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The Insanity of Vanity Metrics in EHS: How to Measure What Matters

There is no shortage of data available to EHS professionals. But when you’re flooded with information, it can be challenging to decide what metrics are worth tracking. By asking the right questions you can hone in on the metrics that will steer your business to operational excellence, SAI Global’s Christine Adeline writes in HSE Network.

Originally published in HSE Network, March 1, 2020

Given the proliferation of data and the new analytical tools designed to pull insights from it, you might think the measurement of Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) performance has greatly improved. Unfortunately, that is not always so. Too frequently, you find companies or EHS functions that simply measure the wrong things.

Focusing on metrics that are imperfect or not meaningful can have a serious impact, leading management to make ill-informed decisions that hurt the business. Usually, the root cause lies in companies sticking to historical metrics that measure what was possible to track when they were created, not what should have been measured.

Given the payoff for getting metrics right, there is a true imperative for companies to reconsider what matters to their business and how best to measure that. With new types of data easily accessible for analysis, including Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques, companies have an opportunity to understand their real EHS performance much more deeply.

With data everywhere, it’s easy not to be able to see the wood for the trees. Developing a measurement framework is a way to add structure to your data and to really focus on the metrics that matter. After all, operational excellence is not just about producing results; good process metrics can help us understand how good results are produced.

Christine Adeline, VP of Product Management, EHS Risk
SAI Global


Read the full article, including a checklist of the right questions to ask about EHS metrics, as well as a set of key tips to determine the measurements that matter to your organization, on HSE Network.


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