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Archive for May 21st, 2009

Graduate student attrition has been discussed before, but now Google is using employee data and a computer algorithm to identify employees who might quit their jobs “even before they know they might leave.”  As reported by the Wall Street Journal:

The move is one of a series Google has made to prevent its most promising engineers, designers and sales executives from leaving at a time when its once-powerful draws — a start-up atmosphere and soaring stock price — have been diluted by its growing size. The data crunching supplements more traditional measures like employee training and leadership meetings to evaluate talent.

A fairly big part of the equation that seems to have been left out of the report (and that may be applicable to the issue of graduate student attrition) is what Google actually does when they determine that somebody might quit.  I assume that they don’t go out of their way to keep those who are not seen as valuable.  Maybe they have algorithms for that, too.

Update: Related to graduate student attrition (but not computer algorithms), Fabio at Orgtheory has a post today (part of the grad skool rulz series) following up on a previous post about when to quit graduate school.

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