When we think of the word “statistics” we think of complex mathematical summations of values, quantity or quality in certain areas. In this world everything is measured by statistics. In fact, we are so used to quoting statistics to back up opinions or facts, for example, “percentage of this” or “number of that”, that we even complain when these statistics are omitted. Examples are the number of traffic accidents at a specific intersection, or the percentage of crime growth in US States, or what sections of society eat organic foods, etc. PR agencies rely on statistics for market analyses and customer behavior. In other words, a complicated and somewhat forbidding subject which requires years of study. Or not?
The truth is, the subject of statistics is not complicated at all. Anyone can understand and use it.
In his article Basic Management Tools, L. Ron Hubbard defines it as follows: “A statistic is a number or amount compared to an earlier number or amount of the same thing. STATISTICS refer to the quantity of work done or the value of it in money. Statistics are the only sound measure of any production or any job or any activity.”
How is your company doing? You can look at turnover or profits and loss as a measure of your company’s health but, while very important, this is only a small part of a whole machine. Every activity in your company should have a statistic and those statistics, added up, should show the overall health and productivity of your company. Whether your company specializes in software, auto parts or wedding bouquets, each activity within that company should be able to measure its production from week to week. How many wedding bouquets were made this week as compared to last week? How many customers purchased software programs? How many auto parts were manufactured and sold? It can even get as tactical as how many letters were written and sent out? How many promo pieces were printed and mailed? How many lunches served by the company cafeteria?
Very often you will see a company’s management focus on the income statistic – how much money did we make this week or month? But if you consider that income is totally dependent on individual production, manufacture, promotion and sales, just operating on one statistic (income) is a very short-sighted affair and can leave you baffled when everything “seems” to be going fine, but no income is made.
Using statistics to measure each department, each division or each section of your company is not only vital in taking the pulse of your company but it is also vital for employee morale. Morale is determined by one’s production – the more productive someone is, the higher their morale and sense of accomplishment will be. Statistics show the amount of production that occurs in a given time period. When an employee graphs their production, they can measure whether they’re doing better or worse. If you ever wondered whether you’re doing okay on your job, graphing your daily and weekly production will answer this for you.
On a longer term, statistics show whether your business is surviving or not. What would you do if the trend of your statistics over a longer period of time is level and doesn’t seem to budge no matter what you do? If you have no way of measuring and keeping track of your production, how can you determine where you’re falling short? And, as a manager, how would you have control over the entire production line if you can’t see each individual employee’s production on a graph?
If an employee can measure their daily production with the use of statistics, they not only create for themselves a game to raise their statistics each day resulting in more production, but they can gauge their production accurately by looking at where the statistics drop or rise and using the tools laid out in the Hubbard Management System to analyze what happened, and either fix it or strengthen it.
Statistics are vital and should be an integral part of your business. They are the proverbial “finger on the pulse” of your organization or activity.
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