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Are you still tracking or micromanaging?

Last updated on March 9, 2021

06.12.2019, 07:24 am

Do you have to track everything that is possible? Does the data collection always mean that more is also “more good”? No, thinks Claudia Wieschollek, and wonders when it’s enough. #realtalk

“Hey,” says my partner. “I have now also bought such a fitness tracker! Look, I’ve already gone 4,916 steps today. And here, “he waves around with the app in my face. “My blood pressure has increased. When I talked to my mother on the phone. “I rip the thing off his wrist, throw it on the floor and trample on it. Have everyone gone insane now ?! Do you have to track everything just because you can? What’s next? A toilet that lets me … let’s do that.

Everything is measurable

It is true. We now measure, measure and track everything that works. The fitness tracker on the wrist is still harmless. It is now also available for dogs and horses (and a seismologist wants – not quite seriously – to build an earthquake alert system from cats and fitness trackers ), there are shoes that show us the fastest way home , and smart menstrual cups .

And that’s just private life. Even at work tracking is omnipresent. Of course, there are many situations in which it is more than important to keep a record and record accurate numbers. Doctors and nurses need to know exactly when a patient has received how much of a drug. If you produce something, you have to make sure that the product runs off the line in the right quantity and size. And then there are about 35,000 DIN specifications that want to be complied with.

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In addition, of course, the common employee must be monitored to have the opportunity to get his performance broken down to the last detail. But last month it was a lot of piping, is everything okay? Compared to last November, you glued fewer paper bags this year, why is it? And in fact, at present, sales are two fifty euros lower than in the first quarter – better, we call the emergency and initiate countermeasures!

Because they can

Yes, of course, data can actually announce changes – with a low over the UK and the wind blowing east, we can get out of the umbrella. And if the sales figures drop continuously over weeks or even months, then something is probably not right. But instead of looking at where tracking makes sense and where it’s just bauble, data-crazy companies take with them what’s possible. Just as George Mallory climbed Mount Everest “because he’s there,” they track everything and everyone – because they can. And so that the collected data is not lying around uselessly and moldy on any hard disk, they are understood as unconditional instructions. The back office used less envelopes last month, if there’s not something in the bush. Better take a closer look!

Ultimately, the data comes with the promise of control. Control over one’s own health, the fitness level of the pet and in the professional context just about the workers. Like stasis spikes, the dashboards stick to the wall and gather up all the pieces of information they can get. But more data is not necessarily more insight. More data in many cases is simply more micromanaging. Like the Stasis spy who rummages through the trash in search of the piece of the puzzle that completes the picture and suddenly makes everything easy. But how it went out with the GDR, we know.

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Incidentally, I did not tear my partner’s fitness tracker off my wrist. I did not trample on it; Instead, I said, “Oh, that’s interesting.” But if I’d worn such a device myself at the time, it would have been guaranteed that my blood pressure had shot up.