Regarding Data

Examples from Robin Weis Showing How to Record and Analyze Data About Yourself

Recorded on May 27th, 2016

Thanks to the always great “Good Morning RVA” email newsletter from RVANews, I was late to work today. At the end of every morning issue, they include a “This morning’s longread” section. The one today was called “Crying”, written by Robin Weis, a software developer. It’s a funny, nerdy, long explanation of how she logged every time she cried for 589 days, along with the intensity of the cry and some notes about where she was, what time it started, how long it lasted, and what caused it. She generates a bunch of positively Edward Tufte-ian visual analyses of all that data, and it’s delightful to see what her conclusions are.

What I love about her site even more than that article is the home/about page, where she has a high-level view of the events in her life and roles/jobs she’s had over the past 10 years. It’s beautiful:

screenshot from homepage of Robin Weis

That graphic is designed in the structure I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. I’d like to follow its lead for a time map of major things I can remember that have happened to me so far. When you arrive at the 45-year mark, it can be hard to organize your memories, and you just drift from one year to the next. Something like that grid could help put things in some kind of order while I can still recall enough to write down what was what.

She has other cool examples of data-gathering and analytics, all of them brilliantly executed and designed. Check it out!