A baseline measurement method, also known as “the before measurement”, is data that was taken before any actions were applied to its instruments, this can be used by medical staff. An example of this is the current weight of someone who is preparing to start a diet. The visual weight chart shows the effectiveness of the diet. It displays the difference between the baseline and the “after measurement”. In various types of psychological and behavioral therapies, baseline measures are used to track improvement and differences.
Why Baseline Measurements?
Baseline measurement methods will tell you if your efforts are successful.
You need to understand the impact of your efforts before you can plan an effective program. To know if your efforts are making any difference, you need to be able to assess the severity of the problem. You can use baseline measures to compare the numbers after your intervention began.
A baseline is a way to make sense of something too large and complex.
Asking the question, “How well do our schools work?” is a difficult one. It might seem overwhelming to attempt to answer a question like “How well are our schools working?” It is possible to better understand the larger picture by keeping track of baselines such as high school graduation rates or standardized test scores.
The baseline will help you determine if it is the right time to intervene or if a specific intervention is necessary.
Imagine that you are trying to reduce fatal car accidents in your area for baseline measurement medical reasons. You might consider starting a program that encourages seat belt use. You can determine whether or not you should invest your time and resources in a program to encourage seat belt use by getting a sense of the number of people who are using them regularly. Your baseline measure will be the rate at which people use their seat belts. You might want to consider other interventions if 98% of your local residents are using their seatbelts almost all the time.
Baseline measurements can tell you sometimes if intervention is not necessary.
Where can we find Baseline Measurements instruments?
- In Improvement initiatives like Six Sigma, LEAN, KAIZEN, etc.
- In Change initiatives like automation, Business Process Reengineering, Mergers & Acquisitions, etc.
- Measurement of treatment effectiveness in the medical field
- Modification and improvement of products
- Software version changes
These are just a few examples of where baselining data can be done. Baseline measurement has many more uses.
How do you measure a baseline?
- First, consider the scope of your initiative. This includes the departments/teams that it will cover, the product lines and the scenarios being considered.
- Next, you need to decide the goal/goal of the initiative and the unit of measurement. If a medical research team wants to measure the effects of medicine that lowers fever, then the goal should be the normal temperature.
- Next, collect historical data about the measure. Collecting past data is the best method. If all data is not possible to collect, a suitable sampling method may be used. It is important to ensure that the sample you take is representative of the original data. Some scenarios require ‘Surveying’ customers to collect data. Other scenarios may require data about industry averages or products that are competitive. This activity will be successful if experts are involved and employed who can determine the best approach to data collection.
- Use the appropriate statistical method to estimate the baseline. It is sometimes easy to draw a line graph, and then calculate the baseline. Averaging past data is one method. Complex scenarios may require the use of advanced statistical techniques or cleansing the data to identify abnormalities. The baseline should be determined using the appropriate method.
Once the baseline range or value has been established, the project can begin. The result can then be compared to the baseline measurement.