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Show Me The Data

Metrics & Measurement

The Pitfalls of Projecting Outcomes Using Conversion Rates

Conversion rates, or the percentage of people taking some desired action in your business, are among the most fundamental metrics you need to be aware of.

Track the conversion rates over a series of steps, and you have yourself a (conversion) funnel.

Looking at each step’s conversion rates can be critical for identifying bottlenecks and identifying issues with steps in your process; moreover, looking at the funnel as a whole gives you a mathematical engine that tells you how many outputs you can expect to derive from inputs into your process.

The latter is very useful when you know how…


Metrics & Measurement

How Small Data Can Lead to Big Insights

Too often in business, we ignore measurements with small sample sizes because they are not “statistically significant,” but rarely, if ever, do we actually do the math to support that decision!

The fact is that it is precisely when we are highly uncertain about something that any data will greatly reduce our uncertainty.

I’m going to play out 2 scenarios from a fantastic book called “How to Measure Anything” by Douglas Hubbard so you can experience the “Aha!” moment for yourself.

By the end of this blog post, you’ll have an understanding of situations where small data can tell you…


The Ideal Primary Key For Data Warehousing

This article was originally published on the Show Me The Data blog and has been re-formatted for Medium.

If you’ve ever tried to build an enterprise data warehouse using BigQuery, you’ll quickly realize that the auto-incrementing primary keys you were so fond of in operational databases are not a thing in BigQuery.

This is by design. It’s not the job of your data warehouse to ensure referential integrity as your operational databases do, but rather to store and process tons of historical data.

However, this shift in perspective does not make the problem of finding a way to represent unique entities go away. …


Measurement & Metrics

Counting Hidden Populations

There is a class of metrics where you simply want to know “How many of thing X are there in total?” but it is utterly impractical to actually count them because there are too many of them to count, or the space over which you’re measuring is too sparse.

Consider the following measurements:

  • Number of homeless people in a city
  • Number of endangered species in the wild
  • Number of illicit drug users

There’s no doubt that quantifying these values is useful in understanding the scope of a problem and devising an effective plan to deal with it.

These questions can…


Mind Your Decisions

Using Bayes’ theorem to bust a common myth

I must confess… I’m terrible at keeping tabs on my belongings.

In grade 3, I left the house with a backpack, pants, and my gym shorts, and only came back home with my gym shorts. This has been a common theme in my life. 😅

The other day I couldn’t find my earbuds and spent literally 30 minutes looking for them around the house (and no, I don’t live in a mansion).

After some time, I became convinced that I must have lost them. It wouldn’t surprise me if I had.

That’s when I had a flashback to all…

Show Me The Data

Practical tips for those interested in using data to drive better business decisions.

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