I wish I lead a data driven life.
There is something very… reassuring about data. The numbers are, what the numbers are. As a business it is very easy to see how data can be inserted into the day to day managings. “Gee, providing our customers with a users manual decreases the number of calls to our call center. Each manual costs us a dollar but each call costs us 3 dollars. There for we save money by including a manual. Lets do it!”
Obviously that is a little simplistic, but it is relaticely easy to see how data can help a business improve. While the calculations may get more complex and have a few variables or unknowns thrown in, they can provide some guidance in which direction to steer the business.
My friend Mark (also an analyst) and I have been discussing it. Imagine if you could keep track of how much money you spent, what you spent it on, what and how much you ate, how much you slept, how much time you spent surfing porn etc, etc. If all that information was fed back to you, what would you change.
For example, I am going to eat a bag of sour cream and onion chip. I will feel like crap in an hour but I will eat them anyway because they are what I want and I don’t feel like crap right now.
Of course one of the keys is to monetize. In business that means assigning a dollar value to every transaction or touch point with a customer. What is a visitor to you website worth in terms of brand awareness? What about someone signing up for your newsletter? Calling your help line? And so on. The monetization for comapies is relatively easy. The dollar is simply how we keep score. But life? What do you measure in?
Obviously some people measure in dollars, and more power too them. I don’t think that fits too well into most people’s view of life though. The man with the most money when he dies, is still dead. I think we need a happiness scale. Like the Richter scale. What can we call it?