Confessions of a Data & Analytics Manager

Over the course of the lockdown, I have seen a lot of people posting on MySpace and Bebo (other social media platforms are available, but if it was good enough for 2006 it’s good enough for me) about how they are so proud of their team and their colleagues for pulling together in what is a tremendously difficult time. I’m no different, I am proud of my team, they have done incredible work and they have been a real inspiration to me on days when I haven’t wanted to get out of bed in the mornings.

But you know what? Nobody is telling it like it really is. Nobody is telling you about the nitty gritty, the nasty bits of lockdown. Well, out with the pleasantries, I’m here to break the seal. I’m sticking two fingers up to the establishment and I’m just going to say it.

Don’t try and hold me back!. Ready for the truth?

My team loves trashy films.

There. I said it. Can’t take it back now. I’m the Julian Assange of film club secrets.

You might have some questions, that’s natural. It’s a very human thing to be curious and want to find out more about something so shocking. That’s fine, I’ll try and answer some pre-emptively.

When we went into lockdown in March, we decided to start a film club – we call it Phat Flicks so it can be part of the wider Phat Entertainment brand (more on that another time). The general concept was that we would randomise the order (shout out to =RAND()) of everyone participating, and each person would pick a film for us to watch that evening.

The rules are pretty simple:
1. The film must be on Neftlix to make it most accessible to the team
2. Actually, it’s basically just that first rule!

We didn’t know how long Phat Flicks would go on for, but here we are 54 films deep after our second round of film choices, and I can say with a good level of certainty that the Data & Analytics team like a lot of trash.
In this chart, we can see the MetaCritic and IMDb scores for each film, plotted against the ratings given by our team. In the purple circle you can see the highest rated films according to MetaCritic, and you can also see the huge disparity in scores from the team.
Boyhood got a perfect 100 from critics. As a team, we rated it less than seven. Someone gave it a FIVE. Madness.

Spirited Away got 96 from critics (possibly the best animated film of all time). The team gave it 5.5. One person only watched half of the trailer before switching it off!

The list goes on. Call Me By Your Name, The Fugitive, Enter the Dragon, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. All critically adored, but poorly scored by the team.

Now let’s look at the other end of the chart in the green circle. As the critics start to hate films, the team start to get more and more into them.

Critics will tell you that Law Abiding Citizen is one of the worst films going (34 from MetaCritic). This team gave it a 6.9. That’s a higher rating than we collectively gave Beetle Juice.

We are 54 days into lockdown film club, and this is what I’m working with.

One of the benefits of Phat Flicks is that it gives us an opportunity to test out some of our skills. We have a WhatsApp group chat for Phat Flicks, and our Data Science Fellow – Stephen – has had a play with some sentiment analysis after extracting the conversation data.

It turns out I’m one of the most negative people in the group?! Not surprising when you see the nonsense from above.

And what do we get most negative about? Well, this massive dip in positivity in the middle here is from when I took the team to task about the terrible film About Time, and we had a general conversation about how awful Gerard Butler's acting is.

So, to all the leaders I see telling the world how brilliant and inspiring their team is, I ask you this:
Have you ever sat through This Is The End because a Senior Analyst that you used to respect and trust used their power for evil?

If not, come back to me when you have.

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