Tracking progress towards your goals with scorecard snapshots

In order to effectively close the gap between where you are now and where you want to be, you need to know that the gap exists and how big or small it is. One way to do this is with a reporting tool called a scorecard. Much like the checked and unchecked items on a to-do list, a scorecard gives you a snapshot of the gap between where are you now and a target, where the target can be a growth goal you’ve set for yourself, or a projection of where you think you’ll be by a certain date, all things considered.

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Using big data to generate content ideas | A SOP Story

TL;DR? Big data knows what questions people have, and you can capitalize on that to generate an endless list of answer-focused content ideas that draw from and showcase your experience, knowledge, and expertise. Scroll down to the section titled ‘Bringing it together’ for a quick list of the steps. Scroll back up for the nuance.

There’s nothing new under the sun, so what could you possibly have to offer the world that hasn’t been addressed before?

I’m always a big advocate of asking people for help when I get stuck, and, as it turns out, people are telling you what they want you to talk to them about all of the time. If you’re systematic about how you listen, you’ll build up quite a data store to flip through the next time you’re missing your muse and staring down a blank page and a deadline.

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How to design dashboards for data insights for business decisions

You want data insights at a glance, but it’s hard to digest and process a large volume of data, and you’re creating and collecting more data all of the time. You’re suffering from DRIP: you’re data rich but information poor. To get information, you turn to dashboards, but, if you don’t design them correctly, you can become dashboard rich but information poor, what I’ll call DRIP 2.0.

In this post, I’ll talk through 3 steps, with guides, for designing dashboards to generate insights for business decisions while all forms of DRIP.

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Content packaging tips for click-worthy YouTube videos | A SOP Story

TL;DR? You can grow your YouTube channel without falling prey to cheap clickbait tricks and other “dark side” habits; the secret is providing value with your content and being strategic with your content-packaging SOPs. Scroll down to the Video Packaging Essentials Checklist for some content packaging points for your own YouTube upload checklist.

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3 ways to use surveys to quickly figure out your next step when you don’t know what to do

How do you choose your next step? You’d like to do more of what’s working, but sometimes you’re not sure what parts of what you’re doing are working, or whether that pivot you’re considering might resonate with your target market, so you’re not sure what you should do more of or where to focus your efforts. In this post, I demonstrate three ways to use surveys to quickly get the data you need to make an informed next step.

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How I adapted my in-person presentation SOPs for a virtual world | A SOP Story

This is a story about how I pulled together my historical data and my company’s philosophy and mission statements to adapt and generate virtual presentation SOPs for the pandemic and beyond.

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Choosing the “right” visualization: A diversity, equity, and inclusion example

When we talk about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, we frequently turn to the data to see how we’re doing relative to our own internal goals, and, as possible, how our efforts and relative success rates compare to those in our local communities and others in our industries. That is, we typically talk and think in terms of benchmarks and progress towards a target percentage. But we don’t just need to wrangle and analyze the data. We also need to communicate the findings of the analysis so that we can figure out what to do next, and this is where choosing the right visualization comes in. In this post, I discuss how different visualization choices enable different understandings of the data, and different conversations and decisions around the data.

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Vision to Action: Turning ideas into actionable and measurable steps

It can be hard to figure out how to turn big picture ideas and goals into actionable and trackable steps. For many things, the “figuring out” lies in a mixture of clarity, and then reframing and rephrasing. Here we take a monetary target and some other information from a business model, and turn it into something that’s doable, measurable, and actionable. If you’re stuck at this part of the process, this post might help.

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Hone strategy: Analyzing customer reviews and other open-ended feedback

Star ratings are an easy way to measure customer sentiment. But if that’s where you stop, you’re missing out on some rich data. Chances are that you’re sitting on an untapped source of data – the text of customer reviews and other open-ended feedback.

Why is it untapped? It’s complex, and it can be hard to know where to start, and hard to know what to do with all that new information you’ve just untapped.

Why is it worth the effort? It can give you insights that your number data cannot, and you can learn more about what your numbers mean. Even better, it can help you identify the things that will let you address multiple issues at once, because you’ll have more granular “why” data.

I cover two frameworks – sentiment analysis and thematic analysis – to get you started on tapping into this rich text data and figuring out what to do about it. If you’re into jargon, what I’m talking about is performing qualitative analysis on unstructured data.

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Decision Log: A tool to turn your decision-making into auditable data

When it comes to your decisions and your data, one tool I like to use is called a Decision Log.

By recording your important or ambiguous decisions in this format – the game changers, the ones where your decision-makers disagree, the ones where it’s not so clear what the best decision is or what the influencing factors might be – you provide for yourself a means of auditing, reflecting on, and redirecting yourself towards your goals by getting really clear on how you’re using data, both in the moment of decision-making and as part of post-process analysis.

This can be particularly useful for times when the result of your decision was unexpected, you want to repeat results, or you want to better understand the context in which you’re working.

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