Tag Archives: data

Interesting stuff from July 12 to August 7

The periodic roundup:

  • Do Things that Don’t Scale – Technologist and venture capitalist Paul Graham with advice for start-ups (it IS his game, after all) … it’s the stuff that can’t be automated that makes a difference, so do that.
  • How Drucker Thought About Complexity – You could be forgiven for thinking that since Peter Drucker worked in a simpler time, his thinking might not apply in our more complex environments these days. You’d be wrong … check out what John Hagel III has to say (read it quickly – it’s a limited access HBR article)
  • Overcoming the Barriers to Enterprise Collaboration – All the time I’ve been involved with technology, people and organisations have been pre-occupied with technology as a “silver bullet”, the magical answer to their problem(s) – enterprise social/social business has been no different. This is a reasonably balanced view of enterprise social media, and where/how it might help with your collaboration efforts
  • Robert McNamara and the Dangers of Big Data at Ford and in the Vietnam War – “McNamara felt he could comprehend what was happening on the ground only by staring at a spreadsheet—at all those orderly rows and columns, calculations and charts, whose mastery seemed to bring him one standard deviation closer to God.” Big data can be a powerful tool, but sometimes what you really need is eyeballs on the ground, where people do real things … either that, or we all just become part of the body count

 

m4s0n501

Interesting stuff from February 24th through April 2nd

The periodic round up:

  • Every Employee Should Work From Home – David Heinemeier Hansson: “[Face time is] far less important as a tool of getting things done. Managers vastly overestimate it’s efficiency because it’s their job to interrupt people. But everyone else knows that being pulled into endless meetings is toxic and makes progress harder.” Remote working is topic du jour, it seems … but it’s true that the office isn’t always where you get work done. 
  • How Google Is Using People Analytics to Completely Reinvent HR – Not entirely surprising that Google takes a data-heavy approach to its HR – it IS after all its raison d’être. Will be interesting to see how it holds up over time, but I suspect that results are better than most subjective hiring decisions.
  • “The Art Of Not Sucking” – Hugh McLeod’s recipe for a meaningful life? Learning how NOT to suck … this is the place to go for real advice on success – defining it as well as achieving it. You might recognise Hugh as the source of my favourite cartoons too 
  • The Dangerous Logic of the Bradley Manning Case – The potentially far-reaching effects of the charges laid against Manning for his Wikileaks whistle-blowing represent a threat to some of the USA’s constitutional freedoms, and arguably an Al Quaeda victory more substantially damaging than 9/11
  • Death To Core Competency: Lessons From Nike, Apple, Netflix | Fast Company – “Sticking to the knitting” was the mantra; finding your key competency was essential to competing well … but is that too limiting? The Nike experience suggests that disrupting yourself is preferable to having disruption done to you: “You can’t have a barrier or restriction to that core competency. If we constrain ourselves by a circle of competency, we’ll do ourselves a disservice.”

 

Interesting stuff from June 25th through July 31st

The periodic round up:

  • The future of outsourcing – A short and succinct piece on both the advantages and the dangers of outsourcing, and the implications of it for your business. And the importance of drawing the line in the right place:
    “Only a fool would outsource their heart or lungs by choice.”
  • Turn Big Data aspirations into business value – Big data is one thing; finding the business value in it is a bit harder – MIT’s Sloan Management Review suggests that
    “…a large percentage of stored data serves no useful purpose because management has not specified how it will be used: who will make what decisions or provide what services with what data.”
    Interestingly, the research suggests starting at the operational level rather than attempting analytics.
  • - The Obvious? – State Of The Net 2012 – Euan’s talk at State of the Net 2012 – a primer on not only what internal use of social media organisations can adopt, but a consideration of the implications of doing so for individuals.
  • Atlassian’s big experiment with performance reviews – My opinion of individual performance reviews is fairly well-known, and anecdotally well-supported. What has been missing, though, is a viable alternative to the process that most HR software supports. Atlassian found this too, but being software developers weren’t prepared to let that lie. They are not only hacking together a working alternative process, but are sharing it for our interest and education …
  • At Large in the Post-Normal Beyond Futurism – If you struggle with what we consider “normal” at the moment, you may have bigger problems with “post-normal”, and the ubiquity of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity). Boyd considers what we might need to make sense of the world, and sees “speculative design” which considers “implications” as more important than “applications” of design

 

 

 

Interesting stuff from February 19th through February 23rd

The periodic round up:

