jerryking + quantified_self   10

The Mystery of the Miserable Employees: How to Win in the Winner-Take-All Economy -
June 15, 2019 | The New York Times | By Neil Irwin.
Neil Irwin is a senior economics correspondent for The Upshot. He is the author of “How to Win in a Winner-Take-All-World,” a guide to navigating a career in the modern economy.......
What Mr. Ostrum and the analytics team did wasn’t a one-time dive into the numbers. It was part of a continuing process, a way of thinking that enabled them to change and adapt along with the business environment. The key is to listen to what data has to say — and develop the openness and interpretive skills to understand what it is telling us.......Neil Irwin was at Microsoft’s headquarters researching a book that aims to answer one simple question: How can a person design a thriving career today? The old advice (show up early, work hard) is no longer enough....In nearly every sector of the economy, people who seek well-paying, professional-track success face the same set of challenges: the rise of a handful of dominant “superstar” firms; a digital reinvention of business models; and a rapidly changing understanding about loyalty in the employer-employee relationship. It’s true in manufacturing and retail, in banking and law, in health care and education — and certainly in tech......superstar companies — and the smaller firms seeking to upend them — are where pragmatic capitalists can best develop their abilities and be well compensated for them over a long and durable career.....the obvious disadvantages of bureaucracy have been outweighed by some not-so-obvious advantages of scale......the ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of data about how people work, and what makes a manager effective (jk: organizing data) .... is essential for even those who aren’t managers of huge organizations, but are just trying to make themselves more valuable players on their own corporate team.......inside Microsoft’s human resources division, a former actuary named Dawn Klinghoffer ....was trying to figure out if the company could use data about its employees — which ones thrived, which ones quit, and the differences between those groups — to operate better......Klinghoffer was frustrated that ....insights came mostly from looking through survey results. She was convinced she could take the analytical approach further. After all, Microsoft was one of the biggest makers of email and calendar software — programs that produce a “digital exhaust” of metadata about how employees use their time. In September 2015, she advised Microsoft on the acquisition of a Seattle start-up, VoloMetrix, that could help it identify and act on the patterns in that vapor......One of VoloMetrix's foundational data sets, for example, was private emails sent by top Enron executives before the company’s 2001 collapse — a rich look at how an organization’s elite behave when they don’t think anyone is watching.
analytics  books  data  datasets  data_driven  exhaust_data  Fitbit  gut_feelings  human_resources  interpretative  Managing_Your_Career  massive_data_sets  meetings  metadata  Microsoft  Moneyball  organizational_analytics  organizing_data  people_analytics  quantitative  quantified_self  superstars  unhappiness  VoloMetrix  winner-take-all  work_life_balance 
june 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Surprising Benefits of Relentlessly Auditing Your Life
May 25, 2019 | The New York Times | By Amy Westervelt, a journalist and podcaster.

"The unexamined life is not worth living" is a famous dictum apparently uttered by Socrates at his trial for impiety and corrupting youth, for which he was subsequently sentenced to death, as described in Plato's Apology (38a5–6).
analytics  data  evidence_based  happiness  housework  marriage  note_taking  patterns  quality_of_life  quantitative  quantified_self  record-keeping  relationships  relentlessness  self-assessment  self-examination  self-improvement  spreadsheets 
may 2019 by jerryking
How should we analyse our lives? - FT.com
January 17, 2014 | FT |Gillian Tett.

“Social physics helps us understand how ideas flow from person to person . . . and ends up shaping the norms, productivity and creative output of our companies, cities and societies,” writes Pentland. “Just as the goal of traditional physics is to understand how the flow of energy translates into change in motion, social physics seems to understand how the flow of ideas and information translates into changes in behaviour.”...The only question now is whether these powerful new tools will be mostly used for good (to predict traffic queues or flu epidemics) or for more malevolent ends (to enable companies to flog needless goods, say, or for government control). Sadly, “social physics” and data crunching don’t offer any prediction on this issue, even though it is one of the dominant questions of our age......data are always organised, collected and interpreted by people. Thus if you want to analyse what our interactions mean – let alone make decisions based on this – you will invariably be grappling with cultural and power relations.
massive_data_sets  social_physics  data_scientists  quantified_self  call_centres  books  data  social_data  flu_outbreaks  Gillian_Tett  queuing 
january 2014 by jerryking
The need for an analytical approach to life
November 3, 2013 | FT.com | By Rebecca Knight.

