What is Success Tracking?

Success Tracking is a “Fitbit for work” approach for individuals and teams to self-optimise.

Our insight is that regular feedback alone can motivate behaviour change, especially when it’s something you care about. “Your score is 68% and you’re ranked 12th among your peers” – that’s meaningful and spurs change.

The benefit of a success tracking program is that when individuals and teams review past performance and optimise future behaviour as a result, both they and the organisation they work for continuously improve.


The success tracking approach is consists of the following key principles:

Player Opt-in

Since the only person you can change is yourself, a success tracking program achieves true ownership by asking players to opt-in, or at the very least gives them the ability to opt-out!

Positive Scorekeeping

We only count what we want more of. This allows us to recognise great performance and show players how to win.

Data Storytelling

Data + Stories = Emotional Resonance.  A simple story like: “You’re up 3 places this week” is instantly engaging, far more than looking at a dry list of just numbers.

Single Consolidated Score

A single score simply communicates whether performance has been good or bad and allows instant comparison with others. Metric weighting allows tracking of multiple behaviours.

Regular Feedback Loop

Sending results directly to the player on a regular basis, e.g. a weekly score that lands in their inbox, creates a call to action week in, week out.

Intrinsic Reward

By tracking success and self-optimising, a player can get better at the activity they themselves want to excel at.  Adding incentives only distorts the motivation of the players: it encourages gaming for the sake of a prize.

Business Benefits

If business objectives are woven into the metrics being tracked, then players, who achieve success themselves, will also be delivering against organisation goals.

How to provide success tracking tools to your team

If you’re interested in how success tracking can work for you and your organisation, then please contact us and request the “7 steps to deliver success tracking in your team or organisation”.

Selling B2B? Why you need a social selling success tracking program.

Social Selling, the use of social media like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by sales professionals, is a great buzz phrase. But does it really work?

IBM seems to think so – their social selling pilot in 2012 saw a 400% increase in sales on top of massive increases in reach. LinkedIn agree, their research in 2016 found that sales people who share content are 45% more likely to exceed quota.

Many other professional services firms have since followed suit – often by buying LinkedIn Sales Navigator licences for staff (e.g. Ernst & Young).

Certainly “social selling” is now  dominated  by LinkedIn with its 200 million strong professional user base, and now backed by Microsoft, it is set to maintain its dominance.

However social selling can and will happen on other tools and sites:

  • Quora questions and answers can deliver very targeted leads
  • Twitter provides a fast moving environment for breaking news
  • TED talks can strengthen existing thought leadership positions
  • Presentation decks on Slideshare can keep presenting for you long after the original talk
  • Blog posts can provide the space to make an argument effectively.
  • Sector focused Facebook groups can be lively and engaging
  • Whatsapp groups can trigger rapid responses among business people.

New sites can pop up too, like Gartner’s new cloudadvice.com platform that offers a forum for experts while tools like Blab.im can pop up and go away in just a few months.

For some businesses, they may also run their own online social platforms – whether multi-stakeholder such as the business2community.com blogging community or a corporate focused one such as CapGemini’s Expert Connect.

Then of course there are geographically localised sites that may offer more profitable prospecting in specific countries, such as Xing in Germany, Viadeo in France or Weibo in China.

The lesson is that when it comes to B2B social selling there is unlikely to ever be a single site that covers all your needs for all your sales focused staff.

Analyse that!

This then presents a problem when it comes to analysing what works. Whether from a management point of view, asking “is our licence money well spent?”, or from an indvidual point of view, “where should I invest my time?” – having so many different options brings a struggle to create a cohesive strategy.

One way to decide, is to use a data driven approach: look at the results of activity and link them back to success. Do more of what seems to work and less of what doesn’t.

Many platforms offer their own analytics which do go some way to providing the necessary feedback loop. They offer  scores based on your activity – whether specific metrics, e.g. number of tweet impressions or a more sophisticated, composite index such as Klout or LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index. These are what are termed native analytics tools as provided by the platform.

However, most native analytics tools are biased towards usage rather than value.

Take LinkedIn’s SSI for example. One LinkedIn trainer, Andy Foote, who looked in detail at how the score algorithm is calculated said:

“Frankly, it looks like a checklist for how to become an aggressive LinkedIn pest.”

It’s true. Every analytics package always has designer bias built in. In LinkedIn’s case it makes complete sense that the metrics should prioritise getting people to use LinkedIn over other priorities. Even something as simple as the order in which analytics are shown reflects the preference of the designer, yet the viewer will instinctively treat the first metric as more important – it’s simply the way we’re wired.

How can I bias the analytics towards business value for us, not the platform?

