At ANCHOVY. , we are currently undergoing an exercise to consolidate our data infrastructure, so we know the struggles of CEOs and businesses to gather separate sources of data to try and gleam insight into what’s really going on in the business from a high-level, holistic point of view.
ANCHOVY. uses a lot of different cloud-based platform to manage the day-to-day operations of the business. In this article, we will illustrate how we use the data generated by these platforms, and use it to gain insight into our own business.
One of the main platforms we use is Toggl. which we use for time-sheeting, to track the time spent on client projects. If you want to know why we love Toggl and why it’s our platform of choice, you can read our review of Toggl here.
In summary, the reason we use Toggl is to generate the data showing exactly how the working time of every employee in the company is being allocated to clients.
So, the question then, is what should be done with the data?
The way Toggl works is that the employees have to be tracking their time while they are working on a task. This means that the employees are responsible for generating their own data. Of course, it’s not always easy to do this day in, day out, especially in the hectic days, where hustling is the name of the game.
Therefore, it’s important to provide the necessary incentives and “gentle” reminders to remember to use Toggl
enter: The Fish Tank
True to ANCHOVY. ‘s style and culture, this virtual fish tank is populated by, you guessed it, ANCHOVY employees, (and interns) based on their Toggl usage. The fish tank resets every day, and employees have to keep up their usage of Toggl to consistently be the biggest fish in the pond.
Sometimes we are docile fish, but sometimes we are sharks…(but still friendly sharks, trust me)
How the aquarium works (Technical)
The Aquarium works in real-time by being connected to a database that is scripted to send requests to the Toggl Reports API every few minutes. Therefore, every few minutes, the latest Toggl data entries are retrieved and stored into this database, containing information about the start time, duration, and end time of each task done by each employee.
The way the aquarium works is that a fish gets bigger and bigger with more hours recorded on Toggl. So when the database sends a request to the Toggl API and new data is returned for employee X, this makes the fish associated with employee X bigger. Fish size is relative to all the other fish, so how much bigger the fish of employee X depends also on the hours worked by all the other fish (employees*)