In the Headlights: May 29, 2019 Issue

In The Headlights

In the most recent AI and automation report from the Brookings Institute, the think tank cites research saying that AI will replace up to 70% of some job types, especially entry-level jobs. How do you make your career more resistant to being automated out of existence?

One of the key skills we cite often in our talks about AI is algorithmic thinking, a highly-sought skill in today’s marketplace.

What is algorithmic thinking?

Regular people look at a problem and try to solve it. Very often, they solve an instance of the problem, and then a day, a week, a month later, they’re solving the same problem again.

Algorithmic thinkers look at a problem and try to build a system to permanently solve it, to automate the problem itself out of existence.

For example, at another company I worked at, time tracking was a highly-manual chore that required crazy amounts of time and human effort to do, largely because the system for time tracking was an antiquated piece of software designed for manufacturing. As a result, a full 10-15% of everyone’s time every month was spent on what was manual labor – low value, low impact work.

This past week, Katie and I were discussing implementing time tracking for Trust Insights. However, we already have a time tracking system of sorts – Google Calendar, built right into our office software. Instead of buying additional software, we put on our algorithmic thinking hats. How could we solve time tracking using a system, rather than manual labor, to capitalize on a system and data we already have, already use, and is intuitive?

The answer: Google Calendar also has an API. Instead of manually writing timesheets, we just export the data from our calendars via the API and some custom code written in R. Instant time tracking with no additional purchases, no additional overhead, and most of all, not creating additional per-person work that’s low value and low impact. Solve the problem once, permanently, with a system instead of re-solving the problem every week.

What problems do you repeatedly solve? What tasks do you do where you know, deep in your gut, there’s a better way of doing? Find those problems and architect system-level solutions for them. That’s how you’ll create impact and value – and protect your job from AI. Instead of having your job automated away, proactively automate individual tasks with you as the conductor of the orchestra of machines, the manager of your “workers” – systems and processes that deliver impact and value. You’ll be irreplaceable.

The Bright Idea

In this week’s Bright Idea, a question and an answer. When will people be most out of the office this summer? Each year, we forecast using predictive analytics when people will be searching most for terms like “outlook out of office” and “gmail autoresponder”. The data shows us week by week when people will pay the least attention to us.

Want to know between now and Labor Day when people will be out the most? Join our free Slack community, Analytics for Marketers, to download your copy of the chart and exact dates, plus meet hundreds of other marketers just like you.

Download the chart by joining Analytics for Marketers!

In Case You Missed It
Shiny Objects

Social Media Marketing

Media Landscape

Tools, Machine Learning, and AI

Analytics, Stats, and Data Science

SEO, Google, and Paid Media

Business and Leadership

Join the Club

Are you a member of our free, private Slack group, Analytics for Marketers? Join 300 like-minded marketers who care about data and measuring their success. Membership is free – join today.

Upcoming Events

Where can you find us in person?

  • MAICON, July 2019, Cleveland
  • Content Marketing World, September 2019, Cleveland
  • INBOUND, September 2019, Boston
  • MarTech East, September 2019, Boston
  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum, October 2019, Washington DC

Going to a conference we should know about? Reach out!

FTC Disclosure: Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, Trust Insights receives financial compensation for promoting them.

In Your Ears

Trust Insights Podcast

Would you rather listen to our content? Follow the Trust Insights show, In-Ear Insights in the podcast listening software of your choice:

Social follow buttons

Make sure you don’t miss a thing! Follow Trust Insights on the social channels of your choice:

Trust Insights on Twitter

Trust Insights on Facebook

Trust Insights on LinkedIn

Trust Insights on Instagram

Trust Insights on YouTube


Thanks for subscribing and supporting us. Let us know if you want to see something different or have any feedback for us!

Need help with your marketing data and analytics?

You might also enjoy:

Get unique data, analysis, and perspectives on analytics, insights, machine learning, marketing, and AI in the weekly Trust Insights newsletter, Data in the Headlights. Subscribe now for free; new issues every Wednesday!

Click here to subscribe now »

Want to learn more about data, analytics, and insights? Subscribe to In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, with new 10-minute or less episodes every week.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This