One way to do this is to create your own social selling score and composite metrics instead. You can then order and weight metrics according to your contextual priorities, not those of the underlying communications platform.

Creating a meaningful social score for your staff need not be difficult or expensive: using a spreadsheet you can import raw usage data from any of your sales navigator staff from Linkedin, you can download data from twitter analytics too. Combine it all together and you can create a social selling composite report for each sales rep that reflects your priorities as a business (and your experience of what works in your sector). Then email out the score to each rep and you can get them engaged and motivated to focus on the right social selling behaviours.

Of course if that sounds like too much work to do each week, then you can of course use Rise to take away much of the heavy lifting. Rise will pull in the data automatically where possible, process it and calculate a score. Rise will then share the results to each sales rep via email or in a personal online dashboard.

If you’d like to try Rise out (for free) then we recommend a simple RiseFuse implementation. This app uses Klout scores as a proxy for more detailed metrics. It means you can be up and running in half an hour. Or if you’d like to take your time then contact us and we’d be happy to walk you through what’s possible.

Investing in Sales Navigator licences? Put some budget into success tracking too.

I think the key takeaway for me is that if you are spending in the thousands to give your staff sales navigator licences then you should spend in the hundreds to make sure that investment is giving you value (management reporting) and personal feedback so that your staff  can optimise their behaviour to give them value (personal reporting).

Five personal analytics design principles

When designing a personal analytics system for your staff or customers you need to put their needs front and centre.

What is personal analytics?

A personal analytics program is an opt-in tool for staff or customers. Each staff member gets a personal dashboard, a rank on a leaderboard and weekly stories relating to their digital analytics  (eg. up 3 positions to number 5, personal best this week and so on) – this regular feedback motivates optimisation of the behaviours being tracked without requiring further rewards.  It’s like having your own Strava or Fitbit for work.

Businesses should run personal analytics programs for employees/customers/suppliers/partners because it is the best way of communicating to them about whether they are winning. It lets you show people how they can win!

Generally speaking your audience is not analytics savvy, they don’t wake up in the morning thinking “I must check my dashboard today”, struggle to process lots of numbers and don’t really optimise their behaviour in a regular, organised way.

To counter this, I propose five principles to include in any personal analytics dashboard design as follows:


It must be simple and easy to understand, whatever the format it is delivered in. Condensing multiple metrics into a single score does this.

Ensuring that ordering is only by that single score reduces complexity of options as does keeping to a single time period for everyone.

Calling out major achievements with digital badges is also a way to make analytics easy and understandable.


Notifying the user to changes and updates to their score is essential. In our super busy world we want our analytics to come to us, not the other way around. I’ve found that receiving your score via a tweet, push notification or email works really well.


We’re social beings so our analytics must be social. We’re interested in how we perform against others, and we want to communicate with others about our analytics.

Tracking analytics can also be more motivating when the player unit is a team versus other teams or the whole community against a collective target.


Having a common analytics framework among peers ensures everyone is speaking the same language. If everyone’s score is between 1 and 100 then that’s much easier to understand, compare and communicate.


Analytics alone can be too dry for everyday use. Converting analytics results into stories gives people something they can celebrate or commiserate. “Personal best today”, “Down 3 weeks in a row”, “You ranked 25th out of 100!” are all good story examples.


Like these principles? Rise.global is the success tracking network that lets you design and run a personal analytics program for your staff or customers. The principles above are intrinsic in the design of any Rise Board. So, what are you waiting for? Try Rise.global today.


The 10 key work packages to roll out a successful employee personal analytics program

Rise.global is an awesome tool to run an Employee Personal Analytics program – giving each employee their own relevant, data dashboard so they can optimise their working day, get better at their jobs and make better business decisions. This post explains employee personal analytics and outlines the key work packages you’ll need to make it happen in your organisation.

Since we know that data driven decisions tend to be better decisions (HBR2012) there is now a move, within organisations seeking to build a data-driven culture, to provide relevant data analytics dashboards, traditionally given only to managers, right down to employees themselves.

Gartner calls this trend “Personal Analytics” and recently added it to the very beginning of it’s popular “hype cycle” of emerging technologies.

The very best Personal Analytics tools go beyond simply personalising existing business insight reports to individuals – they are apps in themselves. As with so much enterprise technology, the user experience of these tools has already been trailblazed in the consumer marketplace by activity tracking apps like MyRunKeeper, Endomondo, Strava, Nike+ and Fitbit.

Activity tracking apps offer more than just an analytics dashboard – they offer social comparison, achievements and automated coaching. These features lead to intrinsically motivated consumers: people who opt in to sharing their data with these personal analytics apps in return for accurate feedback and an engaging experience.

