The phrase above is the most important thing I learned from my years in the corporate world. So it's worth repeating:
What gets measured gets done!
The tested theory behind this phrase is that when you have data, you can take action. If you take the time to measure something, that implicitly says that the outcome of whatever you are doing is important. So, if something that is important is accompanied by data that can lead to next steps, then next steps will likely occur. For instance, if your organization tries a new marketing campaign (online, tv, radio, grassroots, whatever) and you can measure the effectiveness of the campaign against your goals, then you will have a really good starting place to improve or expand the campaign.
The problem often lies in not measuring. Sometimes you have such a brilliant idea that you don't even need to measure to know it will be effective. You are usually also so convinced of your brilliance that you forget to spell your name correctly, or you overlook similarly obvious flaws in your plan.
Other times you might pretend to measure - you put a tiny bit of energy into measuring a project that took weeks or months of work. If you ask 10 of your friends what they think of your new hairdo, most will give you a polite answer that they know you want to hear. The result? You will remain convinced that neon green curls are totally in this season (and you thought I couldn't fit Nicki Minaj into this post). However, if you snap a photo of yourself and somehow find 200 strangers that don't really know or care about your feelings, you will get a much more honest response. The same thing goes for your projects at work. If you are going to invest a lot of time into something, please, for the sake of all of us who have to look at your hair (or your ads, or your new art installations, or your new website), spend the energy to actually measure your project against your goals. This way, when you are deciding how or if you should do this project again, you will have hard data to lead you in the right direction.