I’ve been noticing more cars recently with one headlight burnt out.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I had that happen to my car a few weeks ago, but it seems a higher proportion than normal.

Is it an indicator of something deeper?

Well, I could create a theory that people aren’t taking as good care of their vehicles because they’re feeling more stressed about their personal finances.  And this could be as good an indicator as any, I suppose, because it directly relates to individual decisions.  Or maybe more headlights burn out in cold weather, I’m not sure.

What might be useful in your business?  Suppose you’re seeing that the average spend in your store has declined by 8% over the last few months.  Or that certain items are sitting on the shelves which used to move much better.

Maybe fewer people have been complaining about the size of your bill, or more are paying on time.

I’m not telling you how to interpret the data, or even that it’s vitally important.  But I’d ask that you pay attention to trends that are happening, and think through the possible causes of change.

Pay attention.