For the brand sponsoring the activity tracker, the return comes from brand engagement, loyalty and real activity data from customers. In return the consumer gets a powerful, relevant self-improvement tool. This model appears to work. In running Nike+ alone has 28 million users while challenger brand EndoMondo spent $500m on MyFitnessPal and Endomondo to try and keep up. Fitbit leads the way with step tracking for over 29 million users, including 1000 corporate customers using Fitbit as part of their employee wellness program.

Bringing personal analytics technology into an organisation seems like a no-brainer. If this technology can motivate and train runners to run faster, surely it can help sales people fill their pipeline or customer service reps close more happy customers?

The answer to this is of course yes – these programs can and do deliver significant value. Most importantly, in a world where the medium is part of the message, they can be used to signal an overall shift towards individual employee empowerment and digital transformation.

rise-single-score-personal-dashboardRise has been running personal analytics programs like this for enterprise clients for the past 4 years. During that time we’ve identified that successful programs don’t just happen on their own, they are more than software and data, they take planning and effort.

In this post I want to outline some of the work packages that you’ll need to consider when embarking on your own program. Whether you’re focused on just your immediate team or have a broader, perhaps global, remit,  you’ll need to consider each area carefully.

1. Program Sponsorship

All good programs need a sponsor, someone in or near the C-suite, that wants to see personal analytics made available to some or all of the employees. The sponsor is ultimately responsible for setting the business goals of the whole program – such as driving adoption of digital tools, achieving sales via social media and so on.

Business goals will vary – is the objective to improve an OCB (Organisational Citizenship Behaviour) such as social media use or sustainability at work? Or is it to improve a role based skillset – such as adopting new Customer Relationship Management software and processes?

On the outside Personal Analytics programs can look very similar to traditional measurement or business insight programs. Ensuring everyone on the project understands the difference is key to a successful program. Making the program opt-in (or at minimum opt-out) is a clear signal of a personal analytics program that has employee needs at its heart.

2. Score Algorithms

Good personal analytics programs don’t bewilder their users with a potentially competing array of statistics – composite indices are the order of the day – single balanced scores that go up or down. These have many benefits:

  • accessible for busy professionals
  • simple to understand good and bad
  • weightings can be used to embed business priorities
  • allows easy comparison with peers

Defining and managing a single score algorithm is not so straightforward. What matters to marketing isn’t necessarily what matters to sales. The current priorities of North America are not necessarily the same as those in Europe. How do you decide what metrics count? While usually the score algorithm is defined by an expert to begin with, in mature programs this becomes the job of a scoring committee.

Some organisations like to put all their eggs in one basket and focus on a single score for all roles and all behaviours while others prefer a separate algorithm for each role / behaviour.

3. Anti-gaming

The flip side to the positive benefits of a score algorithm are the unwanted behaviours caused as players try to “game the system”. This is an inherent problem in any personal analytics program and one I’m very interested in personally. On my GamificationOfWork blog I’ve listed 16 classic design fails that should prove sobering reading. They aren’t insurmountable though, so do drop me an email if you’d like a copy of my white paper on 12 anti-gaming mechanisms you can use in your next program.

Considering anti-gaming issues at scale can take time. The more sophisticated your program, the more important this can be to maintain the trust and credibility of your user community.

4. Positioning

Framing your program right takes time. Prospective user interviews are a great way to understand personal analytics from their point of view. Without good positioning your program may come across as “just another measurement tool” or “something from management”.

I’m a firm believer that personal analytics should be rolled out as an opt-in solution for employees, or at worst “highly recommended” – this drives higher ownership of the program among employees and empowers them to suggest those key improvements that will make the program really effective in the long term. To avoid the “empty bar” problem I find there is rarely a shortage of senior executives willing to be the guinea pigs on the initial leaderboard.

5. Player Experience Design

Planning the player experience means looking at the program and imagining your users as “players”. This has been widely described as “gamification” though is also termed behaviour engineering and motivational design.

A good player experience has obvious score systems, achievements (aka badges) and social features such as leaderboards that add colour to an otherwise dry, analytics experience. This absolutely doesn’t mean making it all into a game with swords & dragons etc. and also doesn’t mean littering it with incentives  like ipads and cash payments! What it does mean is structuring the experience for people who want to progress at their own pace, who want to see both the inchstones and milestones on their journey and be able to see their status against peers, whether that’s in teams or as individuals.

