I received a fitbit as a gift for speaking at a panel discussion for a real estate group. I have to say, that was a great gift and I would have done the event regardless, so really appreciative of the gesture.
Then it sat on my dresser for weeks because I was unsure how to get it started. Until a couple of awesome team members of mine shamed me at lunch telling me how easy it was. Turns out they were right, just plug the darn thing in and charge it, and download the app.
I have no expertise in this area so certainly have no basis to provide you any review or commentary on fitbit, or whether you should buy one, or whether it’s better than any other similar device. But it’s kind of interesting seeing your life in analytics. Makes me wonder if that truly is the way life is going.
We are using analytics for so many decisions now, many we don’t even think about. It is now second nature, for example, to select whichever route Google Maps tells us will be fastest. In the old days, remember Dad just “knowing” that if he cut over onto Route 6 he could beat Uncle Joe back to the house? Medical decisions now rely more on analytics than doctor intuition. Cars take in massive amounts of data and tell us when they need service and if an accident is about to happen, no more checking the oil during a fuel stop or actually paying attention while driving!
As these things typically go, sometimes analytics works great, and we should have embraced them a long time ago yet haven’t – I’m guessing hiring decisions fit this one, for a while picking baseball players in the draft was the poster child.
But sometimes we embrace analytics and gut feel works almost as well, or more accurately using analytics costs more than the incremental return over gut feel. I feel like my current role has some of that. Our programming team – and the good promoters and others in the entertainment industry – seem to have a really good feel about what will be successful, and which acts will sell tickets, and they are pretty darn accurate. I am sure there are analytics that can help them increase their accuracy and at my company we are working on doing some of that. But I wouldn’t spend the time or money to do something like survey thousands of people to see if they like Band X when my booking guys have a strong sense based on past performances, current trends, etc.
So with my fitbit, I guess I could enter all my food into the app, but I’m pretty sure the banana I ate this morning was fine and the cannelloni for dinner not so much. I’m guessing my gut feel that dessert won’t be a good idea is also pretty accurate! But I’m thankful for my fitbit tracking my sleep and exercise patterns, to help me make better decisions that will hopefully enhance the quality of my life.