Erik Brynjolfsson is the Schussel Family Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business. His recent paper, “Strength in Numbers: How Does Data-Driven Decisionmaking Affect Firm Performance?” is the single best argument for what I have spent the last two decades trying to get people to do: Make communications strategy decisions based on data not on gut instinct.
Eric, along with his coauthors Lorin Hitt and Heekyung Hellen Kim, have assembled a fascinating set of data that shows that overall financial performance is higher in firms that emphasize decisionmaking based on data and business analytics. They found that firms that adopt data-driven decisionmaking have output and productivity 5-6% higher.
So, my friends in public relations and social media marketing, take that to your C-suite. If they want to improve productivity, they should invest in a good measurement system that doesn’t just show off the number of Facebook friends or your uptick in “positive sentiment,” but that correlates those shifts in behavior and sentiment to real business impact.
Katie Delahaye Paine is CEO of KDPaine & Partners, a company that delivers custom research to measure brand image, public relationships, and engagement. Katie Paine is a dynamic and experienced speaker on public relations and social media measurement. Click here for the schedule of Katie’s upcoming speaking engagements.