Find out what to measure

When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of science. — Lord Kelvin (1824–1907), British physicist and member of the House of Lords

Your understanding of a problem is directly linked with your understanding of what to measure. When you gain clarity of what & how different components affect your research problem, you’ll inevitably have deeper understanding of your problem.

Ask yourself:

  1. What specifically do we need to measure?
  2. What kinds of metrics will differentiate specific concepts or different levels of a variable?
  3. What will my dependent variable be and what will I need to manipulate in order to detect differences?
  4. What variables will I need to control?
  5. Will these kinds of data convince the development team?
  6. Can I just use subjective rating scales or are there some objective behavioral measures I can use?
  7. How will I analyze the data?
  8. How can I connect my metrics back to the business?

The trick is to avoid the impulse to just regurgitate raw data or report obvious descriptive statistics.

Analyze the data properly and make it work for you.

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