Dr Jane McNicholas, creator of our Transforming Habits series, told us about some of her own habits and gives us a few tips on how to make lasting, effective changes.
Juan Giraldo is our in-house Data Scientist and he does magical things with numbers. He is currently working to evaluate the Unmind Index. I stole 5 minutes with him to ask him why the Index is so valuable.
Tell our readers about yourself, Juan
What is the Unmind Index?
“The Unmind Index is essentially a tool for you to keep track of your mental wellbeing. It does so by measuring wellbeing across six specific domains: calmness, happiness, coping, sleep, health and energy, providing you with a detailed overview of how you’ve been doing across these areas over time.”
What are the benefits of completing the Unmind Index?
“The main benefit is that it helps you increase your awareness of your overall mental wellbeing, and by pointing out specific aspects of it, it also enables you to identify the areas where you can work on and improve most effectively. On the platform, the Index acts as a marker that guides you towards the Tools and Series that will benefit you the most in the shortest amount of time. The fact that you can keep track of your scores over time also means that you can start to gain an understanding of the factors that may influence any variation, and I think that’s one of the first steps towards gaining control of your mental wellbeing.”
Have you completed the Unmind Index and if so, what did you gain from it?
“Yes, I try to do it once a month. It has been interesting to look at things in retrospective, revisiting the way I was feeling each time I completed it and how this has evolved over time. I really like the feedback you get on each of your subscores, as it explains what your results may actually mean to you so it’s not just numbers. That really helps me put them into perspective and I have actually felt like the Index captures what goes on in my life.”
Any top tips for getting the most out of the Unmind Index?
“Try to complete it monthly so you can see your progress and track any big changes – that way you can keep identifying areas to improve and make a more efficient use of our platform. When completing it, take your time to reflect on your recent experiences and feelings over the last month so that the results are meaningful to you. Some people in our team set themselves a reminder to complete it on the first day of each month, and I think that’s a good tip. However, soon Zeno our chatbot will also be able to remind you!”
What do you do with people’s data following an Index?
“I use the data to find any general patterns, like what is the distribution of scores across all users or spotting any overall trends over time. I’m especially interested in understanding which aspects of our platform have the greatest impact on Index scores, which is very helpful for us to develop new content and improve our platform to ensure our users are always getting the most out of it. I don’t look at any data at an individual level, and we take data security, privacy and protection very seriously.”
Do employers get any info on Index results?
“We only share results and analysis which come from aggregated scores compiled using anonymised data. We do this so that employers can gain more understanding of the mental wellbeing of their workforce as a whole and perhaps use that information to take any steps or measures that might also help the people within their organisations.”
One last question: what’s your favourite joke about data science?
“There are two types of people in this world – those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.”