Daily Buzz: An Offbeat Example of How Data Can Inform Anything

What your association can learn from Adam Sandler’s film career. (Yes, you read that right.) Also: a psychological approach to collaboration.

Whether you like him or not, chances are you’ve seen an Adam Sandler movie or two (or more—we won’t judge). And as the credits started rolling after his latest film, you might have wondered: Why—and how—was he able to put another movie through production?

The answer: data. Data shows that people watch, and seemingly enjoy, Sandler’s movies. That’s why Netflix took the risk and signed the actor to a multimillion-dollar, multi-movie deal—twice.

“Netflix wasn’t taking a gamble on Sandler and hoping people would tune in—it was providing a product for a paying audience that was, figuratively speaking, already in the seats and waiting for the movie to start,” says Aaron Raddon on CMSWire.

But data is only part of the equation. The context behind it plays a crucial role, too.

“Netflix, for example, organizes its data using a highly complex system of content affinities and features. A film like ‘The Waterboy’ might have hundreds of different features: sports movies, football movies, underdog movies, Adam Sandler movies, SNL alumni movies, comedies from the 1990s, etc.,” Raddon explains. “Understanding which data features are driving customer actions is what allows Netflix to recommend the next best experience. Think of it as adding intent to an action.”

The takeaway: Before developing a product or new offering, take a look at your member data, along with the intent behind it. What story does it tell? Then, use those insights to give members what they want. And who knows, maybe there will be enough demand to match Sandler’s 60-some movies.

The Attitudes That Promote Collaboration

Collaboration isn’t only a value to cultivate; it’s a skill to teach. And the best way to train employees to work better together is through a psychological approach, says behavioral scientist Francesca Gino on Harvard Business Review.

“When I analyzed sustained collaborations in a wide range of industries, I found that they were marked by common mental attitudes: widespread respect for colleagues’ contributions, openness to experimenting with others’ ideas and sensitivity to how one’s actions may affect both colleagues’ work and the mission’s outcome,” Gino says.

Unfortunately, these mentalities aren’t common.

“Most people display the opposite mentality, distrusting others and obsessing about their own status,” Gino says. “The task for leaders is to encourage an outward focus in everyone, challenging the tendency we all have to fixate on ourselves—what we’d like to say and achieve—instead of what we can learn from others.”

Other Links of Note

Welcome back, LinkedIn Events! The company announced the relaunch of the platform—but planners should be leery, says the Event Manager Blog.

Addicted to your phone? Google has apps for that. LifeHacker breaks them down.

Working Wi-Fi is a must-have for any meeting. MeetingsNet shares a Wi-Fi glossary to ensure planners deliver internet access attendees need.

Adam Sandler, shown in the upcoming “Uncut Gems,” is a beneficiary of good data. (A24)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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