Product Thoughts: KPI and Data-Driven ACTION

For my Sustainable Business Models class, we’ve been talking a lot about the Lean Canvas and Business Canvas. I like these frameworks because they create structure for someone to figure out ideas, startups, maybe even form a company. However, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are a big focus to learn whether a product or business is successful. But how are KPIs applicable to our daily lives?

In class, our final project is a Personal Sustainability Plan (PSP). My PSP is based on financial sustainability and how much I can/should spend a week. The KPIs for this project are percentage of money I spend on coffee, clothes, food, and overall spend.

 Here is my attempt to spend less on coffee. In the last 7 weeks, I have spent almost $200 on coffee.

Here is my attempt to spend less on coffee. In the last 7 weeks, I have spent almost $200 on coffee.

During my bachelorette party week and travel week, I spent…enough money to be ashamed of myself. But I looked at the metrics logically and they drove me to action. Instead of focusing on the emotional judgment, I focused on how I could improve to do better. The following few weeks, I’ve been on track and financially sustainable.

One area I am interested in focusing in on is how to help people separate the emotion from data. I’ve applied this attitude to other aspects of my life. For the last 1.5 years, I’ve been tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal. Some days I fall off, other days I am on track. Recently, I discovered that I had gained 3 lbs, and became more aggressive in my data-driven tracking. I did not get angry or judgmental. Instead, I looked at the metrics and thought to myself: “I will meet certain metrics each day.” Today, I am roughly 5 lbs lighter, having achieved my goal because I looked at data logically to help drive me to action.

My final thoughts are: how might we show data in ways that empower users to take action?