Overview Reflections

First Data Visualisation

Last week, I decided to track my music habits. Music is something that I listen to every day. It keeps me focused, lifts me up when I need a mood or energy boost, and often is selected based on what I’m doing.

Throughout the week as I was adding the data points, I kept coming back to the following in Chapter 2 of Big data in education: the digital future of learning, policy and practice:

From the eighteenth-century perspective, ‘data are apparently before the fact: they are the starting point for what we know, who we are, and how we communicate’, and were often perceived as transparent, self-evident, neutral and objective, ‘the fundamental stuff of truth itself’ (Gitelman and Jackson 2013: 2-3).

Williamson 2017 (p. 29)

Music in the same way as data is described above is what I know, who I am, and how I communicate to myself. What I was not expecting, was that the visualisation of something that was meant to be ‘transparent’ or ‘objective’ would feel personal. When looking at the visualisation, I’m looking at what I needed, or how I felt at a certain point in time through the perspective of music.

In the uploaded image, I tracked on what device I listened on and the four playlists that were on rotation this week. I have Spotify on every device I own. I also decided to include a data point for any other time that I was wearing my headphones and not listing to music – when I sat in meetings.

In looking at this image and analyzing the week, I find that almost 50% of my days last week were filled up by meetings, and I wear my headphones more than I probably should… I also heavily rely on faster paced music to get me motivated for a workout, or when I needed to get something done. Weekends are, however, were filled with slower paced music when I was cooking brunch or cleaning up around the flat.

During working hours, I rely on my headphones. Alexa is rarely, if ever playing music as I work in the same room as my partner. At night, she is queen. My headphones and playlists are a way for me to transport myself to somewhere completely different when my partner is on a call (and I’m not).

As I couldn’t completely tear myself away from my list-focused and scheduled-oriented self, I decided to include a Y and Z-axis for the days of the week and rough waking hours to make it easier to read (as well as track). I knew that I would struggle to remember to jot down when I was listening to music, so I set an alarm on my phone three times a day to help me get into the habit. Maybe by the end of these next 9 weeks, data tracking will become a habit!

Looking through the Dear Data visualisations once more, I am so amazed at how creative Girogia and Stefanie are. It took me a while to come up with the symbols for meeting, phone, computer, and Alexa. I’m secretly hoping this exercise also sparks more creativity as I think through the data over the course.

7 replies on “First Data Visualisation”

Really like the colour and design om your blog and data log. Diagram is supper clear – whats the underlying story or what question are you asking?

Thanks for the comment! The underlying question was if there were any trends in my music choices based on the time and of the week. There are definite moments here where I’m using music as a way to motivate, and others as a way to de-stress. If collecting this over a few weeks time, I’d like to see if I end of choosing the same music every Monday evening, or Sunday afternoon.

50% of your week in meetings? I can relate!
Now you are aware of what a week can be like, and how you use music, do you see it has had any impact on how you do things now? Have you found yourself being more ‘aware’ of, say, your music choices, as you make them?

This week I was absolutely more aware of my music choices, but also weirdly surprised any time I said “Alexa resume”. My Spotify account is tied to Alexa, so whatever was played last is what resumes. A few times, I’d start the music when cooking and the ‘wrong music’ would play, simply because I’d been listening to something else for a different reason earlier. Every time it happened, I chuckled to myself and thought back to this activity.

Great visualization here. I can definitely relate to the fact that sometimes getting the different symbols for representation can be work but once you put it together it’s satisfying. I noticed Tuesday and Wednesday were the only times you listened with your laptop and the rest of the days you were mostly using your phone. it would be interesting to reflect on why that is? if I read the visualization right tho.

You read the visualisation right! I’m actually not sure why I used my laptop more on those days than others. I tend to shift between my devices frequently, so I’m not sure that I was aware of it in the moment.

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