Benchmarking versus peers on a leaderboard is one of the most powerful and engaging elements however it must be done with care. For example, not all countries even allow employee leaderboards (e.g. Germany) and a badly rolled out leaderboard (a global top 10,000 for example) can actually demotivate the staff languishing in the lower echelons. A good player experience design takes into account social comparison theory – the idea  that we are more motivated by being a big fish in a small pond than being a small fish in a very large one…

6. Visual Design

Once you’ve got your positioning and player experience design nailed down it’s time to provide the right copy and design that ensures your program resonates with its target audience. After all personal analytics is a tool for individuals, offering a relevant score, the design and copy should reflect their priorities.

7. Communications Planning

Hot on the heals of the design and positioning conversation are the actual planned communications around the program. This will start with launch announcements but can be expanded to include collective commentary (who are the movers and shakers this week – how are we doing as an organisation) and inter-player sharing (how I managed to increase my score 5 weeks in a row…). A good communications strategy can bring your personal analytics program to life by encouraging players whether  veterans or newbies to mentor each other.

8. Data Management

At the back end of any analytics program is a chunk of big data. That data needs attentive management and the occasional sanity check to ensure that released scores are correct and still relevant. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of online media where data availability can change at a moment’s notice.

9. Data Sourcing

Often you’ll also need to source the data for your program from a different system. Systems integration can help you connect the dots and ensure your personal analytics tool includes key metrics from both internal and externally managed systems.

10. Success Tracking

Finally, you’ll need to practice what you preach. Tracking the success of your program means reporting back on your own key success metrics. In theory this should be easy since you’ll probably already have all the data you need – there may still be some work to do in converting that into convenient aggregate statistics though.

So clearly, there is more to a personal analytics project than perhaps meets the eye but with good planning you should find that your program delights its target customers and helps build the right positive habits and behaviours within your organisation.


The Fitbit style workplace

This is a guest post by Bryony Williamson, a sixth form student at St Philip Howard School who joined us for a week’s work experience. Here she shares her expectations of what a gamified working environment might be like.

Imagine a workplace environment where you can tally your scores against others and keep track of each others’ progress as if it’s a game.  A live leaderboard. Essentially, a sticker chart that motivates you to work hard.

Think how many times you trek up and down the stairs, or take the dog for a walk each week, with the FitBit you can count how many steps you walk or run each day and challenge your friends you know to beat your score.   FullSizeRender (1)

Like getting fit, motivation is key for any activity.  But, at work, instead of competing to obtain the most steps between you and your friends, you’re powering through your everyday work like there’s no tomorrow.

Rise can be used to create a Fitbit style activity tracking program.  Rise.global helps encourage you to not only find the enthusiasm to work, but uses gamification (the use of game design at work) to help you thrive. A Rise tracking program provides a language for productivity conversations with other work colleagues leading to self improvement.

So where do you start? 

While, to begin with, gamification might seem complicated, the key gaming elements can be explained with a few easy concepts.

As work may not always be fun, Rise encourages employers to use these gamification components to stay on top of their game and be more productive.

  • Timely Guidance – Like a football coach encouraging his players,  Rise.Global gives feedback at a regular intervals so people can digest without being overwhelmed. Being told every second whether or not you are doing a good job stops you focusing on the job at hand.  Regular recognition of employees’ achievements can go a long way in terms of their happiness and development.
  • Clear Goals – It’s not always easy to set a goal and stick to them with distractions like food, coffee breaks, more food, watch Wimbledon etc (true, isn’t it?).  But, with Rise.Global’s feedback reports setting  targets for the organisation, the team or each individual to achieve, goals are easy to track.  These goals allow each individual (both employer and employee) to triumph over their mistakes and learn from their improvements. The simple action of setting goals can lead to a faster growing business.
  • Reactive Learning – Instead of compulsory training sessions that each employee is forced to undertake, gamification offers the opportunity for reactive learning.  This is where employees can elect to take part in eLearning after they’ve seen their feedback on their real world performance – learning while working rather than having the tedious task of reading papers.

As part of my week’s work experienced, I interviewed Toby Beresford, Rise.global CEO, on how he uses Rise himself:

Toby believes Rise is “an activity tracker for my professional metrics that lets me track my progress and compare with others.”  He goes on to explain, “I look at my own Rise profile at the beginning of each week.  I’m keen to improve my social media presence so I’m participating in different boards which all track different aspects of my social media performance including Twitter and blogging.” For instance, he uses the Twitter Activity Club to track how many tweets he averages a day.

In terms of its use,  Toby’s thoughts were that “as a player I find Rise easy to use – once I’ve joined a board and been accepted onto it, all I do is I just sit back and receive the notifications on my progress.”

Ultimately, it’s not an actual game.  It’s just using the elements of a game to further the progress of employers and employees.  It’s clear, gamification is as a way to use Fitbit style tracking at work.

