Data stories: from facts to fiction

Data stories: from facts to fiction

The image above is taken from „Marx Engels Werke“ (MEW): Marxism is the most prominent example of what postmodernism calls a ‚Grand Narrative‘. Marx and Engels took all kinds of data, drew their conclusions, and told the one story that made sense from what they found. Un poème n’est jamais qu’un alphabet en désordre. (Jean Cocteau) Our time is perhaps the time of an epidemic of things. (Tristan Garcia) I remember the elderly complaining about „information over saturation“ or even „overload“ when I was a child, in the early 1980. 30 years later, the change of guards comes to my generation. „But once a sponge is at capacity, new information can only replace old information.“ Things like that we read in random articles every day. But what is this information that people are so afraid no longer to get, when the deluge of data has taken over? What is data? Data is the raw-content of our experience – primary the sensory readings that get conveyed into our minds, secondary the things we measure when we try to make experiences. I don’t want to get too philosophical here, but there are quite a few thinkers who share my discomfort with connecting […]

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A Bit of Data Science – What Your Battery Status Tells About You

A Bit of Data Science – What Your Battery Status Tells About You

Working with lots of data, the biggest challenge is not to store or handle this data – these jobs are far from being trivial, but there are solutions for nearly any kind of problem in this space. The real work with data starts when you ask yourself: what’s behind the data? How could you interpret this data? What story can you tell with this data? That’s what we do and we want to share some of our findings with you and motivate you to join our discussion about the meaning of the data . We want to create Data Fiction. Today, we start with some sensor data collected by our explore app – the smartphone’s battery status including the loading process. Below you see sample data for our user’s behavior during the week (Feature Visual) and at the weekend (Figure 1). Figure 2: Smartphone Battery Status (weekend) (Datarella) In Figure 1 you see that most users load their smartphones around 7 a.m. and (again) around 5 p.m. What does that tell us? First, we know when most users wake up in the morning – around 7 a.m.. Most probably they have used their smartphones‘ alarm functions and then connect their devices to the power […]

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The design of the explore app – The Datarella Interview

The design of the explore app – The Datarella Interview

Today, we speak with Kira Nezu (KN), Co-founder of Datarella, about the design of the explore app. Q The explore app is available for Android smartphones only. What is the reason not to launch an iPhone version, too? KN We started to develop explore as a so-called MVP, a Minimum Viable Product. We chose Android to start with since it offers more variety regarding sensor and phone data. So we only test and make mistakes on one platform. At some point, we will also launch an iPhone version. Q explore consists of two different elements: the sensor tracking and the interaction area with surveys, tasks and recommendations. Could you tell us more about the structure and the functionalities of the app? KN With the MVP we are trying to stay as flexible as possible to enable fast changes and bug fixing. So we decided to create a hybrid app which incorporates native and web elements. The native part basically is the container with most of the graphics. The content is dynamically fetched from our backend, whereas the result area is fully created with web views. This brings great flexibility: we can update our content within minutes. Regarding the structure there are 3 […]

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User interaction with the explore app – The Datarella Interview

User interaction with the explore app – The Datarella Interview

Today, we speak with Yukitaka Nezu (YN), Co-founder of Datarella, about user interaction with the explore app. Q The explore app provides two key elements: sensor tracking and social interaction. You are responsible for the social interaction part. Could you tell us more about it? YN There are three different kinds of interactions among the editorial team and our users: – Surveys – Tasks – Recommendations With the surveys we ask our users about common trends and their everyday behavior. Answers are collected, analyzed and instantly presented in the feedback area. Based on the Quantified Self approach every single user sees her own results compared with other users. Then, we run different programs helping people to simply feel better. One of our popular programs, SMILE!, motivates the user to start smiling herself and to animate others to smile, too, in return. On a daily basis, SMILE! participants receive tasks they have to fulfill. SMILE! participants managed to feel better after having finished the program and were happier compared with non-participants. Last but not least, we provide two kinds of recommendations: – General recommendations regarding health, fitness, nutrition, etc. – Based on the individually collected sensor data as well as the answers […]

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Boost your wellbeing and happiness with the explore app program SMILE!

Boost your wellbeing and happiness with the explore app program SMILE!

Too much workload, stress and ultimately the burnout – that’s how many people see their everyday life. One way to handle the negative aspects of daily routines is to make it to the weekend (TGIF), another is to go on vacation. Whereas the first tactic is easy to realize but only helpful to a certain degree, the latter is possible once or twice a year for most of us. But there is another, more easy way to calm down and to boost your wellbeing and happiness: create and repeat small positive experiences – and you will see an immediate effect on your overall awareness of life. As Sonya Lyubomirsky and Kristin Layous show in their paper, based on research by Ed Diener and others, it’s the small and regularly repeated positive experiences which influence your wellbeing and happiness to a great extent. According to the Positive-Activity Model, features of positive activities, including their dosage, variety, sequence, and built-in social support, all influence their success in that process. Positive-Activity Model For our editorial team at Datarella, this model was a challenge: how could we use the explore app to get this model work in an optimal way? As always, the team decided […]

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Big Data Product Development – The Datarella Interview

Big Data Product Development – The Datarella Interview

Today, we speak with Joerg Blumtritt (JB), CEO and Co-founder of Datarella, about product development based on Big Data. Q What is so special about product development based on Big Data? JB Big Data is not so much about technology, it’s more about letting go your traditional business practices: where you used to differentiate between data and meta data or between master data and transitional data, you now just see …. data. If you take Social Media data for example, the old way of analyzing things would have been taking the texts of postings a data and time stamps, geolocation, the profile of the author, etc. as meta data. However, for most contexts, it’s far more valuable to analyze the connections of different authors or it might be even more telling to include the geolocations to reveal the true meaning of the posting without understanding a single word of the language it as written in (BTW: this is how the NSA does Social Media monitoring) The second aspect of this is not to work hypothesis-driven, but in an explorative way: don’t restrict yourself by narrowing the scope – instead analyze all given variables. Q You mentioned Social Media monitoring. In […]

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Call for Data Fiction

Call for Data Fiction

DATA FICTION – THE STORIES BEHIND THE DATA Do you read science fiction? Can you make data interesting? Can you tell the story behind a pool of data? Are you a data fictionista? Submit your data fiction. People, animals, plants and things produce data – a lot of data. The data itself is the basic resource – like words are the basis for language. If you put words together to sentences and you combine sentences to chapters and aggregate several chapters – you write a story, you create fiction. Same with data: if you combine different data sources to data pools and aggregate them – you write the story behind the data, you create data fiction. [Strong narrative] augments the available data by way of context, and extends the patience of the audience by sustaining their interest as well. Does that sound like you? We’d love to see and discuss your applications, analyses, case studies and models with you and help you make your data fiction become reality. DATA, APP & COMPLEX EVENT PROCESSING ENGINE The Data We will provide you with sample data resulting from the usage of our explore app. The App The data has been created by […]

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