I just bought a “personal fitness tracking device.” It records my every movement. Even keeps track of when I sleep, in theory at least. So far, its pretty cool. Certainly its made me aware of how many steps I take during a day, and how rarely I meet the sacred 10,000 step goal. Today, for example, I’ve taken 8748 steps. Although, since its 9:30pm, the day is still young.
What’s frustrating is that even though its my data, it’s not “mine”. I can’t see the entries, and I can’t do my own analysis. I’d like to produce a nice 5-number summary of my daily step totals, for instance. But I can’t. Best I can do is find this graph
And I’d love to plot this against other variables, but I have to live with their choices.
One interesting thing is how missing data becomes much more meaningful when the data missing is yours. For example, for the last few nights, I’ve worn the damn thing around my wrist at night to keep track of my sleep—but forgotten to turn it ‘on’. And so its missing. And I’m pretty sure it’s missing at random. Tonight, of course, I will remember. I think.
Tomorrow, though, I will fly on an airplane, and so I expect that the activity levels will be quite low. It would be great if there was a way of recording this, and then taking it into account in future analyses. All this would be possible, of course, if they would “free” your data.