Risk analysis is not about predicting events; it’s about understanding the probability of possible scenarios, according to Elisabeth Paté-Cornell, professor at the Stanford School of Engineering.
In her latest research, she argues that expressions such as “black swan” and “perfect storm”, which have become journalistic shorthand when describing catastrophes, are just excuses for poor planning. Managers, should “think like engineers” and take a systematic approach to risk analysis. They should figure out how a system works and then identify the probable ways in which it could fail.
So does a black swan event exist?
The only one that I can think of is the Aids epidemic. In the case of a true black swan, you cannot anticipate it.
And what about ‘perfect storms’?
A combination of rare events is often referred to as a perfect storm. I think people underestimate the probability of them because they wrongly assume that the elements of a perfect storm are independent. If something happened in the past – even though it may not have happened at the same time as something else – it is likely to happen again in the future.
Why should managers take an engineering approach to analysing the probability of perfect storms?
Engineering risk analysts think in terms of systems – their functional components and their dependencies. If you’re in charge of risk management for your business, you need to see the interdependencies of any of the risks you’re managing: how the markets that you operate in are interrelated, for example.
You also need imagination. Several bad things can happen at once. Some of these are human errors and once you make a mistake, others are more likely to happen. This is because of the sequence of human error. When something bad happens or you make a mistake, you get distracted which means you’re more likely to make another mistake, which could lead to another bad event. When you make an error, stop and think. Anticipate and protect yourself.
How can you compute the likelihood of human error?
There are lots of ways to use systems analysis to calculate the probability of human error. Human errors are often rooted in the way an organisation is managed: either people are not skilled enough to do their jobs well; they do not have enough information; or they have the wrong incentives. If you’re paid for maximum production you’re going to take risks.
So in the case of a financial company I’d say monitor your traders, and maybe especially those that make a lot of money. There are a lot of ways you can make a lot of money: skill, luck, or through imprudent choices that sooner or later are going to catch up with you.
So you can do risk analysis even without reliable statistics?
We generally do a system-based risk analysis because we do not have reliable statistics. The goal is to look ahead and use the information we have to assess the chances that things might go wrong.
The upshot is that business schools ought to do a better job of teaching MBAs about probability.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“Numbers make intangibles tangible,” said Jonah Lehrer, a journalist and
author of “How We Decide,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009). “They
give the illusion of control. [Add "sense of control" to tags]
engineering  sense_of_control  black_swan  warning_signs  9/11  HIV  Aids  business_schools  MBAs  attitudes  interconnections  interdependence  mindsets  Stanford  imagination  systems_thinking  anticipating  probabilities  pretense_of_knowledge  risk-management  thinking_tragically  complexity  catastrophes  shorthand  incentives  quantified_self  multiple_stressors  compounded  human_errors  risks  risk-analysis  synchronicity  cumulative  self-protection  systematic_approaches 
november 2013 by jerryking
How Harvard Shaped Mitt Romney - NYTimes.com
By JODI KANTOR
Published: December 24, 2011

“You have the same question as General Electric,” said Mr. Romney, then a young father and a management consultant. “Your resources are your time and talent. How are you going to deploy them?”

He drew a chart called a growth-share matrix with little circles to represent various pursuits: work, family, church. Investing time in work delivered tangible returns like raises and profits.

“Your children don’t pay any evidence of achievement for 20 years,” Mr. Romney said. But if students failed to invest sufficient time and energy in their spouses and children, their families could become “dogs” — consultant-speak for drags on the rest of the company — sucking energy, time and happiness out of the students....early four decades ago at Harvard, Mr. Romney embraced an analytical, nonideological way of thinking, say former classmates and professors, one that both matched his own instincts and helped him succeed....Every day for an hour, the all-male group — there were relatively few women in the program back then — sat at a semicircular table outside the classroom and briefed one another on the reading material....The case study method “doesn’t start with the theory or even principles,” said Kim B. Clark, a friend of Mr. Romney’s who later became dean of the school. “It starts with ‘All right, what is going on? What does the data tell us?’ ”

The cases did not even lay out questions. Students had to analyze the material, sometimes just a paragraph long, figure out the company’s problems and pose solutions. “The case study method is like trying to train doctors by just showing them [sick] patients, rather than by showing them textbooks to depict what a healthy patient should look like,” said Mr. Brownstein, the former classmate.
Harvard  HBS  Mitt_Romney  business_schools  finite_resources  resource_allocation  quantified_self  marriage  parenting  MBAs  case_studies  J.D.-M.B.A.  problem_framing  questions  work_life_balance 
december 2011 by jerryking
One Way of Insuring The Risky Business of Life - WSJ.com
APRIL 24, 2003 | WSJ | By DAVID R. HENDERSON. Financial derivatives have, in essence, allowed companies to buy insurance against swings in prices.

