How My Obsession with Data Started with a Blog About Wearables

I became a numbers guy, one step at a time.

1,643 days. That’s how many days there have been since January 1, 2020. Why does that number matter? It’s at least how many days in a row I’ve walked outside. It’s actually more than that because I can’t remember exactly when I started. 

When I began, if you told me I’d walk outside every day for over four years, I’d have said you’re crazy. But that’s exactly what I’ve done. Are there some days I don’t want to do it, like last week when it was 90 degrees and sweltering? Of course, but I can’t not walk outside.

Why do I do it? It could be because walking triggers my endorphins, those tiny neurotransmitters released by the brain’s pituitary gland and hypothalamus. The internet tells me endorphins lower stress, improve my mood, and generally make me feel good. That’s certainly part of the equation. 

Walking also lowers the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, and even early death. So I’ve got that goin’ for me, which is nice. 

How do I do it? I’ve been walking so long I don’t even have to think about it. It’s more than a habit. It’s become automatic, like breathing. A big reason for that is my Fitbit. 

After reading a blog by my friend Jessica Boden about wearables, technology that is designed to be worn, I bought my first Fitbit on January 3, 2015 (thank you, Amazon order history). Since then, I’ve taken 54,683,743 steps, walked 26,166 miles, and burned 12,631,965 calories. That’s probably 50 million more steps than I would have walked without a FitBit tracking my progress.

Good data is addictive. It motivates, provides an account, and keeps us on track.

1. Motivation

Good data eliminates guesswork and replaces it with concrete evidence. This clarity can be motivating, as it offers a sense of direction and purpose. Instead of relying on assumptions or feelings, we have tangible facts to guide our decisions and actions. This instills confidence and a sense of control, fostering a “can do” attitude.

2. Providing an Account

Data can be a powerful tool for self-accountability. It unites teams and individuals around shared goals. Visualizing progress and holding oneself accountable to metrics fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility for success. Tracking data also allows us to celebrate achievements, motivating us to continue our progress and creating an atmosphere that thrives on shared motivation.

3. Keeping on Track

Data provides a platform for continuous improvement. By constantly analyzing performance and identifying areas for development, we can refine our strategies and optimize our approaches over time. This iterative process keeps us moving forward and improving, preventing stagnation and ensuring we stay on track for long-term success.

Data is one of the six components of the EOS model. It boils things down to a handful of objective numbers that give us an accurate pulse on our progress. Running Revel on EOS has taught me to look at our weekly scorecard and be accountable for keeping one, two, or three measurables on track. 

We’re always working to provide better data to our team. Data that is accurate, reliable, relevant, and timely. Data that tells us if we’re hitting our number. Because when you win, and the person next to you wins, and the person next to them wins, the next thing you know, the team wins. Before you know it, we’re all hoisting the trophy together.

Jason is a Partner and the CEO at Revel, a B2B marketing agency. He is a diehard baseball fan who loves his Detroit Tigers. Family vacations often revolve around seeing games in different MLB ballparks around the country – they’ve been to 21 so far and counting. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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