The Success Tracking Difference (4) : Sorted One Way

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

When you look at team statistics on an excel spreadsheet and find yourself at the bottom it can be very tempting to reorder the spreadsheet on a favourable metric which puts you near the top.

This ability for players to reorder the leaderboard by any metric is not used in a success tracking program because it allows multiple worldviews. In a peer success tracking program, part of the value of the single score and the weighting is that this has been commonly agreed. By allowing different leaderboards to be generated this dilutes the impact of the main leaderboard.

Success tracking is also about flexing the algorithm until it’s right. By forcing everyone to focus on the single score it encourages a deep debate on what metrics should be tracked, their weighting and the score algorithm itself.

That’s why on Rise you won’t see a leaderboard with the ability to sort by any metric even if there are more than one metric shown such as in the Gamification Gurus Power 100 board below:

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In Success Tracking everyone focuses on the main score, you can’t reorder (sort) the leaderboard by any of the sub metrics.

Now you know!

The Success Tracking Difference (2) : Branding

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

Most analytics systems don’t stretch beyond the numbers themselves: they don’t provide a narrative that applies to the context.

Most web businesses and bloggers are familiar with Google Analytics – the free web site visitor analytics service. It’s very much a one-size fits all approach:

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Google Analytics gives little opportunity for branding your analytics program

The Google Analytics layout is pure business dashboard design thinking – you can see graphs which represent the numbers visually. There is a pretty heat map to show time of day but essentially this enables you to access the numbers.

Google Analytics provides no additional context: the visual branding is the same for whatever I am analysing – whether it’s one of my web sites or one of my blogs.

Contrast this with analysing my step count on FitBit:

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FitBit here is strongly branded – I’m very aware the  I’m on FitBit. I ask my friends if they are on FitBit – I use language like “I’m going to check my FitBit”. In fact the branding is so strong I wouldn’t naturally think of myself as “doing analytics” or “reviewing my statistics”. I just think of it all as “FitBit”.

Branding really matters because it provides a bridge allowing emotional engagement with my tracking numbers.

Imagine if FitBit stats were presented in the same format as my Google Analytics – I can’t see them as being nearly so successful!

With success tracking, we take branding seriously – that’s why Rise Board has its own brand and visual identity:

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Every board on Rise is branded differently

By taking the time to give your success tracking program a brand you create context for your players, a language, a visual identity and an emotional connection.

A good success tracking program, like FitBit, becomes a brand in itself.

How to add competitor tracking to a Business Dashboard with Cyfe & Rise

Rise Boards can fit very nicely with your existing business dashboards.

Cyfe for instance offers a business dashboard tool where you can get up and running quite easily and very cheaply – you get up to 5 widgets on their free plan.

Adding a Rise Board to a business dashboard is a great way to bring a bit of competitive interest by showing, on a weekly basis, where you stand versus your competition.

Rise now has a new feature that lets you easily add a leaderboard powered by Rise to a Cyfe business dashboard either as a list or a table.

I’ve been using Cyfe as a way to monitor the development of my personal brand online. I’ve been charting my Klout influence score and my current number of Twitter followers – two of the key personal brand metrics I’m interested in at the moment.

However, I don’t want these metrics in isolation and, since Success Tracking is all about community and stories – it’s much more interesting to see where I stand versus others on the same journey.

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To this end, I’ve added the Gamification Gurus Power 100 leaderboard  to my Cyfe dashboard. I can now see I’m number 20 this month, so a bit of work to do to maintain my top ten spot.

I’ve also created a Rise board with a selected 10 accounts whose key metrics I’m tracking. I see them as my peers when building a personal brand – the top people are aspirational (I’m a while off their reach!) but it also includes people nearer to me who I hope to nudge past every so often!

How I added my Rise boards to my Cyfe business dashboard

Using Cyfe I added each Rise board as a widget using the ‘Custom – Private URL – table’ widget type:

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Once I had the widget on my dashboard I configured it by giving it a name, pasting in the URL from Rise for the Cyfe Table widget and setting the refresh rate to 24 hours.

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By adding Rise leaderboards,  I made my business dashboard that little bit more interesting!

If you’d like to try it, then why not create an account on Cyfe (you can use the code: risedotglobal for a cheeky 20% discount if you find yourself subscribing) and then add a Custom Widget – Private URL. Configure it by adding the Rise Online Influencer board to your Cyfe dashboard. The embed URL to paste in is:

Please do share screenshots of how your dashboard with Rise Boards embedded look – I’d love to see them!

7 ways to train for your dream job – lessons learned.

7 ways to Train for dream jobCareer development isn’t something most of us do very well. Our horizons are all too often limited to the career progression offered by our current organisation, our bosses job or perhaps a dreamy, unfocused vision of turning our hobby into a day job.

Even in well run organisations, career progression is only properly discussed in an annual performance review and tends to be narrowly focused on roles within the current business unit. Of course this makes sense, there are few rewards for HR and managers who “outplace” cost effective and high performing staff!

However in the digital age, employees no longer need to accept the status quo. Just a mouse click away are the informal learning resources and opportunities for us to take our career in a new direction – we just need the guts to try.

In this post I want to talk about the journey of Andrzej Marczewski who in 2011 set out on a journey to leave his job as an intranet manager to become a leading gamification consultant. It took him 5 years but he eventually achieved his dream job!

To do so he used a number of informal learning methods, not provided by his then employer, that brought him success. We can learn from the route he took.