  • What Makes The Most Creative Teams? – Somewhere between “complete strangers” and “have worked closely together for years” is a sweet spot for collaborative innovation; where the overhead of building relationships is done, and the team hasn't settled into groupthink yet.
  • Why Love Matters More (And Less) Than You Think – Written around Valentine's Day, this is neither romantic or un-businesslike, but a continuation of Umair's ideas about living a better life, and creating a better economy as we do.
  • Google Transit: A Search Giant Remaps Public Transportation – One of Google's un-heralded map applications may be one of its most useful, and becomes more so as more data is made open by transport operators and municipalities. Never used it? Maybe you're driving too much :)
  • Privacy in the Age of Big Data – A balanced discussion on the privacy cost: public benefit trade-offs we make (wittingly or not) with the increase in data collected and aggregated. The data domain under discussion is one (health care) where both privacy concerns and public benefit are magnified … some interesting points made about personal control over data, too.
  • Now Every Company Is A Software Company – and the reason is the explosion of data: “Big data can get us to business at the speed of thought … But the reality is that most companies do business at the speed of the weekly meeting.”
    Companies in all industries are finding that software and the data it manages are becoming core to their business, rather than a back-office prop.
  • Social Business – or whatever happened to Enterprise 2.0? – Possibly the most balanced, nuanced, and comprehensive look at the structure of Enterprise2.0/Social Business I've seen in quite a while. Key point – it won't work too well if you haven't got Enterprise 0 and 1 working as well.

Interesting stuff from September 8th through October 20th

The periodic round up:

  • Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world – Just when you were thinking that #OccupyWallStreet was a conspiracy theory gone viral, comes a mathematical study of ownership networks among the world’s largest transnational corporations. Conclusion? 147 companies own ~32% of global revenue …
  • “Global Data Banking”: Are the Banks Really Ready? – An interesting potential role for banks to play – they already have secure data transmission networks in place, and have a trusted place in our lives. In reality, these days “digital assets” that AREN’T money look pretty much the same to a TCP/IP network – most of our money is moved around as bits rather than coins anyway.
  • Show Us A Way Out – This is a protest from the Middle Ages; neo-feudalism rather than neo-liberalism. Is this what happens when our short-term investment horizons encourage business to look beyond “healthy” sustainable profits, and insist on them producing increasingly-growing profits? I think we’re well past “enough” now …
  • Opinion – Image – NYTimes.com – An image from the NY Times with a sobering visualisation of the disparity in the division of spoils from improving productivity … and we STILL want to squeeze wages? Just how evil are we? 

Data Scientists/Griots Please Apply

if you can tell stories that resonate, can riff with authority, and you know how to get the most out of logs and available data sources to build and stand up thesis about Developer Experience and how to improve it we’d love to hear from you.

via RedMonk is Hiring: Data Scientists/Griots Please Apply – James Governor’s Monkchips.

 

Redmonk aren’t the only ones interested in hiring people with a fascination with data – data, and the way you use it, is becoming a significant competitive differentiator; and so is having the people who can find the important stories contained therein. Check out the definition for “griot”, and it appears that what is required are “data rappers” … finding reason and rhyme in data.

Interesting stuff from April 21st through April 29th

The weekly round up:

  • Why is surprise the permanent condition? – All our political, financial and business systems strive to reduce variability and unpredictability, which is sometimes a good thing. But in times, circumstance or environment that is naturally "noisy", an enforced calm merely hides the variability from view so it is never considered in our planning. When it finally breaks through, as it almost inevitably will, it comes as a shock, and at a larger scale than when it was suppressed – but it could have been foreseen if we hadn't covered it up.
  • People Power – A glimpse at the way our lives might change for the better when we learn how to leverage the fact that we are more and more connected than we ever have been before. Using health care as an example, this post talk about using what we already have to improve effectiveness of existing facilities.
  • Patient-driven health care – Nowhere is our personal data more "personal" than our health records; and nowhere is there a more committed participant than when someone is told they are seriously ill. Why is it then, that "patients are the most under-utilised medical resource"? Because we don't have easy access to our own data, and we don't control its use. If we're lucky, we've had the same doctor for a long period – but the doctor shouldn't be the aggregator of our health data, we should. Why? Watch the linked video from TEDx Maastricht and find out …
  • Same Old New World Cities; or, the missing vision for Australian cities; or, asking the right questions in the first place – A response to the Australian government's National Urban Policy discussion paper (http://www.infrastructure.gov.au/infrastructure/mcu/urbanpolicy/index.aspx), this is a biting criticism of the lack of decent thinking and debate about not only what our cities should look like, but more importantly, what sort of cities we really need in Australia. Our love affair with McMansions in the outer suburbs and pervasive home ownership are no longer consistent with having sustainable and resilient living spaces that make us richer: socially, environmentally, intellectually, culturally and economically.
  • The Management Myth – One for all the MBAs out there – maybe you should have studied philosophy. A neat précis of management theory, and how the same themes get recycled under new names in a regular cadence, and how they seem to do so little of value. Consultants! Who needs them … ?