Attractive graphic presentation also helps.

Spreadsheets can be rather boring, and even converting data into easily digestible graphs doesn't necessarily make it particularly interesting. Some people, however, succeed in taking the dull and the mundane and making it seem even exciting. Nicholas Felton, for instance.

For a decade, from 2005 to 2014, Felton published a statistical review of his year, and for each of these years he focused on different data, and found a variety of ways to present it. It's debatable whether the statistics on how many taxis and buses he rode, and from where to where, or the number of pages of books and magazines he read, are particularly interesting, but Felton's very impressive graphic capabilities made them appear fascinating. Felton "completed" this project with his tenth installment about which he wrote that it:

attempts to merge all of this information in a format that reveals connections, provides context and suggests correlations.
In an interview in Wired after the publication of his final report he explained why it was the last:
So in 2013, making this really audacious attempt to get all my communication into one report, was like the last frontier for me for what might be manually possible. And then for the tenth one, I simply think that the world of apps and devices for self-quantification has come so far in the 10 years since Iíve started. This was a great time to look at what was available about my life from these devices, compared to previous reports. And that felt like a fantastic capstone to the project.
This is a different conclusion from that of Bell and Anderson, but it still suggests that simply enough was enough.



Go to: The unbearable tedium of life-logging.