I need to work on my data collection consistency.

April 16, 2013

For on and off the past year or so, I’ve become interested with the Quantified Self movement. The idea is that if collect data about ourselves and analyze it, we can make inferences about our behavior and adjust accordingly. I’ve been using a few iPhone apps to track different things that I’m interested in, but it’s struck me how inconsistent I’ve been about keeping up with them. Recently, someone posted on Reddit a link to a years worth of their sleep data, wondering what to do with it. I pulled it into Tableau and played with it a bit, which was fun. My favorite view I came up with was this heat map comparing the hour that the person went to bed versus the hour they woke up. The size is the number of times that combination was recorded and the color is how many hours of sleep he averaged (green->blue=short->long).




I liked that view and thought it’d be cool to explore. I have also been collecting sleep data for a little over a year, so I thought I’d see what mine looks like:



Kind of sad. I have data dating back to February 2012, but I’ve been pretty inconsistent with collecting the data. So, there wasn’t a whole lot to look at. That and I have a job with very steady hours (especially compared to the schedule of someone who is a student like the person who provided the data for the other heat map), so I go to bed and wake up at pretty much the same hours every day. Not all that exciting, huh. So, although I couldn’t really find anything good is my incomplete sleep data set, it’s at least encouraged me to be a little more consistent about my data collection. Maybe in a couple months I’ll actually have something worth mining!

1 Comment
August 12, 2013 @ 10:50 am

Nice to see you visualizing the data about your sleeping habits. I have been using a combination of apps to track my activities. Fitbit for exercise/sleep, RescueTime for Productivity on my computer and MyFitnessPal for food habits.. Now I need to spend the time to analyze the data. Would be a lot of fun.


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