that it’s important to consider the potential secondary effects of changes and to carefully look into root causes of issues. Keeping in mind that seemingly unrelated things could be influenced by each other helps with that.
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