How Can Data Improve Your Personal Life?

Data analytics not only benefit large companies and small enterprises – data can improve your personal life as well. For instance (using a common problem to highlight the power of data), data can help you shed excess pounds and reach your desired weight in a fast, safe and efficient manner without having to spending hours in the gym. You can use analytic and tracking tools to help you keep track of your weight, calculate the number of calories you have burnt, and even design a graphical representation of key data that will offer you deeper insight into how certain choices affect your progress. People are built differently and therefore have different metabolisms – each person’s weight loss formula is unique and data helps shed light on individual attributes.

Data can also improve one’s overall well-being: it allows you to track your mental state and your mood, how you feel every day, how you spend your time, etc. For example, if you use a scoring system… say from 1 to 10… to describe your well-being on a daily basis, you’ll likely be able to see trends in just a few weeks’ time if you are tracking other areas of your life as well. This will help you to understand yourself better and help you make better choices too. At the end of each day, you can decide whether it was a successful day and/or you managed to accomplish your goals or not – slowly but surely, you will notice how your decisions affect your mood and other personal metrics.

You can also make all sorts of correlations in order to pinpoint the activities that make you feel good and the activities that make you feel stressed. For instance, maybe working with deadlines or spending too much time working on your e-mail is more stressful than you thought. Identifying primary stressors will allow you to focus on the things that affect you the most.

You may also identify activities that have a larger affect due to their secondary affects. For instance, having to commute to work on a daily basis can have an impact on your mood and/or stress level, as well as have an affect on contributing to other unhealthy behaviors (ex. eating more junk food because you do not have the time to cook, or spending less time with friends, etc.). In other words, data analytics can help you identify unforeseen stress factors in your day-to-day life and remove them. At the end of the day, you can draw a conclusion based on the data you’ve gathered (ex. you’re watching too much television, working on your e-mails is a huge stress factor, a healthy social life plays a pivotal role in reducing your stress, etc.)

See how Quantified Selfer Stefan Heeke used analytics to improve his personal life…

Summary: A single choice can trigger a chain reaction which can have either a positive or a negative impact on your life. With data on your side you can get better visibility into how your choices affect the quality of your life. Through the insights gleaned from self-tracking and personal data you can eliminate the tasks that affect you in a negative way – the clutter and the things that simply don’t seem to work – and focus instead on those that benefit you, both physically and mentally.