The following images (from FreeCell) illustrate a couple points about:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
For the purposes of this post, please imagine the FreeCell win percentage is our Net Promoter Score (NPS).
Image 1 displays a perfect NPS. But note something the NPS does not include – the number of games played (and the number games won). I refer to these kinds of metrics as “naked scalars.” I find naked scalars all over the place. I choose to believe most naked scalars are based on integrity; they simply lack more data. I am aware that some naked scalars are intentionally misleading.
Image 2 displays a less than perfect NPS. If the values in Image 1 and Image 2 are displayed side-by-side, displaying only the Win percentage (NPS), important data is not displayed. I can hear some of you thinking…
“Which Important Data, Andy?”
That’s a great question. I’m so glad you asked!
The “games played” and the “games won” are important data missing from the NPS. While the win percentage displayed in Image 2 is lower, the (missing) experience is not readily available in naked-scalar-drive NPS scores. In this (admittedly extreme) scenario, the player represented in Image 2 has 495 times more experience winning than the player represented in Image 1.
As mentioned earlier, I choose to believe most people displaying naked scalars are doing their best. I might question their experience, but not their integrity. Thinking in this way leads to more thoughts and more data (see what I did there?).
Experience Matters when it comes to data – especially when it comes to data consulting. Lack of experience is not the same thing as lack of competence.
To cover those relatively few instances where someone is using a naked scalar to hide something about themselves (or others), take notes when interviewing a potential data consultant. If the potential data consultant mentions a competing consultant or company, you owe it to yourself (and your company [and your project]) to communicate with that same competing consultant or company.
When you hear from only one side, you are not getting the whole story.
Please note: I am not the only – nor the first – person to recognize this shortcoming in naked scalars presented by NPS and similar ratings (stars, for example).
If you see a naked scalar, please realize there’s always more data. Try to find out more.
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