Use Data Analytics for a Deep View Of Your Day

September 28, 2010
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A time for a cup of coffee 150x150 photo (data analytics)

A time for a cup of coffee 150x150 photo (data analytics)

Do you really know how you spend your work day?  You might be surprised if you analyze your time, the same way you gain insights from data analytics applied to your files. Gina Trapani’s famed productivity blog, Lifehacker, rated the five best time tracking applications and selected Klok (free and usable on all platforms) as the winner. Klok lets you identify different projects and sub-projects in the task-management sidebar and then track the time spent on each by dragging and dropping them into the workflow for the day. While you can delve into the details of each block of time, simple adjustments like expanding the amount of time you’ve worked on a project is as easy as grabbing the edge of the block with your mouse and tugging it down.

Also on the list are Manic Time (Windows), SlimTimer (web-based), RescueTime (Windows and Mac), and Project Hamster (Linux). All five of the applications are free to access or download.

One suggestion from Unclutterer author Erin Rooney Doland is to track two weeks of work or activites to gain some insight into your most productive hours of the day, low-performance times or short-attention spans, even when you get interrupted.  Google Tools or Xobni can analyze your inbound and outgoing mail and report when people tend to respond — by time of day.

Are you prepared for knowing just how much of your day gets wasted or the actual patterns of when you REALLY check your email inbox or Facebook and Twitter updates?  It probably wouldn’t surprise you that Fridays at about 5pm are the peak traffic times for twitter, according to Steve Rubel, social media tsar at Edelman.

Just as you unearth interesting trends from your databases, mastering the details of your time requires some patience and a willingness to ask difficult or unexpected questions.  Don’t call it a “coffee break” — thanks to data analytics you can rebrand it as “motivational assistance.”

David Wallace
Spotfire Blogging Team

Image Credit: Microsoft Office Clip Art