Thursday, 20 December 2012

Fourth day of Christmas digested: Datahead Devani

Datahead Devani is the person in your life who is technical and loves it. Whether it be gadgets and the internet or science and facts, she loves to get involved. Here are some ways to help her help her organisation,

Give her tips on the impact of their organisation's communication tools. Perhaps she could check out this research examining telephone waiting time factors, and see whether their current set-up is solid? How about internet policy? Evidence suggests that 'cyber-loafing' peaks at certain periods, especially when people aren't getting enough sleep. One example is after the switch to summer time, as people struggle to adjust to the new hours. Perhaps smart teams might elect to employ one of the various programs that limits internet access during these 'risk periods'?

Introduce her to Occupational Psychology. Ok, we're biased here! But research suggests that the work done in our field is pretty solid; for example, experimental work tends to hold up well when examined in real-world situations. We can be proud of the scientific rigour that tends to exist underneath our work, and Devani can too. As we've documented, assessment tests have become more sophisticated and powerful in recent years, so being the go-to person in the organisation on this front could be useful. See also the BPS' resource on psychological testing, which contains research, advice and information on accreditation in the UK.

A gift? A camera. This lovely piece of research outlines the ways in which visual research in organisations democratises understanding, uncovers blind spots and gives a fuller understanding of how things are done, and could be done. Just ask her to turn off that superfluous digital 'click' sound while she's at it - she might actually be savvy enough to find it buried in the Settings somewhere.

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