I was meeting with Scott McDonald this morning talking about a few things and the topic of data visualization came up. I’ve been interested in visualizing data since working on the Horizon Report, especially to get a handle on what is happening in my professional life … as an example tracking projects in meaningful ways has always been difficult for me. I’m not really all that interested in time spent on the projects, but more along the lines of where on campus we have touch points, who are we working with, and what kinds of things are we doing are all much more interesting to me. I’ve just not found a way to really map all that.
Scott showed me DAYTUM as an example of simple personal data tracking and visualization … I was instantly floored by what I saw. It gives you a really simple way to keep track of all sorts of things. I doubt it will solve the issue I mentioned above, but I am kicking the tires a bit with some personal things — at the moment I am tracking my daily exercise time either running or on Wii Fit, how I spend each day of the month (working not working, vacation, or sick), and the number of meetings I have across certain categories. I think it’ll help me get a better snapshot of where my time goes in a week. I doubt I’ll produce anything like the Feltron Report, but who knows where it could lead.
Scott and I instantly jumped to ideas on how we might use it in class. Next week we think we will be asking them to design some ways to take advantage of it and visualize their collected data over a few weeks and see what they come up with.