What This Data Company Knows About You From Tracking Sensors

Sociometric Solutions

Sociometric Solutions gathers data to analyse interactions coworkers have with one another. Scary? Actually, not really. 

We’ve culled the most interesting slides of a power point presentation they typically share with potential clients to find out what they see once a client’s employees have been chipped and tracked.

And it isn’t scary at all, it’s really quite interesting.

The company has gathered reams of data for Bank of America, Steelcase, and Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc., and is in talks with General Motors.

Ben Waber, president of Sociometric and one of the company’s founders, tells us that that information collected is used to come up with ways to improve life for employees and companies.

When Bank of America used the sensors a few years back, the gathered data led them to make changes in group dynamics which improved productivity for the team by 10%. Waber says that with slight tweaks in the workplace, it can be easy to create a more collaborative and innovative team.

Note: Sociometric has recently enabled Business Insider to test its sensors, which we did on a few BI-ers. The results have just come in, so continue checking back to see how we did with our own little chip and track experiment.

The sensor tracks how long you speak and your behaviour during group interactions.

It takes a look at your posture to see how engaged you are during interactions.

It tracks your tone of voice to see how excited or passionate you are at any given time.

In the chart below, the person represented by the green circle is the most active participate in this group interaction.

The chart below shows that green and turquoise are interacting through purple, which may mean that purple is the strongest communicator.

The sensors include a Bluetooth, a microphone (it doesn't record what people say, but rather the tone of their voice, speaking speed, and volume), a motion sensor to measure movement, and an infrared beam.

In the case study below, the sensors provided data that showed employees were less stress/more productive after engagement. The company decided to change its break time structure to promote engagement.

Previously, the bank had its employees taking turns for 15-minute breaks, but the sensors showed that when people took breaks at the same time, productivity increased and ideas were shared among coworkers.

The chart below shows that face-to-face interactions are highest between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and drops dramatically throughout the rest of the day. Companies can use this data to plan more meetings later in the day to promote interactions.

Now you have to worry about your emotional intelligence as well:

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