The Tyranny of Metrics

The Tyranny of Metrics

Jerry Z. Muller

In the end, there is no silver bullet, no substitute for actually knowing one’s subject and one’s organization, which is partly a matter of experience and partly a matter of unquantifiable skill. Many matters of importance are too subject to judgment and interpretation to be solved by standardized metrics. Ultimately, the issue is not one of metrics versus judgment, but metrics as informing judgment, which includes knowing how much weight to give to metrics, recognizing their characteristic distortions, and appreciating what can’t be measured. In recent decades, too many politicians, business leaders, policymakers, and academic officials have lost sight of that.

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