Why We Measure the Wrong Things and Often Miss the Metrics That Matter
By Peter Schryvers


It highlights the pitfalls of knowledge analysis and emphasizes the importance of using acceptable metrics before making key decisions. Big data is usually touted because of the key to understanding almost every aspect of up to date life. This critique of "information hubris" shows that even more important than data is finding the proper metrics to gauge it. The author, an expert in environmental design and town planning, examines the various ways during which we measure ourselves and our world. He dissects the metrics we apply to health, worker productivity, our children's education, the standard of our surroundings, the effectiveness of leaders, the dynamics of the economy, and therefore the overall well-being of the earth. Among the areas where the incorrect metrics have led to poor outcomes, he cites the fee-for-service model of health care, corporate cultures that emphasize time spent on the work while overlooking key productivity measures, overreliance on standardized testing in education to the detriment of authentic learning, and a blinkered specialize in carbon emissions, which underestimates the impact of commercial damage to our wildlife. He also examines various communities and systems that have achieved better outcomes by adjusting the ways during which they measure data. the simplest results are attained by people who have learned not only what to live and the way to live it, but what it all means. By highlighting the pitfalls inherent in data analysis, this illuminating book reminds us that not everything which will be counted, counts.

About the Author

Peter Schryvers is an urban planner in Calgary, Alberta and is that the founding father of the Beltline Urban Mural Project. A Registered Planning Professional with a master's in Environmental Design, he's a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.