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Analyze This

From the Editor

Tara Behrend


Analytics. Algorithms. Data Viz. Metrics. It seems like data are all anyone can talk about these days. And for good reason! This is the era of measurement, of prediction, of analysis. This issue of TIP has a few articles that directly address the theme of how we use and communicate data to others. Check out Crash Course for an introduction to Tableau, a popular data visualization tool. Feature articles from List and McDaniel, Cucina and Berger, and Mandelke et al. discuss various aspects of how we make decisions about data and what the consequences of those decisions are. There are useful bits of advice in here and also important questions to ask ourselves as scientists and practitioners.

Given this theme, I thought I should apply some of this measurement magic to TIP itself. I wondered, “How do people read TIP? Where do they read it? Will they use the new html format or should we offer other options too?” What better way to answer these questions than to take a look at the data. Here’s what the last issue of TIP looked like for the period between July 1 and August 15, 2016.

The most popular articles were:

  1. MetaBUS: An Open Search Engine of I-O Research Findings

  2. A Crash Course in I-O Technology: Crash Course in R

  3. An Update of Landy's (1997) Psychology Family Trees 

  4. Call for Proposals for Updated Graduate Program Rankings

  5. The Bridge: Connecting Science and Practice

  6. I-Opener: Working 9 to 5, What a Way to Make a Living?

  7.  Licensing and Industrial-Organizational Psychologists: Member Needs and News 

  8. Lost in Translation: Communicating the Practical Value of I-O

  9. Trans Issues in the Workplace 101

  10. Learning About Learning: Defining the Role of I-O in L&D

Overall, the homepage received 2,261 unique visits, and unique individual article views totaled 5,842. TIP readers came from Abilene to Abu Dhabi and everywhere in between. The most popular day for reading TIP was July 5 (fresh from the holiday weekend, you started with the most important item on your agenda). But, new readers showed up every day through July and August. For the most part, people came to TIP from either google searches or direct links (e.g., emails).  Less than 5% of visitors found TIP through a social media share or post.

Based on this preliminary look at the data, it seems that the new html format is working for some people. We’ll keep working to make TIP an enjoyable and useful publication for everyone. Stay tuned for more improvements. In the meantime, thank you for all the terrific suggestions you have sent me so far. Keep them coming.

This issue of TIP has some challenging content in it. The authors are asking you to reconsider some of the basic assumptions of our field’s status quo, in several ways. Gerard and Guzzo engage in an exchange about the possibilities of a critical approach to I-O. A number of articles discuss the prosocial efforts of your colleagues, in the realms of CSR, humanitarian work psychology, and refugee assistance. If you are a graduate student, form a discussion group with your friends and chew on these articles. You’ll be glad you did.

While I am handing out advice…I have enjoyed speaking with you all over the last 3 months as I settle in to my new position here. Some of you, however, mistakenly believe that the position implies some kind of wisdom. You have been asking me for advice on matters I probably should not advise you on. But, I’m going to do so anyway.  Welcome to the first installment of “The TIP Editor Gives You Questionable Advice.”

Q: I met a famous I-O at a conference and I said something dumb to them! How can I recover?

A: Ah, yes. This reminds me of the time that, as a second-year grad student, I tried to explain IRT to Fritz Drasgow at a poster session. In my opinion, people should have to wear their nametags on their foreheads. But until that dream is realized, I suggest not worrying about it! We all say dumb stuff all the time. The key is to say a lot of stuff, so the dumb parts blend in with all the not-dumb stuff you are bound to say next time.

Q: My coworker won’t stop talking about big data. What should I do?

A: You have a few options, including: making terrible “big” related puns, giving her a blank look and asking “what’s big data?” or accepting that responding to broader societal trends is a good thing. We don’t want to be sad, isolated, uninformed eggheads. We want to be savvy and useful eggheads.

Q: A job I want says it is looking for 5–10 years of leadership experience. I don’t have any work experience, but I took a leadership seminar in grad school and it felt like it was 10 years long. Can I apply?

A: Yes, that seems fine.

Got a question for the editor? Email her at behrend@gwu.edu or tweet her @TaraBehrend.