photo of fitbit on HR Examiner March 20 2014

This edition of Five Links features articles about how things work. Usually, by the way, it’s not how you think they should.

This edition of Five Links features articles about how things work. Usually, by the way, it’s not how you think they should.

  • We Aren’t The World
    Most social science is rooted in Western European (particularly American) notions. Very little actual research is focused on understanding whether or not the things we take as universal are actually so. It turns out that Western culture is an anomaly and that American culture is an anomaly within that anomaly. This time, there’s something that looks like real science to back the claim. The article (it’s long) is good on a number of levels… it shows how resistant existing structures are to new ideas while it soundly questions whether or not our notions of diversity actually work. It’s required reading for global HR leaders.
  • Vulnerabilities: Through the Eyes of Hackers
    We don’t usually point to white papers. This one deserves to be circulated around your company. department and at the C level. It describes the thinking of organized groups of hackers who are doing corporate espionage or large scale data assault. It’s really worth understanding that this is a professional, project management kind of environment. In HR, the demands to protect data are growing as we learn more about and become more intimate with our employees (and the rest of the workforce ecosystem).
  • Big Data: Humans Required
    It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that Big Data is going to easily and quickly solve Big Problems. Much of what happens in big data projects involves human massaging of the data. (That means it’s prone to really big, troubling errors). The critical issue in the use of data is interpretation. Interpretation turns data into information. Note: You will never find any data scientists who meet the current standard job requirements. (Also see this one: Data Analysis: The Hard Parts)
  • What Your Activity Tracker Sees and Doesn’t See
    How an accelerometer works, what the data looks like and how algorithms interpret it. The state of the art is improving but it’s still a little lumpy. Great, simple visualizations. Good model for explaining technical things.
  • The Emergence of Crowdsourcing Specialists
    Every new technology produces a new class of experts. Crowdsourcing is no different. This is a great, short primer on the range of topics a crowdsource professional has to cover. Fantastic links.


 
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