I remember this TED talk by Hans Rosling as he echoed the sentiments that I’ve heard working closely with Market Research firms:
“Even with quantitative data, you have to be careful because as much as they are hard numbers, they usually are averages of two extremes – and the markets are full of extremities.”
Truth is, if you follow (just) the numbers and build a product, you might end up with something that half convinces one group and slightly lures the other but never raging fans – in short, you build a product that is average.
Which means, that in order to improve a system, its not necessarily the most effective way to measure the system has a whole, you have to look at the individual parts of it and see which part of it is inefficient and work on that as a unit, rather than the whole system.
Organizations, love to club “Entrepreneurship” as one big whole chunk of gooey and that is very misleading.
I came to realize this working for a few years with IIT Madras, and interacting with the government and realized two things – their priorities were on cutting edge technology (patentable, and hence hard core sciences – some of which were a few layers away from direct commercialization) and the other was employment. If you think about it, it fundamentally comes down to the two priorities any government would have – security (economic and physical) and job creation, which are the key elements to a society, everything else is incidental.