The Quantified Self
Final project for ANLY 512: Data Visualization
The Quantified Self (QS) is a movement motivated to leverage the synergy of wearables, analytics, and “Big Data”. This movement exploits the ease and convenience of data acquisition through the internet of things (IoT) to feed the growing obsession of personal informatics and quotidian data. The website http://quantifiedself.com/ is a great place to start to understand more about the QS movement.
The value of the QS for our class is that its core mandate is to visualize and generate questions and insights about a topic that is of immense importance to most people – themselves. It also produces a wealth of data in a variety of forms. Therefore, designing this project around the QS movement makes perfect sense because it offers you the opportunity to be both the data and question provider, the data analyst, the vis designer, and the end user. This means you will be in the unique position of being capable of providing feedback and direction at all points along the data visualization/analysis life cycle.
Develop a visualization dashboard based on a series of data about your own life. The actual data used for this project can range from daily sleep regimes, TV shows watched, types of food eaten, to spatial positioning information at 1 minute intervals, to blood pressure and nutrient intake. The amount of data you collect and harvest will differ based on your specified objectives.
Ultimately the project must meet certain key objectives:
- You must provide an written summary of your data collection, analysis and visualization methods, including the why you chose your methods, and what tools you utilized.
- Your summary must outline 5 questions that can be evaluated using a data-driven approach. These questions should be more than just “How many miles did I run”, although a couple of your questions could be stated that way.
- You must collect, manage, and store the data necessary for this visualization.
- You must design and create an appropriate set of visualizations (try not to use just one type of visualization) within a dashboard/storyboard that provides insight into your specified questions, with a minimum of 1 interactive graphical element.
To complete this assignment you must deliver two items:
- A 3 page write up of the questions, data acquisition, storage, manipulation, visualization methods and a written summary of each visualization. This summary should be part of your final dashboard not a separate document.
- The final visualization.
The grading for this project will be based on a 100 point scale.
- Group projects: The final project can be completed as a group project. However, groups should be no larger than 4 students. A project proposal is required for a group project and should be submitted to me no later than 2 weeks after I have assigned the final project.
I thought it may be helpful to provide my motivations behind assigning this project. I have for a long time had an obsession with lifelogging of a quantified nature. My attempts have cluttered hard drives going back more than a decade. However, recently I stumbled across a project that showed a maturity and obsession that surpassed even my own. From 2005-2014 Nicholas Feltron monitored most aspects of this life with considerable detail and then designed, built and distributed an annual report. To support the collection of this information he also built a number of apps.
If you review these links you will see a collection of vis that are well designed, powerful communications of a man’s life. But there static nature lacks some interesting dynamics. I want our project to go further, I want to also leverage the power of dynamic visualization so that insights do not exist in a static vacuum but can drive greater inferences and deeper insights into an important subject, yourselves.
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