- The Best Music for Productivity? Silence
When silence and music were put head to head in more cognitively complex tests, people did better in silence. In a study from the 1980s, researchers gave subjects the option to listen to either upbeat or soft music of their preferred genre, or nothing, while counting backward. The people who listened to their favorite, upbeat tunes did worst of all, and those who heard silence did best.
- How FedEx is shaving millions from its IT costs
Apptio’s software also uncovered a glaring inefficiency in FedEx’ aircraft maintenance operations. For years, engineers inspected aircraft by climbing up and down the planes and then driving a golf cart to a shack, where they would enter data into an inventory management system, which costed $10 million annually. To streamline the process, the IT team created Workbench, which enables engineers to inspect aircraft and input data via tablets and smartphones. The software costs $2 million a year.
“We are several hundred million dollars cheaper because we keep finding unique ways to drive value,” Carter says. FedEx is applying some of the savings to emerging technologies such as TRON, a Bluetooth-enabled sensor that offers a lower cost way of tracking packages.
- An island no more: Inside the business of the podcasting boom
“The interesting thing is that, in this last six to nine months, I feel like we actually turned the corner,” observes Bryan Moffett, who heads ad sales for NPM, NPR’s sale arm. NPR — the leader in podcast audience — earns more than $10 million in podcast revenue and owns a double-digit share of the market. “We’re getting in business from Wells Fargo and Dell and Target — big Fortune 100 brands.”
- Apple Grabs Wearables Lead with Holiday Sales
A follow-up to SourceCast Episode 51
For all the skepticism about the Apple Watch’s prospects, the new version appears to be selling better than the first one. Apple raked in nearly half of the revenue generated online in the U.S. wearables market in the monthlong lead-up to Cyber Monday, new data shows, a big increase on last year. Meanwhile, Fitbit lost ground—and the data shows that its expected purchase of competitor Pebble won’t help much.
- What this GE Exec is hiring for in 2017 (and why)
Not everybody is a software engineer, but every single person at Global Operations understands their part in GE’s transformation into a digital industrial company. Whether you’re in HR, accounting, or operations, being able to analyze and understand data is critical. We produce massive amounts of data every day and need to use it as efficiently as we can.
So even if you don’t have a degree in engineering or your job description doesn’t include data processing, we want to see how you use data every day. I look for candidates who can explain how they turn their work into actionable insights—or who can tell us how they think data might help them do their jobs better. Data is the most valuable language you can speak today.
Photo: wu yi