The key element of a governance system is the strategic target. The strategic target is what you measure business success against, even if the short term objectives disappear. It is key, because all the other information we get from customers is evaluated against this target. As far as the strategic target corresponds with our true objectives, our customer feedback data will reveal its true value for the company.

Does the strategic target need to have a single dimension? It is only one question that we use as a reference? In many businesses, the strategic conditions for success can be complex. Do I want to gain a certain competitive position? Be a leader in technology? Cash in the maximum amount of money in a short time? Have a robust relationship with customers? Be a leader in innovation? It has been shown that over time the flexibility of the measures rises if there is a set of targets, but no more than three of four. It is an illusion that customers make a distinction between benefit and value. It is also an illusion that questions about satisfaction and recommendation produce distinctive information. To find three target values that provide add-on information to each other’ is an art.

Once we have set wrong targets, data will head in the wrong direction, and all the computer mathematics in the world, even with all of its intelligence, won’t be able to do anything about it. One of the big learning relevant here is that information is data set against a target. It us not computer mathematics that requires this, but our human mind. Only if there is a purpose, an interest, an objective, does data turn into information. Otherwise, it is just some kind of noise, dust in the storm of the data cloud.