Inciter | Secrets from the Data Cave, November 2013
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Secrets from the Data Cave, November 2013

by Sarah McCruden

Welcome to CRC’s monthly series of articles on all things techie: Secrets from the Data Cave! (For those who don’t know, the title references our room — fondly referred to as “the bat cave”— where data staff can geek out in an isolated setting.) Here we’ll be offering you a fascinating sneak peek into the cave, with the latest updates & tips on what we’re implementing here at CRC!

November 2013: Why I’m Switching to Decaf


I’m kind of obsessed with tracking my progress to goals. And not just goals at work, or long-term goals in my personal life—I mean little, day-to-day things. I’ve even been known to track the amount of time I spend cleaning my apartment each day, because without documentation to keep me accountable, I would simply never clean. Obsessive, I know, but effective.

So I was super excited when I found this nifty website, which makes progress to a goal (or anything really) so easy to track that even non-data nerds are using it: www.askmeevery.com.

You just enter your email address on the AskMeEvery site, type in a question for whatever it is you wish to track (like, “How many hours did I sleep last night?” or “How many miles did I run today?”), and you’ll get daily emails or text messages asking your question. All you have to do is reply to the email/text, and it will track the data for you!

I decided to record my productivity at the end of each workday, which meant that around 4 pm Monday through Friday, I’d get an email like this:




And after 2 weeks of this, I logged into the AskMeEvery site and it displayed my productivity ratings over time:





But the coolest part is that you can compare the results of multiple questions, and analyze them to see if there is a statistically significant correlation. So I tossed in another variable: how much coffee I had consumed each day.

And here’s what I found*:


large effect


So it seems that the more coffee I drink, the LESS productive I become. And that is why I will be switching to decaf!

Check out askmeevery.com and let us know if you learn anything about yourself, and I’ll see you next month!

 *Note: I realize that my methods are flawed here, but this is just for fun  😉

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