I absolutely loved a story I read recently about the Iceland MP, Árni Johnsen, who moved a boulder in which, he believes, a family of elves lives, to his garden to repay them for helping him survive a car crash.
Now, we can’t all claim to have seen an elf or a pixie, and few would believe us even if we did but, I for one, am willing to go with John Lennon’s sentiment:
“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons.”
I, myself, have been known to be quite partial to the ethereal world and love a little elemental or two, but imaginary beasts are not always welcome, especially when seeing is essential for believing.
Take, for example, in the world of commercial communications information is power and there is a constant fight to slay the ‘evaluation dragon’ in order to expose the evidence necesssary to prove that a campaign has been successful.
And the importance of slaying this particular beast should not be underestimated.
Without accurate evaluation, it is impossible to establish whether the campaign objectives have been met effectively, efficiently and economically, and it is essential to collate robust information for evidenced-based decision-making in the future.
The act of slaying this dragon requires a high degree of skill to identify the appropriate weapon and wield it with precision.
Fortunately, though, there is an extensive arsenal of tools at our disposal from simple observation, direct measurement, interviews and surveys, to questionnaires, focus groups and opinion polls, to name a few.
Tools producing ‘quantifiable’ results may be your weapon of choice for when a definitive figure is required to demonstrate, for example, an increase in sales, the amount of visitors to a website or the number of column centimeters of media coverage obtained.
Or, on the other hand, it may be more applicable to seize a weapon adept at producing a ‘qualifiable’ result where evidence is required to demonstrate an improvement in attitudes, behaviours or beliefs.
Whatever your weapon, though, be sure that it is effective, efficient and, above all, accurate. After all, it is kinder to slay the dragon quickly and avoid any harm to other elementals nearby.