Can 41 Digital Data Strategists play themselves to Data Wisdom?

About 7 months or so ago, I got involved in Hyper Islands Digital Data Strategist programme. The industry, actually regardless of which one we were talking to, was screaming for people with knowledge in how to use digital and data, to produce nice juicy output. They didn’t necessarily know what kind of output. All they knew was that digital was here to stay, and they needed to hire all talent out there, able to interpret it and turn its benefits into profit in one shape or another.

I got assigned a four week module. I wanted to make it into something unheard of. Something exciting for the students as well as something that was easily communicated. I wanted it to help the students define themselves as individuals as much as I wanted it to benefit them in their life and improve their wellbeing.

Now. 7 months later. I held my first session during the 3rd module called ME. The sole purpose of the four week module is to give the students tools that help them with the boundaries and possibilities of working with data for business purposes. Not only how to collect the right kind of data, but also how to present it, how to interpret it and how to do this without breaking any laws or ethical barriers out there.

Creating “The game of ME”

Five months ago I started planning the module, and it has changed a million times since. The final design. Well. How shall I put it. If you wanted people to, not only, learn about data, but also experience its impact on behavior and performance, what would you do? Yes. You thought right. You should have them make the experience about themselves. And what better way to do it, than to make it into a game.

Said and done. Hyper Island currently have 41 students creating their own version of “The game of ME”. A game of self description/improvement/management. Life Hacking in a box. Turning the students into the subjects of their own experiments. “The game of Me” is really a game about the students themselves. They make the incentives, feedback loops, objectives, rewards themselves. They decide what behaviors they want to induce within themselves, making them improve or grow, becoming their own Growth Hackers in a sense.

They shall then turn this game into a visualization of themselves, in terms of data, touching on everything from integrity (cause yes, some of the data is of such kind that you might not want to share it), data collection (both analogue, behavioral and in quantity through APIs and databases), into business or self growth… …and naturally also the regular metrics tools out there. We are no longer talking about a bunch of students that will present themselves with a name and an occupation. These guys will say: “Hi, 6% of my friends call me Jupiter and the 94 other percent of me is influenced by New York.” (…I know… bad example… but I think you get the idea…). They shall learn to present anything based on the actual facts, rather than based on a hunch or a feeling.

Through the process of analyzing themselves, and their behavioral change, through data, they will gain key insights on how to interpret data, and make it useful and exciting. This knowledge and set of skills will then be up for grabs, by you as a employer. I am telling you. These students are sharp. And there are only 41 of them.

Today’s session – find a theme, start collecting data

The day started out with a presentation of the module. Secondly we held a small KPI workshop helping the students derive themes that could be used for their games. We then broke the themes down into measurable metrics and tools that can be used to measure these metrics. The end result? I have no freaking idea. All I know is that most of the students walked away from today’s session with the kind of satisfied panic look on their face that all Hyper Island students do after the first day of any something they have begun.

Please get in touch with me if you want to join this module in any way. The best thing with Hyper Island is that we work towards completing goals. We have a Hyper Island way of doing that. The great thing with the methodology is that it is open to change and thus it allows for constant improvement! If you believe you can add to the module in any way in terms of ethics, developer skills/apis, legal, data integrations, game development, hacking, spam, marketing, branding, business intelligence etc. Please don’t think twice about connecting with me on LinkedIn.

My question for the coming four weeks is: Can 41 Digital Data Strategists play themselves to Data Wisdom?

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