Bob’s in a position to know. He is currently leading the Deltek Business Intelligence Affinity Group. If you want to learn more about the group email Bob at rajohansen (at) leoadaly.com. Bob was also in charge of the Deltek Vision Power User Group from 2008 – 2013.
Bob previously served as the Director of Information Analytics of Leo A Daly, an international architecture, planning, engineering, interior design and program management firm. Bob was responsible for the development of Business Intelligence strategy and implementation for the firm. Previously, he was the Financial Manager of the SE Region and Vision System Manager. Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from The Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Brenau University.
Without further ado, here is Bob’s first post…
The Next Level of Performance
It is understood that, in the world of sports, statistics are abundant. The primary reason for this is that there are statisticians who get paid for tracking individuals and their performance throughout each sporting event. In the world of Major League Baseball, for example, the notions of batting average, RBI’s, and a pitcher’s ERA are widely understood by almost everyone in the US. In pro basketball, the NBA tracks percentage of shots from the floor made, percentage of free throws made, number of rebounds, number of steals, number of assists, number of blocked shots, etc. The stats are tracked for every individual player for every team, every position, and every year. Recently, the NBA introduced a new website devoted to allowing fan interaction with a database of these historical stats (http://stats.nba.com). Clearly we are interested in stats about our favorite players. The National Hockey League (NHL) tracks shots on goal, among other things, NASCAR tracks laps led and laps raced under the green flag, the PGA tracks things like “greens reached in regulation”, and, of course, numbers of pars, birdies, etc. The point is, within the area of professional sports, there are stats we, as fans, can look at, appreciate, talk about, and relate to. After all, it is the stats about our favorite players that make them our favorites.
The theory goes, “If you want to improve something, measure it.” There are a variety of things in my life I want to improve. Sadly, I do not have a statistician following me around all day. If I am to improve, it is up to me to keep track of significant things in my life, record them, then find the time to analyze them to determine better paths, better outcomes, better performance. This becomes increasingly difficult to do as the data points grow in number. There is a limited universe of data points I can feasibly gather and maintain. Even with that limitation, wouldn’t it be great to have a full complement of personal stats? That is to say, stats about how we, as individuals, perform in our busy lives.
This is not a new concept. Many companies have been making a living selling us things to track our personal performance in several areas of our lives. Companies like Fitbit and Nike sell wristbands that track steps taken, calories burned, and even hours slept. There are hundreds of apps available that can track your calorie consumption, ounces of water consumed, miles ran/biked/walked/hiked, and a myriad of other items. Additionally, there are scales that track your weight and sync wirelessly to the internet. It seems our fitness performance is covered. But what about the other portions of our lives?
What about tracking our commute times, how often we get our hair cut, when to replace our toothbrushes? We have little signs and lights to tell us when to fill up with gas, and when to get an oil change, but what about our average fuel mileage? Is there anything to help track that? What about the average time we spend with our kids at the dinner table or how much shampoo we use? Who is tracking our personal best for “quickest shower” or fastest time ever between two points (remember that time you made all of the lights between your house and your work? My, what a great day that was!) Other things creep in like how many cups of coffee (or cans of soda) you drink every day and how many hours, on average, you stare at a computer screen. How about what your average time per level on Candy Crush is or what your highest score ever in Words with Friends was? Who is keeping track of all of this info?
The answer is you. If you aren’t, then it is not being tracked. If it is not being tracked, you can’t learn about how to be better. Don’t you think we need something to help us with keeping track of our personal stats? What stats would you want to track?