Wouldn't it be nice if individuals could join this game, hedging against, say, losses in income or in the equity value of houses? We will probably soon be able to, according to Robert J. Shiller in "The New Financial Order" (Princeton, 366 pages, $29.95).

Mr. Shiller, a finance economist at Yale University, writes that the information-technology revolution is making it easier to get good data on the home prices in various markets and on incomes in various occupations -- and to subject such data to reliable analysis. Once we know the numbers, he argues, we can hedge the risks.
hedging  derivatives  risks  book_reviews  personal_finance  Robert_Shiller  Yale  home_ownership  personal_beta  human_capital  quantified_self 
november 2011 by jerryking
Think Smarter About Risk - WSJ.com
JUNE 14, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By MOSHE A. MILEVSKY.
Too many investors may be taking big chances with their money because
they aren't considering the most important asset of all: themselves.
"Eventually some clever teenager will develop an iPod app in which users
specify background demographic information about themselves, where they
live, educational achievements, job history, etc. They will then
receive daily updates on the value of their entire personal balance
sheet, including their human-capital value and personal beta. At first
this mark-to-market value of You Inc. will be crude, blunt and
controversial. But over time—and by tapping into the vast array of data
from the clouds—this valuation will be refined to the same level of
accuracy as any closing price on a mutual fund....One thing, though, is
certain: Knowing your personal beta will help you manage your total risk
more effectively. And that is always a safe strategy."
howto  risk-assessment  insurance  massive_data_sets  cloud_computing  personal_finance  derivatives  human_capital  hedging  risk-management  VaR  personal_data  personal_beta  quantified_self  risks  demographic_information 
june 2010 by jerryking
Wealth Matters - Learning How to Hedge Yourself, Not Just Your Portfolio - NYTimes.com
March 5, 2010 | New York Times | By PAUL SULLIVAN. “People
have learned in the last few years that their human capital is much more
sensitive to the financial markets than they thought,” said Moshe
Milevsky, a professor of business at York University in Toronto and the
author of the book, “Are You a Stock or a Bond?” (FT Press, 2008).
hedging  human_capital  financial_capital  books  wealth_management  personal_finance  personal_beta  quantified_self  self-worth 
april 2010 by jerryking
STRATEGY PERKONOMICS: The customer's always right ... and looking for a perk
Nov. 24, 2008 G&M column by Harvey Schachter looking at customer care plus assorted tips on branding.

some companies are gaining an edge through what it calls "Perkonomics" - adding perks and privileges to the regular offering in order to gain loyalty by satisfying consumers' desire for novel forms of status and/or convenience.

Perkonomics applies across all industries, and even to luxury brands that can search for additional status perks to offer customers. In most cases, the perks are free but in some instances the customer pays for the privilege.

Examples.

Exclusive Perks: American Express cardholders had exclusive access to purchase the winning dress designed on the episode of Project Runway of Sept. 3 - non-Amex customers could not purchase it.

No Queue Perks: Skipping a lineup can be a big time saver and, hence, a major perk. Avis Preferred membership enables car rental customers to skip lines and paperwork and go straight to their car, at more than 1,400 locations worldwide.

Concierge Perks: Amsterdam-based private bank Insinger de Beaufort launched a service aimed at saving its top clients the time and hassle of dealing with the minutiae of their personal finances. The clients are sent a big shoebox by courier every month into which they drop bills to be paid, receipts, tax returns, speeding tickets, insurance documents and the like, which the bank then handles for them.

Assorted Perks: South African health insurance company Discovery has a wellness program called Vitality that offers rewards for a healthy lifestyle based on scientific measurement. Members receive points by decreasing their risk factors for illness, and the higher the points, the greater the access to shopping and travel discounts. Nokia in the Philippines has installed battery-charging stations for phones throughout the Manila subway system, which Nokia owners can use at no cost.

Parking Perks: IKEA stores in Canada feature two Green Parking spaces close to the store reserved for drivers of hybrid cars and fuel-efficient vehicles.
Harvey_Schachter  customer_care  tips  branding  innovation  perks  product_launches  Amex  queuing  parking  customer_loyalty  loyalty_management  exclusivity  concierge_services  quantified_self  IKEA  Green_P  risk_factors 
january 2009 by jerryking

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