The RJMetrics analyst team counts among its members Statistics, Neuroscience, and English majors; an EMT; a former satellite designer for the Canadian Space Agency; and an individual who built numerical models to better understand how worms ‘feel’ their environment. So, what do these data nerds do to goof off at work? The answer: play an elaborate prank on a co-worker involving data collection, dashboards, and a dry joke about the ROI of Dr. Pepper.
The team is known for its constant collaboration on tricky problems. A couple of weeks ago, Jenn (Settlers of Catan fanatic, Yelp Elite Squad member, and one of our data warehouse analysts) sent a fairly standard request out to her colleagues to see if they had any additional insight on a tough case:
The dashboard link led to this:
The subject of this dashboard, Jonah, was actually quite familiar to the analyst team. One of our all-time favorite senior analysts (and Jenn’s mentor), Jonah is known for being easy-going, brilliant, always ready to lend a hand…
…and for having a desk that looks like this:
Clearly, Jonah has a penchant for carbonated beverages. And since his coworkers happen to be people who love nothing more than making sense of the world with data, they began collecting data on his daily drinking habits.
Jenn teamed up with another data warehouse analyst, Safraz (RJMetrics pickup soccer organizer, tea enthusiast, and bottomless well of perfect witty comebacks), to see what they could learn about Jonah by tracking his drink habits.
Since both Jenn and Safraz sat very near their research subject, they had to coordinate data collection with utmost secrecy via gchat, surreptitiously updating a shared google spreadsheet for over four months.
When Jenn sent out the “request” for analytical help, the data nerds came to the rescue:
Finally, one of our head data nerds, the Director of Account Management, weighed in. Of course, his question was about ROI:
True to Jonah’s data-nerd-to-the-bone rep, he was not even slightly fazed by his fellow analysts’ antics. He was surprised, however, that they’d been able to pull it off under the radar.
Safraz and Jenn were probably going to carry this analysis on indefinitely (they certainly take our love for data-driven people to another level), but data collection ended when Jonah accepted his dream job as an Analyst for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. We knew he’d been working towards this goal, and were thrilled when we heard the news. We wish him all the best… and hope the Fed has a well-stocked refrigerator.
P.S. Jonah’s explanation for that huge spike on November 10th: “the Nov. 10 spike was not in drinks consumed but rather cans left on the desk. If I recall correctly, this was due to experimentation with larger, less frequent recycling to increase efficiency and therefore productivity. Unfortunately, any increases were wiped out by having to explain myself to my horrified colleagues :)”
P.P.S. If this kind of practical joke sounds like fun to you, you’d probably be a great fit for this team. Check out our Jobs page, we’re always looking for amazing data nerds.