You can use data to boost your career. Here’s how. | Neil Irwin | Big Think | Summary and Q&A

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March 9, 2020
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You can use data to boost your career. Here’s how. | Neil Irwin | Big Think

TL;DR

Data analytics can uncover surprising insights that lead to significant improvements in team and organizational effectiveness.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did data analytics help improve the effectiveness of a Microsoft business unit?

Data analytics revealed that excessive time spent in large meetings was causing employee dissatisfaction. By analyzing the data, adjustments were made to reduce meeting time, resulting in improved work-life balance and overall team effectiveness.

Q: What is the risk of focusing too much on data and analytics?

The risk lies in solely relying on numbers without considering the underlying performance or context. It is essential to apply logic and understand the broader implications to make informed decisions and avoid being misled by the data.

Q: How can individuals use data to enhance their own careers?

Understanding the relevant metrics in their organization and field of work can help individuals identify key areas for improvement. By being an active consumer of available data and information, individuals can leverage resources to their advantage and make more informed decisions to progress in their careers.

Q: Is data alone enough to drive success?

No, data alone is not sufficient. It is crucial to interpret the numbers with logic and understanding of the field. While indicators are valuable, they should be seen as part of the broader context and not the sole truth.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The use of data analytics in a Microsoft business unit revealed that employees were unhappy due to excessive time spent in large meetings, negatively impacting work-life balance.

  • By analyzing millions of emails and calendar entries, the team was able to identify the underlying issue and make adjustments to improve efficiency.

  • While data is valuable, it should be used in conjunction with logical and contextual understanding to avoid making decisions solely based on numbers.

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