5 alternative fundraising ideas using leaderboards

Tracking progress and comparing performance on Leaderboards are a great way to bring everyone together to achieve a goal.

The “big number” is highlighted at the top of the page while the leaderboard creates a little healthy competition between the 20% of your fundraisers who raise 80% of the funds.

While using a Rise board to track the score is an awesome use case and we’ve seen this work many times. In this post though I want to ask, are there are other innovative ways to use the technology?

Here are five ideas you might want to try next time you’re planning a digital fundraising campaign:

  1. Use leaderboards as part of an open charity auction – set a time limit and allow bidders to keep adding new bids until the clock runs out when the highest bidder gets the prize.
  2. Everyone-gives charity auction – in this variant all bidders donate and the highest single donation gets the prize.
  3. Mileometer – who can walk / cycle the most miles (assuming they have agreed they will get sponsorship for each mile they walk). Like a fitbit wall chart showing progress on, a leaderboard can encourage walkers to get out of bed a little earlier, just to outwalk their neighbours, all raising that extra bit of sponsorship.
  4. Fundraiser league tables – running league tables of fundraisers can be great fun, be sure to put fundraisers in a division with peers – its unfair to put the people raising funds from high net worths or companies in the same bracket as those trying to encourage online donations
  5. Fundraiser teams – split your fundraisers into teams and see which team can raise the most money. If you’re a school why not split alumni into their houses and maintain old pupils association with not only the school but their house. Griffindor versus Slytherin anyone?

If you’re interested in how Rise’s success tracking technology can supercharge your fundraising efforts, then please do request a fundraisers online product tour via hello@rise.global.



I’m a Data Stream Believer

I’m a data stream believer.

Let me explain what that means.

I see data arriving in a stream: I’ll either process and use it, or I let it pass me by. I don’t bother storing it.

Storing data is a popular paradigm (the “data ocean”) but I believe that people often fail to really understand that the value of data isn’t fixed – it only really has value in context and time.

For example if I tweet “hot cross buns going fast. come to the kitchen now” that data point only has value for a short period of time: a few minutes later, if you care about your buns being hot, and a little longer if you’re not so bothered. In any case, in an hour there will be no hot cross buns to speak of and the value of that data point has now decayed to zero.

To take advantage of the data stream, I need to listen to it and be watching out for key events. Events like those hot cross buns being available. To do that, I’ll either set up an alert for “hot cross buns” or I’ll make sure I follow the right twitter account. In both cases I have thought ahead and set up a listener.

I am now acting as a data stream believer. I’ve decided what I’m looking out for and set myself up with an alert for when it occurs. When it occurs I’ll then take action.

To me, this “data stream believer” should be our dominant strategy when working with modern data – particularly big and social data.

The alternative data ocean strategy is a lot harder to make work. Data ocean thinking goes a bit like this  – “I don’t know what data I really want right now but I am sure in the future it’ll be valuable. What we’ll do is store all the data and then when we need it we can query it. By storing everything we’ll never be caught short.”

I think there a couple of issues with this train of thought:

  1. Data storage costs just keep going up. Over time you’ll always need more storage as more data is created and stored. You’re not recouping the cost of storage anywhere so it’s just a black hole of cost. Admittedly data storage costs are going down but there’s still a cost somewhere.
  2. You aren’t using the data you do have. This is more important than cost – data oceans leads to woolly thinking and sloppy processes. You’re storing something but you’re not doing anything with it. It’s just sitting there gathering virtual dust. Even if its just cognitive cost (at the back of your mind you know that data is there) it’s still a waste of your attention.

Let’s make this real, with a consumer example of data stream versus data ocean thinking – digital photo storage.

Family 1 opts for a data ocean approach. Every photo they ever take is stored on the cloud. They never look at their old photos. Scanning through them is a boring chore as there are multiple copies of the same snap, a bunch of out of focus ones and some scanned expense receipts in there too.

Family 2 opts for a data stream approach. Every year they review the photos they took from the last year and choose 50 to go in that year’s family album. They get the family album printed, share it in the living room and never look at the cloud folder ever again.

Which family do you think is getting the most out of their data (in this case family photos)?

So we can see – a data stream believer takes the data stream and processes or discards it. Value is added immediately – and often it is pushed straight back into the stream.

It is with this philosophy how Rise works – data points are  pulled from the stream on each player, processed into scores and pushed back to the stream as a release of the leaderboard. This then feeds other people’s data stream activities – how did I do last week – time to optimise for next week.

The data stream creates a faster, more vibrant, feedback loop and uses data well.

How about you? Are you ready to become a data stream believer?