Somewhere in the Ted Talks is a great piece on the best and the brightest wasting their energy on working out how to make people click more – and not actually solving REAL problems. It is amazing how little you read is really about GREAT innovations. Sure it is happening – we just dont read too much about it – as we get caught up in multi billion dollar valuations of the next picture app.

And then I read this ….

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Of course – totally correct – but so easily forgotten. To summarize what was said ::

Leading indicators: KPI’s for funnel development

  • Number of qualified leads in the pipeline
  • Sales cycle length
  • Total length of time to qualify a new prospect
  • Qualified to proposal ratios
  • Number of evaluations / short lists per year
  • Number of new (first) client meetings per month
  • Cold lead to qualified ratios with conversion rates

Lagging indicators: Revenue and quota focused KPI

  • Proposal to closed ratio
  • Average deal size
  • Number of sales per year
  • Annual quota
  • New vs. existing client sales

KPI’s for Account Management and client retention / growth

  • Average client growth year over year
  • Client retention rates

… but more importantly to see how and why, click through …..

amandacox“There’s a strand of the ‘data viz’ world that argues that everything could be a bar chart. That’s possibly true but also possibly a world without joy.”

—Amanda Cox, 2013

There’s a great interview with Amanda Cox from The New York Times on visualization, some of the skills required, and where the field is headed. I like the tidbit on design below.

Meanwhile read the whole article here.

Design and typography do matter. It’s about hierarchy of information and how people perceive information. Done properly, that clean up work really matters. On the other hand, it’s easy to believe that it matters more than it does. If you make a fantastically interesting chart and some poor design decisions, the data will still come through. If you make a bad chart with a beautiful design, what have you done, really?

Sometimes – just out of the blue – some people say the nicest things. Decided that this might be a place to store those personal references …..

From Analytics For Twitter 

John Philpin blogs with a unique perspective in regards to digital marketing at his site,BeyondBridges.net. His material is engagingly diverse and synthesized from a wide range of sources to form a cohesive themes about human interaction and connection amidst the chaotic, confusing world of data and analytics that now clouds the trades of marketing and sales.

This post was originally written for and published on ODesk. It so caught the imaginations of the readership that though the number of views for the post was in line with expectations at ODesk – the commentaries were off the charts. Some people even went on to reblog and or ‘Scoop It’, like Mary Ellen Ferris.

Of course – over here at Expert Alumni, we weren’t too surprised. The ‘Pay, Purpose, Play mantra that we have been expounding on for a while now makes a lot of sense, and once people start to understand it – then the maths just work.

As always with guest posts for other blogs, we allow time before publishing the content onto our own blog. That time has gone. Read on to see what we had to say. Click here if you want to read the original post on ODesk – along with all the comments.

One of life’s greatest challenges has to be knowing when we have enough of something — to stop ceaseless craving and accept where we are with satisfaction.

In another post (“It’s Not About Balance”), we were discussing the issues of balance and the misnomer of work/life balance. Once we accept that balance is not really the issue — or at least that a 50:50 work:life ratio is not feasible and we focus on getting our priorities right — we can make progress.

More and more people are changing the way they work from full time, one company at a time, career-ladder climbing to a more open approach of freelance, interim or contract work — what we refer to as “Portfolio Life.” All generations seem to be involved in this shift — from Baby Boomers who refuse to be “retired,” to Millennials seeking to maximize impact and flexibility.

With this approach to career-building, the additional flexibility can allow non-paid work options to come alive. In fact, I believe that there are three key factors in Portfolio Life – Pay, Purpose and Play. Pay: we all need money and financial rewards for our efforts. Purpose: we need to be fulfilled, to feel that those efforts have meaning. Play: we need leisure time to refresh and refuel.

When people stop to think about their situations, they see the ideal intersection of those three areas in Portfolio Life — largely because it offers the independence and autonomy to adjust the ratios accordingly. By developing an approach to a career that recognizes when “enough is enough” in each of those three dimensions, you can make adjustments depending upon your desires and needs at any given time.

‘Enough’ is a variable, conditioned by life context and often driven by ‘in the moment’ decisions. In the developed world, money — or the conspicuous things it buys — are often taken as the glow of success. But it is a pale glow at best. The reality is, we do need money, but we need our purpose to be fulfilled, too. Long- or short-term goals and objectives will influence the ‘enough gauge’ on the dashboard of Pay, Purpose and Play meters.

The regular world of work can prevent this, since the demands on our time and energy are often too high to accommodate. But as Portfolio Life becomes more prevalent, so too will the choices of what to do with our time and when. For example, does the highly experienced engineer want to drill for oil every day? Or perhaps apply the same competencies and experience to drilling for water, thus saving lives instead? In order to do this, you have to understand what is “enough” at each point in time, and fine-tune as you go along. Needs change, and what may be “enough” to satisfy your requirements to earn money will no longer serve you well if your focus shifts to “purpose” or “play” down the road. Whatever we decide we will do, we have made a decision to allocate time and energy. As a friend of mine puts it, every decision to do something is an irrevocable use of time.

So, how does your Pay, Purpose and Play dashboard look? Have you ever looked? Chances are you have a flashing red light somewhere in there that needs your attention. I encourage you to take a look and evaluate where you are — and then make a plan to get where you want to be.

Do you agree that the independent ‘Portfolio Life’ gives you more flexibility to live a balanced life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! You can also join the continuing coverage on Portfolio Life here.