Algorithms Help White-Collar Work

Source: WSJ, Jun 2013

Data scientists are beginning to peer into work relationships, trying to identify patterns that can improve how employees collaborate with peers, manage sales relationships, or see how they stack up against colleagues. It is a nascent market, but up-and-coming startups have their eyes set on upending established business-technology companies like Salesforce, which are also increasingly digging into data.

The idea is that software can detect patterns that humans can’t.

RelateIQ absorbs massive amounts of data—it scans about 10,000 emails, calendar entries and other data points per minute at first run—but does offer privacy controls for employees, such as the option to hide the content of email messages from colleagues.

Of the company’s roughly 30 employees, four make up the data science team, a group with Ph.D.’s in statistics, fluid dynamics and physics.

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