In his own words, the tools he used were:

Social Media

“Social media was the key to getting really going as it gave me access to people who had the same interests as me and could point me in the direction of what to read to learn more – as well as being willing to teach me directly. If social media didn’t exist, there would have been no chance at all for my work to get me noticed.”

Books and Papers

“I read up on game design, with books such as The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell and A Theory of Fun from Raph Koster. I researched the psychology of rewards from papers by the likes of Deci and Ryan, but also from more “pop” books like Nudge and Drive.”

MOOC Courses

“Kevin Werbach released his Coursera MOOC course on gamification. I wish this had been around in 2011 as it was a great way to validate a lot of what I had been doing.”


“I started to write about my version of gamification and my views… I continued to research and produce content on a weekly basis and just kept gaining traction.”


“I went to meetups and events about gamification as often as I could and eventually started to speak at them. I remember my first Gamifiers Meetup talk with abject horror. I spoke at conferences such as the Gamification World Congress which helped with exposure greatly. ”

Success Tracking

“By 2012 I was getting fairly established, I had started to be a regular in the Gamification Gurus top 10. I have to give credit to being on the Gurus leaderboard as well, for better or worse it provided good exposure over the years!”


“I did a little bit of gamification consultancy on the side, but it was not until 2016 that I finally broke into gamification as a career – 5 years after I started making a move on the industry!”

So those are the some great lessons learned!

For me, the most interesting aspect was how Andrzej used the Gamification Gurus Rise board to track his social media success. The board tracks his blogging activity, engagement with his twitter content and the reach of his talks using Slideshare. By optimising all three of these metrics, over time Andrzej was able to reach the top 10 and improve his online social presence. Having such a strong online presence in the sector was a big benefit to his prospective employers looking to offer expert advice to their clients. Success Tracking in action!

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Andrzej Marczewski is now a Senior Solution Consultant focused on gamification at Motivait and continues to blog at

How can I make my leaderboard become the industry standard?

While it’s good to be first, sometimes you have to compete with what’s already out there. That means doing it better.

There are three approaches to turning your leaderboard into the industry standard. Especially if you are already competing with other leaderboards in your market sector:

A. Build a better leaderboard technically.
  1. Are there different metrics you could track? What metrics could / should you be capturing?
  2. Can you track metrics that are more specific to your sector – e.g. number of retweets that include a specific hashtag
  3. What about capturing metrics that the players have to give you (e.g. a tracking pixel on their blog)? Their own weekly circulation estimates?
  4. What does it really mean to be an influencer in your space? Can you track metrics around ability to drive results?
  5. Would breaking it down into several filtered boards be more appropriate and relevant? Would you have a badge for each category? Would you tweet out for each category? Should players be allowed to set which category they appear in?
  6. Are there any geographical issues you need to sort out? Is this UK list with global audience or global list with UK audience…
  7. Over time the top of the board might get a bit static – Do you need to change the way the score is calculated in order to see more interesting volatility on the board? e.g. change in Klout score over past month, ratio of new followers to total followers?
B. Create a better user experience for your leaderboard
  1. Can you make the board look aesthetically more enticing? Custom design of the whole board? Should you allow players to include their bio on the board?  Show the sparkline (line graphs of history) on the main board?  Would a grid format look better?
  2. Should you convert numbers into images, icons and colors – e.g. Red zone players  (people with scores over 80) to make it less about competitive ranking and more about zones?
  3. Can you add more functionality around the main board itself? e.g. climbers and fallers widget, search feature, better discussion, show some of the recent content, latest blog post for example, in the latest news area?
  4. Can you improve each players personal stats page? e.g. about this player, rate this player, review this player, most recent tweets, better contact details, details of how to contact…
  5. What about the audience user experience? Can we provide a more valuable online experience for PR teams and brands? What sort of features do they need? Keeping a personal favourites list of their top players? Finding influencers.
C. Drive more momentum and traction around the leaderboard. i.e. sponsors, freebies, awards, chat etc.
  1. What other benefits can people get from being on the board?  (note this is different from awarding prizes for board rankings which I believe you should still shy away from for now)
  2. Can this be a lead in to other community features? e.g. virtual or real world events, an oscars style awards event
  3. Can the player’s own content be leveraged in an interesting way? e.g. creating a sector portal (e.g.
  4. Can you increase relationships between players? Start a mentoring program for new players for example.
  5. Can we get the leaderboard or references to it placed on other sites? e.g. magazine media, television (weekly update on BBC for example / monthly top player interview in a magazine)
  6. What sort of celebrity endorsement can you get? What might a celebrity have to say about the leaderboard?
  7. Can you collect a cluster of major brands to put their logo behind the board (even if for free to begin with).. showing they support it?
  8. Can you flesh it out with other boards for other parts of the industry? e.g. an individuals board, a companies board, a suppliers board, a board of traditional media
  9. Can you create sub reports based on the players themselves. For example, generate an infographic about the players on the board such as this one: 
  10. What about engaging in the more mainstream industry conversation? If you were involved in beauty you might generate lists of the top 100 most beautiful celebrities…. best make up artists in the world, best hollywood hairdressers etc.
  11. How could you engage the player’s own audiences in their ranking? What would make a player want to tell their subscribers about your leaderboard?
Becoming the industry standard doesn’t happen overnight but long term the benefits of being the main authority for your sector become clear.
Here’s a few links to businesses that have successful become the standard for scorekeeping in their industry. Check them out for ideas on what you could do with your own board: