Thursday, 7 November 2013

21 months with Nike+ SportsWatch GPS

When it comes to big data, the problem for the self-monitoring individual is that it takes a lot of time to generate a big enough set.

Conversely, it's very quick to generate big data on a big population, and because you're looking for broad trends, you don't really care about individual variations - again, that's exactly what the self-monitoring individual is looking for.

In my own small way, the biggest dataset I've recorded to-date comes from my Nike+ TomTom running watch. It's not been perfect - due to user error as much as system deficiencies - but over the past 21 months, I've seen some trends.

In particular, I was surprised to see that of the four months in which I've been running the most, three of them were during 2012, with August 2012 being by far my 'best' month.

More generally, I was surprised to see that I managed 69 runs in 10 months in 2012, compared to only 61 runs in 10 and a half months in 2013. I was sure I'd been running more this year.

Certainly I'll need to get my skates on if I want to hit 70 runs this year.

And, on the most crude level, that's why big data is useful for the individual - when it combines with your inherent motivation...

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