Life Analytics

By Danielle Arad - March 9, 2012

I was lucky enough to have my co-worker send me this article where Stephen Wolfram provides in-depth analytics of his entire life. Everything from sleeping to eating to phone calls to meetings to emails to collaboration is included. He has literally spent years collecting data on top of data on top of data. It’s definitely worth a read.

While knowing his sleeping, eating, and activity patterns are I suppose, agents for change in his own life, is this information useful? When does it get to a point where it’s just analytics for analytics sake?

The part I personally find interesting, and applicable in the workplace, is that knowing how we work best will make us more productive. If I can know for sure, as in analytics reports are consistently showing, that mornings are ideal for sending emails and that I write my best work late at night, and that my natural sleep pattern is 7.5 hours, then I can take that data into account and become a better employee, right?

For example, has a formal performance review ever actually changed your behavior? In my opinion, people telling you what you’re doing right or wrong is never as helpful or productive as self-monitoring, tracking, and discovery.

We’re all just trying to make sense of the endless amount of data that is now available to us in the digital age. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s wasted hours in Google Analytics measuring and reporting, to no end. Maybe Wolfram has the right idea by looking at himself. We never think to use analytics in that way with respect to our workplace. Ok, nobody wants to work for Big Brother, but you know what I mean.

CloudShare’s Enterprise solution gives you the ability to manage, track, and keep collaborative control over projects that were once isolated.

And on the ProPlus side, you can make the choice for introspection by monitoring your own usage or by installing your own data analysis programs on the VMs. You can also stay in control of your collaborative efforts through the “Assign Team Member” function, explained in this blog post.

Working in CloudShare means your data is safe and accessible for review whenever you’re in the mood to perform some analysis.

What do you make of Wolfram’s findings? Would you want to see your life graphed out in that much detail?