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Don Philip Faithful's Blog Posts Tagged 'performance' (24)

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

Ecology of Metrics

Although I deal with many different types of metrics, I believe they can be generally classified as follows: 1) time use; 2) alignment; 3) production; 4) performance; 5) service; 6) and market.  In this blog, I will be providing some comments pertaining to each.  Although I have yet to encounter any myself, I am certain that there must be text books on the issue of operational metrics and how to make use of them.  However, I personally developed nearly all of those that I use.  Although I do…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 26, 2018 at 9:00am — No Comments

Reconciling Opposing Performance Metrics Using Operational Simulations

Sometimes when dealing with performance metrics, there are contradictory signals.  For instance, although both are desirable, it is common for efficiency and efficacy to be in opposition.  An agent in a call centre can handle lots of calls while at the same time getting few sales; this is especially true if the agent’s main objective is to do lots of calls.  This is a highly efficient person albeit unsuccessful in terms of expanding the business.  Conversely, another agent by spending a…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on May 6, 2018 at 3:30am — No Comments

Technical Boundary Analysis

About a month ago, I posted a blog on “Technical Deconstruction.” I described this as a technique to break down aggregate data to distinguish between its contributing parts: these parts might contain unique characteristics compared to the aggregate.  For instance, I suggested that it can be helpful to break down data by workday - that is to say, maintaining separate data for each day of the week.  I said that the data could be further deconstructed perhaps by time period and employee: the…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 14, 2018 at 8:00am — No Comments

Seduction of Success

The following simulation is based on a presentation that I attended in the 1990s.  I was an investment junkie back then.  I sat down, and I listening to people speak about their ideas on making money - on television and sometimes live.  The presenter in this case was trying to explain that investment success is sometimes a matter of chance.  He had people in the audience stand up.  He asked them to guess heads or tails.  Those that were correct continued to the next round - to guess again -…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 31, 2018 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Technical Deconstruction

The term “technical analysis” usually refers to the study of stock prices.  A technical analyst might use real-time or closing prices of stocks to predict future prices.  This is an interesting concept because of what is normally excluded from the analysis - namely, everything except prices.  Given that the approach doesn’t necessarily consider the health or profitability of the underlying companies, a purely technical approach seems to offer guidance that is disconnected from reality.  Yet…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on March 17, 2018 at 3:00am — No Comments

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

When Aggregates Fail

In general, any expression of performance that applies to a department can, if the data system is configured properly, be stated in relation to individual workers.  For instance, if # of sales contracts / # of customer enquiries = success rate, the success rate can be given for the entire dealership and also for each sales agent in that dealership.  Due to the differences in performance between agents, it can be problematic to only make use of the aggregate.  Some agents might be blamed for…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 25, 2018 at 7:30am — No Comments

Applied Ontology and the Drivers of Data Recognition

I shared my story in a few blogs about returning to university to do a graduate degree.  In my first class, I found myself being asked to define “ontology.”  It was a course on the Geography of Disability.  I returned to class the following week with some details.  I said that strangely enough, this is not a word that can be found in all of my dictionaries.  One dictionary listed “oncology,” which I believe is the study of cancerous tumours.  My Collins Cobuild dictionary says, “Ontology is…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on February 11, 2018 at 7:30am — No Comments

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

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

Gaining the Context from the Deconstruction of Metrics

I find myself habitually using the term "metrics." When I first started blogging, I normally used this term only in reference to performance metrics. These are not ordinary "readings" but rather criteria-driven amounts - the criteria being performance. Over the years I have come to recognize that data-gathering is normally premised on some type of criteria. When compiling revenue data, it should be noted that analysts are seeking out data pertaining to revenues. The quest is predefined. The…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on January 7, 2017 at 7:02am — No Comments

Countering Quantitative Alienation with Geographic Codified Narrative

Codified narrative is the product of converting human-friendly narrative into computer-friendly code. In past blogs, I discussed my own approach towards this process of codification. Here, I will be covering the idea of spatial, temporal, and contextual distribution of codified narrative. I have never suggested that narrative can or should be used in place of quantitative data. However, I have reflected on how the quantitative regime has tended to dominate discourse; this has perhaps led to…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on April 2, 2016 at 8:15am — 2 Comments

Mass Data Simulations

I have been using the term "mass data assignment" in my blogs. I thought I should offer the community some simulated examples. These are simple simulations: all the data is in one place in an agreeable format. The file contents are meant to be easy to peruse. When I was younger, there was a television series called "Stargate SG-1." I have a number of seasons on DVD. In this series, a special branch of the U.S. Air Force visits offworld sites using stable wormholes: teams enter the wormholes…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on November 14, 2015 at 6:41am — 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

The Perfect Cheer

I recall the first time I encountered the idea of "asset allocation" many years ago. As the argument goes, the perfect allocation of assets should lead to the greatest return possible in light of one's risk tolerance. Perhaps thousands of years ago, although I haven't studied this in any detail, somebody had the idea that dancing in just the right way might satisfy the spirits enough to cause it to rain. There is the similar notion of delivering the perfect incantation to invoke supernatural…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on September 13, 2015 at 6:06am — No Comments

Seasonality

I have never been formally trained on how to deal with seasonality. But I wanted to take a moment to share my perspective based on experience, which I hope readers will find fairly straightforward. Some people use sales revenues in order to evaluate seasonal differences. I find it more desirable to analyze units sold if possible. A price increase resulting in slightly higher revenues does not in itself represent increased demand. Nor should discounted prices leading to reduced revenues…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on August 23, 2015 at 5:19am — 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

5 Types of Data in Feedback

In this blog, I will be discussing some distinct types of data involved in feedback. The types that I will be covering are as follows: 1) structural; 2) event; 3) quantitative; 4) contextual; and 5) systemic. In 2014, I recall reading a number of blogs about three types of data: prescriptive, descriptive, and predictive. There was a data scientist apparently on tour lecturing extensively about these three types. I don't recall the individual's name. Well, prescription, description, and…

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Added by Don Philip Faithful on July 5, 2015 at 4:56am — No Comments

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