Knowing how customers use and benefit from products and services is the key to unlocking market value for entrepreneurs and investors. New approaches make it possible to get closer to customers than ever before.

“Measure Better,” an ImpactAlpha series in partnership with Acumen, features investment practitioners and thought leaders who are putting customers at the center of their impact strategies.

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By Sasha Dichter, Acumen's chief innovation officer and a co-founder of Lean Data and Tom Adams, Acumen’s chief impact officer and co-founder of Lean Data

  • Acumen's “Lean Data” impact measurement methodology lets the firm hear “directly from customers, even those in the most remote locations, in ways that creates value for them, for the companies that serve them, and for investors,” write Acumen’s Sasha Dichter and Tom Adams in the Measure Better series opener.

By Alnoor Ebrahim, professor of management at the Fletcher School at Tufts University

  • “The single most important feature of Lean Data is its focus on listening to customers in order to serve them better,” writes Alnoor Ebrahim, a professor Tufts’ Fletcher School. Acumen’s Lean Data methodology is no silver bullet, he says, and “is better seen as a complement to evaluation approaches such as randomized control trials rather than a substitute.”

By Dennis Price, editorial director at ImpactAlpha

  • Jessica Kiessel cut her impact chops conducting randomized control trials on global development programs for Innovations for Poverty Action, the research organization known for its rigorous evaluations. Now she’s tasked with evaluating the impact of products and services of early-stage firms and other companies in the Omidyar Network portfolio that are tackling challenges in education, financial services and citizen engagement.