TBT Reboot: All About that Bass (well…BASELINE)

Baselines are wonderful.  According to the dictionary, they are: ​a minimum, or starting point, used for comparisons. ​ Why is this wonderful?  It’s because a starting point does not have to have any external comparison, no judgement.  

This is hugely important if you want to successfully start something that will be sustainable.  You have a starting point and you can measure against it …later. ​ It is easy to become defeated when you think about starting something new or even a reboot of something you’ve been doing for a while.  

A starting point is not overwhelming.  But if you think about starting something new with the mindset of immediately comparing it to one thing or many things, it is overwhelming, defeating. ​

All of this I’ve said in a statistical (analytics) scenario.  But it happens in everyday life, too.  For example, I am pretty awful at keeping my car clean.  I don’t eat a lot of fast food, so it is not filled with trash and greasy wrappers.  But I do park in a parking garage, and honestly don’t drive that much, so it can get very dusty.  Rather than doing anything about it, I just thought how great it would be to have a clean car.  But in my mind, it turned into a big project – getting it spotlessly detailed, or even a bigger deal, me doing it myself…and then the upkeep.  All of a sudden a dusty car didn’t seem so bad.  

But back to analytics. ​ Statistically or analytically speaking, a baseline is important to start or reboot your data driven approach.  Many people think analytics and they immediately jump to a benchmark mentality.  How do I stack up to my competition?  That is dangerous. ​

Eventually you’ll want to strive to meet or exceed your competitors performance.  But you need a while to ‘level the playing field,’ to get comfortable with, and understand YOUR data.  Once you are comfortable, then it will be fair to compare.  

But first, think ‘starting point.’ ​ And, hey look.  It may not be the cleanest car in the parking garage.  But it’s a start.

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