Metric: a standard of measurement -- Example: no metric exists that can be applied directly to happiness — Scientific Monthly
Measure: the dimensions, capacity, or amount of something ascertained by measuring
At Leading Strategic Initiatives, Greg Githens has a worthy posting on what makes a good metric. Githens offers six qualities for metrics, abridged and repeated here:
- It measures something important. ... metrics reflect the imperatives of the individual or the organization.
- It has relevance to the audience. Since ... initiatives have difference stakeholders, one of the biggest challenges is to prioritize the audience and tailor [metrics for]... them.
- It measures something that is directly controllable by individuals or small groups. This suggests that metrics are local, and connected to action.
- It is resistant to gaming. .... the metric is difficult for self-centered actors to manipulate.
- It is a member of a very small, lean set of measurements. Since people have a limited span of attention, we want to keep the metrics to a handful
- [It is a member of a] ... set of metrics [that] includes both leading and lagging indicators. No one drives their car by focusing [exclusively] on the rear view mirror, they [also] look down the road to see the turns and respond to the threats.
In this paper, you'll find this table of metric qualities (charateristics), very similar to what Githens posits:Proper selection of performance measurement attributes is essential to [the performance analysis] process. These measurement attributes commonly called measures of effectiveness, or MOEs, provide quantifiable benchmarks against which the system concept and implementation can be compared.