Investigating Data Collected from W’s Phone.
Upon discussion, it was concluded that the fundamental device that the participants carry with them most often is the smartphone. Most smartphones have a minimum of ten sensors (Majumdar, 2016) all able to track and store various data. As such, W was asked to use his phone and a corresponding tracking device to monitor his activity over a weekly period (from 29/02/2016 to 06/03/2016). As displayed below, W agreed to track his steps, distance, activity and mood.
Using smart data tracking, a quantitive insight to a week of W’s life allows us to make relative judgements about his activity whilst attempting not to intrude on personal information that should not be ethically disclosed.
However, as highlighted by Tricia Wang (2013), it’s not just numbers that should be used to provide insight, but ethnographic contextual correlation plays a huge role when it comes to reaching conclusions. As such, following W’s week of tracking, I followed up on his data to provide further insight and to show the value-added by utilising a mixed-method project.
Analysis of data using qualitative data:
Steps & Distance
From the data we can see that during the working week, W would walk mean average of 6480 steps. The average person takes between 3,000-4,000 steps per day (NHS, 2014). W told me that to go to work he usually walks to his local tube station, switches tube-lines twice and then walks to his office; he takes the same journey (in reverse) back. This usually takes him about 40 minutes and W said that most of his steps would be a product of this journey.
When asked why Thursday had a considerably higher amount of steps, W told me that he was celebrating a friend’s birthday. He had also taken the following day off work, which explains why his steps for that day are smaller.
W also took a similar approach to Saturday and Sunday. He went out for most of the day on Saturday to see friends, whilst on Sunday he rested.
W was very keen to track his mood and planned on continuing to track his mood beyond this research project. He stated he wanted to see what made him happy. Correlating the fact that he went out with friends on the happier days, I decided to ask him to explain why he rated Tuesday as a 2 out of 5 (a bad day). W told me that he was given a boring project to work on during the day which didn’t interest him much. And that once home he felt sluggish and bored. This perhaps would also explain why the amount of steps W took the Tuesday were also marginally lower than mean average.