Thanksgiving is upon us. We at InsightSquared talk a lot about measuring your company’s performance. All sorts of ways to do your Salesforce reporting. Your sales activities. Your activity ratios. Your sales forecast. The relationship between sales and marketing. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re really into measuring stuff.
So it got us thinking. We should be measuring our families’ Thanksgiving performance as well.
It just seems so obvious now.
We practice what we preach. And we’re big believers in transparency. Having identified the unmet need of Thanksgiving Performance Analysis, we built a new set of reports right into our own product. And as part of the initial development, I volunteered to beta test the solution.
The analysis provided has both confirmed some long-held opinions about Thanksgiving in my house as well as uncovering new insights. Here’s what we’ve found.
The Thanksgiving Measurements
Like a good inside sales organization, we’ve been tracking our activities in my family for Thanksgiving. These activities are the leading indicators for forecasting a successful Thanksgiving dinner.
We cover all the key activities:
- Total attendees
- Turkey consumed
- Football played
- Awkward conversations about politics
Here are some of the key actionable insights we’ve discovered about my family.
Uncle Joe keeps having more kids
First, in terms of total attendees, we have seen a steady increase in the number of attendees. This actually surprised us at first, as my immediate family has held steady at four members throughout the time frame analyzed:
When we dug deeper, we realized that my Uncle Joe continues to have children and bring them to Thanksgiving, on a relatively steady pace. Knowing Joe, we were mildly surprised as he is not married and does not seem to have a significant other.
Uncle Joe, above.
Turkey consumption correlates to attendee growth …. usually
Turkey consumption is the single most important activity metric for measuring the performance of your Thanksgiving.
As you can see below, the growth in turkey consumption in my family maps very well to the growth in Thanksgiving attendees:
Yet there is a particular instance in 2009 where consumption dropped which caught our eye. We dug deeper and realized that 2009 was the year my sister came home from college vowing to be a vegetarian. Uncle Joe spent the entire day mocking her and her new found conviction. A few tears and our turkey consumption was back on track the following year.
Turkey consumption and football
In my family, we have a nostalgic view of our Thanksgiving day together, including the family hitting the back yard to toss the football around. The way we talk about it and picture it in our heads is very Kennedy-esque.
But the data tells a different story:
As you can see from the data, as our appetite has increased and turkey consumption gone up, the amount of football played (as measured in “footballs tossed”) has decreased. The negative correlation distresses those of us involved. The ensuing analysis revealed multiple sprained ankles over the years, 3 footballs to the face and a retelling of the “Uncle Joe spilled his beer on Grandpa while trying to catch a touchdown” story. Action plans including improved exercise plans and curbing Uncle Joe’s access to the beer have yet to turn this trend around.
Politics and Thanksgiving
Walking into this analysis, if you asked me, I’d say that every Thanksgiving includes multiple instances of awkward and uncomfortable conversations about politics. Uncle Joe and abortion. Uncle Joe and Bin Laden. Uncle Joe and the Middle East. Uncle Joe and welfare. But when we dug into the data, a different story emerged:
Surprisingly, it was not an every year occurrence. Uncle Joe wasn’t a constant source of uncomfortable, tension filled conversations about politics at Thanksgiving. His missives correlated very closely to the major election cycles.
We now know to brace ourselves for the political conversations this year but that 2013 should be relatively safe on this front.
Happy Thanksgiving, and may your own Thanksgiving be safe from your own Uncle Joe.
Want to measure your Thanksgiving in the same way?