Lesson 1.6: Data Approach, Trends or Granular

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Lesson Transcript

Welcome to Nudge University! This is Lesson 1.6 - Data Approach, Trends vs. Granular - you may not have any idea what that means yet, but this is a really important section.

I'm Dr. Steve Feyrer-Melk, and I'm the Director of Lifestyle Medicine and a Health Coach at the Optimal Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center.

I'm also the Chief Science Officer for Nudge, and a nationally recognized expert in Lifestyle MedicineBehavior Change, and Health Coaching.

Consider the average client when we're thinking about these different approaches. This isn't going to work for every single one. It's not cut and dry or black and white.

But if you look at the average client, you are going to find one side or the other for most of the people we work with.

And this is very important. Keep an open mind when we discuss this. Because to be an effective coach we have to understand the Granular Data Focus vs. the Trends Data Focus.

So let's look at the Granular Data Focus, it's very microscopic level, looking at the very minute details. And it means we're collecting those details.

There's going to be a significant amount of data when you're using the granular approach. It takes a significant amount of time for both the client we're working with - so you remember back when we were talking about wearable devices, if you haven't watched or listened to those I'd recommend going back and doing that - there's a significant amount of time involved with certain granular types of data collection.

And usually, I would say the vast majority of the time compliance with granular data is very low.

Because when you get incomplete information, the results can cause a negative cycle because you were not giving advice based on complete data and information that is helpful. This can also lead to losing your patients and clients and therefore reduced revenue obviously.

So let's look at the Trends Data Focus - the one that I subscribe to and believe is the best way for the majority of people I work with - is the best way to get information. You look at a macro level. You collect larger or broader categories of data. The big picture.

It's low to moderate amounts of data, so the time required is less, and the compliance is usually much higher because you're often times using [very simple or even] passively collected data information. So your clients don't have to spend a lot of time actively putting this information in.

So examples of a Granular Data Focus when it comes to nutrition would be looking at the molecular level, measuring in milligrams. Whereas the Trends Data Focus would be looking at serving sizes. We'd be looking at protein, vegetables, water servings - larger components.

And what I find with this, and I'm sure you will agree with me, is that clients and patients can understand this approach, and it's much more replicable in their every day life [to have them track their lifestyle this way] because they understand what it means when we talk about serving sizes.

When you're looking at the granular approach when it comes to physical activity you're looking at the exact number - the exact seconds, the exact minutes of movement, the exact heart rate to be at. Having your heart rate between 127 and 129 bpm to get the benefit.

When you're looking at physical activity with the trends approach, we look at activity in terms of intensity level - not saying the heart rate isn't important, but may be in more of a larger range or the feeling of what your heart rate is like.

Remember that we're talking about the average client you may be working with here.

It may be the minutes of movement, so it's more of a generalized approach, which the majority of patients and clients can understand.

A trends data focus does progressively become more specific. So when it's necessary to get some granular data that can always be gathered.

An example of that could be putting a heart rate monitor on someone and looking at the ranges their in. Or it could be having them input every single piece of food they put in their mouth in an app, and have it give us the exact amount of vitamins, minerals, macronutrients, protein, etc. all to the exact gram or milligram.

So, what data do we track?

We talked about the Granular Data Focus vs the Trends Data Focus, so when it comes to the granular focus it's...

  • the micro level
  • detailed data
  • takes a significant amount of time
  • compliance is usually low - for professionals as well because it takes a lot of time to filter through granular data, as well as for the client
  • don't get complete information very often which can lead to negative results

When it comes to the Trends Focus, which I do believe in and adhere to myself, it's...

  • more of a macro level
  • patients and clients understand it better - it's more interesting to them because it translates to their everyday life
  • it involves less time for us, and for our clients
  • and it has a higher compliance rate

Thank you so much for joining me for Nudge University 1.6 - The Data Approach: Trends or Granular. 

I'm voting for the Trends. This is Dr. Steve, good luck.

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