Systems Fundamentals: Profiling

What is Profiling?

  • Reduce monthly spending. Requires understanding current spending.
  • Eat healthier. Requires understanding what you’re currently eating.
  • Reduce electricity. Requires understanding the current breakdown of usage.
  • Promote hiring diversity. Requires understanding employee breakdown by gender/demographic.
  • Reduce / Consolidate debt. Requires understanding debt sources by lender.
  • Diversify an investment portfolio. Requires understanding investments by category/risk.
  • Rent — $700
  • Grocery — $600
  • Child expenses — $400
  • Incidentals — $300
  • Transportation (payment, insurance, fuel) -$290
  • Utilities — $110
  • Rent — 29% ($700 / $2400)
  • Grocery — 25% ($600 / $2400)
  • Child expenses — 17% ($400 / $2400)
  • Incidentals — 12.5% ($300 / $2400)
  • Transportation (payment, insurance, fuel) — 12% ($290 / $2400)
  • Utilities — 5% ($110 / $2400)

Why Profile? — Risks of Not Profiling

  • Information can be missed since a complete view of the current state of the system is missing, may think that the breakdown is x and y and focus on x, but at the same time not even consider z.
  • Policies can target incorrect groups if profiling is not performed.
  • Unable to verify the effects of actions. If the goal is to consolidate debt then a profile should be taken before consolidation, and after consolidation. The second profile will show if consolidation was successful.

How to Profile

  • Identify dimensions: How will the profile be split? Which categories/dimensions will the profile breakdown?
  • Collect data: Where will data come from? How is complete data gathered?
  • Break down data, Percentage & Absolutes: Use a spreadsheet, database system, or hosted application to breakdown the data by the targeted dimensions. (The graphs above were generated using google sheets.)

Profile Profiles “drilling-down”





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