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Don Philip Faithful's Blog Posts Tagged 'control' (12)

Little Hitler Syndrome

What most people call “analysis,” I refer to this as “guidance.”  It is not guidance in terms of guiding the company; but rather, I provide a narrative to help guide people through the data - of which there is a great deal.  I play the role of a tour guide.  I remember when I was a teaching assistant for a social science class - and there was a contentious area that would likely be the focal point for essays - I said that it didn’t matter to me what “opinions” people expressed.  Nobody had…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 3, 2018 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Judging Health Through Metrics of Conformance

I have written in the past about the difference between market demand and operational capacity - and how difficult it is to determine what exactly is being measured in relation to either.  Has the demand for a product declined, or is the organization simply less capable of satisfying it?  For example, the fact there are no bananas in the grocery store does not mean that there is no demand for bananas; but the absence of revenues from the sale of bananas might be regarded, rather erroneously,…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 9, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

Influencing Behaviour Using Persuasive Data

I came across the story of a manager who felt that the best way to encourage desirable behaviours was through reward and humiliation.  This encouragement occurred indirectly through what I would describe as “persuasive data”:  a table of data went out each week showing the best and worst performing employees.  Everyone in the team could see the stats plainly along with the names of coworkers.  They were encouraged to make comparisons.  This represents an aggressive use of data.  From my…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 18, 2017 at 5:51am — No Comments

Internal Capacity, External Demand, and the Metrics of Consumption

In my blogs, I often distinguish between event data and metrics.  I usually say something to the effect that events help to explain the metrics - or events “provide the story behind the metrics.”  In this blog, I will be discussing two competing lines of thought behind events:  internal capacity and external demand.  Why do sales appear much lower for the month of June compared to July?  Some explanations relating to internal capacity are as follows:  “There weren’t enough agents in June to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 18, 2017 at 6:30am — No Comments

Differential Spectrum - the Articulated Event Horizon

I periodically use charts containing a crosswave “differential spectrum” or “event horizon.”  In this blog, I will explain the nature of the spectrum and the relevance of any apparent bias.

I once mentioned purchasing a machine designed to monitor and reduce sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is when a person stops breathing while sleeping.  During a sleep study, I was found to have moderate sleep apnea.  Apart from its medical implications, sleep apnea is also a metric.  The machine…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 28, 2017 at 10:27am — 2 Comments

Disablement from the Institutional Use of Aggregate Statistics

This blog is about the lived experience of "becoming a statistic." In our increasingly data-oriented society, the use of data serves not merely to try to understand but also to control people and determine their placement in the scheme of things. Central to the theme of systemic racism, gender discrimination, and the formation of class strata is the elevation evidentiary artefacts such as statistics in order to structurally define and diminish "individuals." The purpose is to make lesser the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 19, 2016 at 5:30am — No Comments

Make It So, Number One

I found some leftover hamburgers in the fridge. I decided to stack a couple of them together to form a colossal “super-burger.” At the time, I didn’t appreciate how doing so would make it almost impossible to physically fit the burger in my mouth. I squished and squeezed the burger until it was flat enough to eat. Such are the problems of physics that become…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 2, 2016 at 6:00am — No Comments

From Survey to Database

I find that different types of surveys represent a large source of data for many organizations: client questionnaires; recruitment interviews; incident debriefings; interrogations; borehole drilling surveys; quality control checks; marketing surveys; security and patrol logs; and inventory audits. I believe that for many people, the idea of collecting information using surveys makes sense; and they recognize the need for the data. Problems arise in relation to the transition from survey to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 10, 2015 at 6:09am — No Comments

Overcoming Aspects of Social Disablement in Data

When the performance of an employee is evaluated, ideally there are no externalities to complicate the analysis. If the employee has a computer that is constantly freezing up - or the servers in the company frequently operate slowly - the employee's performance data will reflect the functionality and effectiveness of these systems. If the company occupies a highly competitive market, declining sales data is attributable at least in part to competition rather than the behaviours of employees.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 25, 2015 at 5:44am — No Comments

Quality of Things



"Measurement owes its existence to Earth; estimation of quantity to measurement; calculation to estimation of quantity; balancing of chances to calculation; and victory to balancing of chances." - Sun Tzu, The Art of War (Translated by L. Giles)

The quote from Sun Tzu seems to suggest how a military leader gathers data; adapts to different situations; and makes decisions weighing the circumstances. It says that the balancing of chances depends on "calculation." I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 18, 2015 at 6:20am — 4 Comments

Fallacy of Rational Prerequisite & My Fruitless Existence

Before elaborating on my fruitless existence - about my decision to avoid fruit - I want to emphasize how this blog is actually about something that I call the "Fallacy of Rational Prerequisite." There will be some misunderstanding about this term even after my prolonged explanation. I just want to state plainly at the outset that I am not proposing that people become irrational. If they are already so, I am not suggesting that they further the situation.…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on December 20, 2014 at 8:21am — No Comments

Causality, Closet Nazis, and the Metrics of Criteria

A few semesters into my undergraduate studies, I decided to move away from campus in order to escape the incessant party atmosphere. I chose to rent an old but roomy apartment in Kitchener, Ontario. I read somewhere that this city was formerly called New Munich. One day in the dead of morning, I heard loud banging and smashing downstairs. It seemed that neither I nor my cat could sleep, so I went to investigate. I saw the owner of the building at the front entrance of the apartment holding a…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 21, 2014 at 6:27am — No Comments

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