The Google Analytics Twitter channel recently had a tweet that had a semi-inspirational opening:
Hmmm…that’s interesting. Mission. Belief. Accomplishment.
And then, there’s the mention of ‘North Star’ metrics. Of course, I know about using metrics as a gauge to determine how well you might be doing, but I wondered how this was different from Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
The tweet links to a Databox article by Stefana Zaric, titled Defining Your North Star Metrics: Which Metrics Should Your Company Priorities Be Aligned Around?
So, What Is a ‘North Star’ Metric?
Well, from my reading, I understand North Star metrics (of which you can have more than one, though I think one’s best) to be rallying points around which your team gathers.
In other words, they’re the one metric that your team strives to collectively accomplish or continually work toward. It’s almost as though, if you used a metric to define your team, that metric would be the ‘North Star’ that guides you.
How Is a ‘North Star’ Metric Different from Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?
KPIs are mentioned in the article, and to me, while there’s overlap among the two, I think that companies may start with a number of KPIs or North Star Indicators, and eventually arrive at just one or two North Stars. That is, North Star Indicators are the few that are chosen from a larger number of KPIs.
In other words, there may be a number of KPIs that are important, but only one or two North Stars that guide you.
How Do You Go About Finding Your North Star Metric?
To find out your North Star metric, ask yourself what your prospect is looking to experience from your product or service. (In the section on finding your North Star, a similar question is asked.)
I think that the concept of a ‘North Star’ metric is symbolic and very useful for unifying a team around a common goal. It also blends very well with a mission statement or the Hedgehog Concept talked about by Jim Collins.
Source: Google Analytics Twitter channel