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All Blog Posts Tagged 'human' (16)

Market Alignment - An Application of Systems Theory for Organizations

The main components of systems theory that readers might remember are “inputs,” “processes,” and “outputs.”  The part that tends to get neglected is “feedback mechanisms.”  These mechanisms tell the system the extent to which operations fit the environment.  If there is lack of fitness, there is stress.  One adaptive impulse is to make processes more complex and intelligent - i.e. sometimes described as the fight response.  Another impulse is to give up and run away - i.e. the flight…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 23, 2018 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

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

The Theory of Theory

Since I am sometimes asked to explain phenomena in the absence of data, it becomes necessary to determine what data is required to explain phenomena.  Some would say the best approach is to develop and test a hypothesis - to start filling a void of space with pinholes of light - until there are enough lit pinholes to provide a working theory.  This is not to say that a few additional…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 20, 2018 at 6:00am — No Comments

Quantitative Alienation in the Workplace

For my graduate paper, I studied perceptions of workplace stress through the critical lens of social disablement.  Writing this paper was certainly an intellectual exercise that at the time didn’t seem to have many practical applications.  I am therefore honoured to become better acquainted with the “mechanics” of quantitative alienation through my day-to-day duties.  I respect the fact that I can’t share any substantial details about my actual work processes on a blog.  It will therefore be…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 4, 2017 at 8:30am — 1 Comment

Using Selection to Find Superman - More on Demand and Capacity

During my childhood, our school librarian said that I was invited to attend a conference of writers.  I felt honoured and privileged.  I asked what the writers intended to ask me.  She smiled and said that actually I would be asking the writers questions.  Not quite sure why I would ask these people anything and why their thoughts would matter, I nodded anyways and at some point attended the most boring event imaginable for a young child.  I thought I had died, I really did.  I sat there…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 7, 2017 at 6:00am — No Comments

Can Design Thinking Unleash Organizational Innovation?

I am so blessed with smart friends, and I am fortunate to count John Morley among that group. John recently introduced me to Stanford’s Design School (d.school). To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I was so jazzed by the one-hour tour that I have signed up for a 3-hour class (very expensive…costs like $12…my Starbucks coffee that will get me fired up for the class costs almost that much).

So what about design thinking got me so jazzed? Three…

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Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 2, 2017 at 4:00am — 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

Organizational Distress - Cumulative Differential from Spliced Data

I routinely study differences in production between years by charting the data on the same graph. I consider this a popular approach. It makes sense since there is often interest on how the year is shaping up compared to previous years. Moreover, seasonality would be less relevant given that the same seasons are compared between years (assuming the seasons reoccur at around the same time). Below I present some real data from an organization in 1983 comparing production to 1982. I think many…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 28, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

Human Brain vs Machine Learning - A Lost Battle?

Human (or any other animal for that matter) brain computational power is limited by two basic evolution requirements : survival and procreation. Our "hardware" (physiology) and "software" (hard-coded nature psychology) only had to evolve to allow us to perform a set of basic actions - identify Friend or Foe, obtain food, find our place in the social tribe hierarchy, ultimately find a mate and multiply. Anything beyond this point, or not directly leading to this point can be…

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Added by Danny Portman on October 3, 2016 at 9:30am — 5 Comments

Is AI a dude or a dudette?

The gender of artificial intelligence

By Tyler Schnoebelen,

 

There’s Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa, and Nuance’s Nina. Sure, Facebook has “M”, Google has “Google Now”, and Siri’s voice isn’t always that of a woman. But it does feel worth noting that (typically male-dominated) engineering groups routinely give women’s names to the things you issue commands to. Is artificial…

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Added by Leena Kamath on July 14, 2016 at 9:21am — 1 Comment

Qualitative Engine for Organizational Simulations

Given the nature of the community, presumably many visitors already have a strong understanding of the nature of quantitative data. Perhaps more mysterious is the idea of qualitative data especially since it can sometimes be expressed in quantitative terms. For instance, "stress" as an internal response to an externality differs from person to person; yet it would be possible to canvas a large number of people and express stress levels as an aggregate based on a perceptual gradient: minimal,…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 25, 2014 at 6:37am — No Comments

Dark Art of Warping



The celebrity of Toronto's mayor has certainly drawn a lot of attention to the city in recent years. Several candidates are now running for Rob Ford's job. Since the mayor is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, he decided to withhold his candidacy in the upcoming municipal election. Being a longtime resident of Toronto, and being aware of the city's wealth and poverty, I'm always interested in how these competing needs play out when it is time to vote.  Consider the interesting…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on October 11, 2014 at 6:07am — No Comments

Data Instrumentalism

Being the son of a mechanic, I have spent many years handling power tools. I'm especially fond of a couple of hammer-drills in my possession. They can effortlessly drill holes through concrete. At least, this is what my father once claimed. He handed down his most treasured tools to me. I'm big on pliers and screwdrivers. This might be due to my vocational training as a technician. Even today - long after I completed my diploma and continued to further my education - I still carry a licence…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 27, 2014 at 7:39am — No Comments

The Awkward Road

This blog is about the peculiar nature in which software sometimes gets developed. I hope that many readers will recognize the relevance of data science in the examples taken from my own projects. I propose that development is the product of creativity more than accreditation. Creativity is something complicated that interacts with a person over his or her life circumstances. Many people know how to write . . . sentences and paragraphs. However, the ability to write well does not necessarily…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 30, 2014 at 8:59am — 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

Thresholds, Butterflies, and the Metrics of Phenomena

My favourite explanation of the "butterfly effect" so far is as follows: Under particular conditions, even the tiniest movements of a butterfly can trigger storms and hurricanes. This principle is not limited to butterflies, of course. I think that many of us face pivotal moments in life that leave lasting effects. Perhaps no different than other students, I remember running out of cash during my undergraduate years. I consider this my personal butterfly moment. I had no money for food. I…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on June 7, 2014 at 7:33am — No Comments

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