Sounds like animal husbandry:
Slave owners were able to collect data on their workforce in ways that other business owners couldn’t because they had complete control over their workers. They didn’t have to worry about turnover or recruiting new workers, and they could experiment with different tactics—moving workers around and demanding higher levels of output, even monitoring what they ate and how long new mothers breastfed their babies. And the slaves had no recourse.
“If you tried to do this with a northern laborer,” Rosenthal says, “they’d just quit.
”The widespread adoption of these accounting techniques is partly due to a Mississippi planter and accountant named Thomas Affleck, who developed account books for plantation owners that allowed them to make sophisticated calculations and measure productivity in a standardized way.