by: Matt Rhodes
I’m returning to the subject of measuring the ROI of online communities after an all day session with a client today. We spoke a lot about how they are to measure the benefit of the online community they are launching and about the metrics they are going to measure and the KPIs they will report on.
I’ve worked with a lot of clients and read a lot of things on metrics and KPIs and have noticed that many people confuse these two terms. Really they’re very different. The best description I have seen of how and why they are different is a presentation from Dennis Mortensen, that I’ve copied below. It’s worth a look as it quickly and clearly shows how and why metrics are different from KPIs.
This ties in to the debate on measurement in online communities. There are many things that you can measure (metrics) but only some things that show the impact your community is having vis-à-vis the business or other objectives of the site. These are KPIs and are what you probably will be using to show the success of your online community.
So work out all the metrics that you can track with your online community, and work out what KPIs you are going to report on to show the success of your community. Both are measurements but only the latter is really a measurement of success of ROI.
Some more reading