Impatience – An Interesting Analysis

So I was doing some data analysis today at work and stumbled upon an interesting “trend” if you can call it that.  While it’s really too early to state anything definitive as I only have 2 data sets what I found really intrigued me.  It seems that we, as a people, have gotten more impatient just in the last 2 years alone.

Some background, I work for an electric company in the Midwest   I’m sure you could figure out where but I won’t mention it in this post.  As all electric companies can attest, outages are a part of life.  There are, however, massive outages that occur from time to time.  Today I analysed 2 such mass outage events, the Ice Storm in February of 2011 and the Derecho hurricane/tropical storm in June of 2012.  I specifically analysed the call volumes we received during these two events spaced roughly a year and a half apart.

Both events lasted about 3 days meaning that from the time the first person lost power to the time the last person’s power was restored was about 72 hours in each case.  Here is where things get interesting though.  I’m going to first post some of my data then go into the analysis of it:

Ice Storm 2011:
7925 total calls
3530 unique numbers
Average 2.25 calls per unique number
Top number called 40 times

Derecho Storm 2012:
10610 total calls
3659 unique numbers
Average 2.90 calls per unique number
Top number called 80 times

The very first thing I would like to point out is the top caller’s number of calls during each event.  They were not the same person, or at least not the same number.  Calling 40 times over 3 days is just crazy, calling 80 times is nearly obsessive.  That’s more than once per hour assuming that they didn’t sleep.  If they did sleep 8 hours per night that’s nearly 1 call every 30 minutes while awake.

Additionally you will notice the average calls per number, 2.25 during the ice storm and 2.90 during the Derecho storm.  This is also shown by the calls vs. unique’s.  The increase in calls from the ice storm to Derecho was about 2600 while the increase in unique numbers was only about 100.     While this doesn’t seem like a massive jump it does show the impatience increase between the two events.  Also there were only 3 numbers that called 20+ times during the ice storm, during Derecho there were 27 numbers that called 20+ times.

I would like to again point out that this observation/analysis is not scientific in any way.  I also do not have decades worth of results to present.  I’m merely pointing out what I noticed while working with this data today, how much more impatient we have become.  Not that I wish to have another massive outage event but I will be very interested to analyse the next one after it happens to see if this is a continuing trend or a one-time thing.

Anyway that is all.  I’m probably more interested by this than anyone else will be.

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