Self-Hacking: Self-Knowledge & Data Literacy
Self-hacking is about self-awareness, pattern spotting and behaviour change. It focuses on the end result of data collection: understanding and action. As important is "data literacy" i.e. data expertise at individual level, not just for businesses and institutions. Uncovering hidden cause and effect in one's behaviour increases individual's autonomy. To self-hack, we need to have access to analytical tools and raw data. Current 'info-graphics' are a far cry from the power a sophisticated data analysis could give to an individual user. What if I want to analyse my data differently to the analysis, let's say, Withings scales app provides, cross-analyse it with my travel data from Tripit to see if my weight is related to change in my diet during travel. Or any other activity I care to track. The possibilities are endless, if only individual users had access to their data and to far more sophisticated tools for data analysis and visualisation.
- founder of the London Quantified Self Meetup group
- organiser of VRM Hub meetings in London as part of the Project VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) founded by Doc Searls
A keen advocate of privacy, personal data ownership on the web, my interest in Personal Informatics/Quantified Self and Self-hacking is to voice the same concerns. I would also like to raise the bar on the analytical functionality available to users - data visualisation, database magic, ad hoc and flexible data analysis, all driven by the user and available for any kind of data set they may be generating, passively or actively.