Use your own data
Last updated: January 19, 2019
Table of contents:
- Tracking and monitoring habbits
- Evaluating ytraining records
- Better track of your financial records: income and spending money
- Car Profitability Analysis
- Gasoline price changes compared to places where you fill the tank
- Monitoring progress of your blog or personal webpage, social media profiles
- Analysis of your marketing activities on worth of brand/products
When we talk about data in most cases we have a big thing in mind. Companies that process terabytes of data and make decisions based on them. However, there is also another side to it. A private one, that all of us are able to leverage.
Tracking and monitoring habbits
Keeping track of your habits is a great start especially when the new year has begun. Most of us have some sort of habits for instance: daily training, meditation, reading … And there are hundreds of ways to track them. Starting with mobile applications, web apps, pen and paper.
It’s a great feeling when the last task from a list is checked and done.
Even more, reasons exist, as to why we are tracking them. What is common I assume is this great feeling of accomplishment once all tasks from our lists are “checked” and done. Moreover, when this would be X day in a row – you know that feeling right.
With today’s technology it’s never been easier to manage money and stay within a budget. You can use an app to watch your spending habits, save money for a down payment on a home, or keep track of your credit score. #finance #technology #credit #savings https://t.co/dCOmFFuxkG pic.twitter.com/AzoUPCMOK0— The Snyder Group (@TheSnyderGroup) January 17, 2019
Why not make use of this data, and instead of just checking when and whether it was done, push it a bit further. What was the reason for not doing a particular habit, was it correlated with something that has happened at that particular day. Example: Waking up early (5:00 AM) was missed, due to tough training in the previous day, or a good party.
Evaluating training records
For those of you that are: running, swimming, doing crosfit more than once a month I would expect that you are using sport apps, for example:
Some of those apps are very good out of the box. Some of them have really cool features but after an additional price. There is one question. Are you checking overall progress or just analytics for some certain training? It is beneficial you have run faster, than some other person in some group range. Maybe it better would be to compare what is the progress versus the previous year (if you were gathering such data or using the same app).
Tracking training is one thing, getting insights based on them, measuring progress, evaluating the causes of good vs bad training is completely another level.
Better track of your financial records: income and spending money
As Master Yoda from Star Wars used to say “Do or do not, there is no try”, same is with this point. You are either tracking your expenses or you are not. Even with all the cool banking features, that are sort of doing this for us (classifying your spending, when you are paying using your bank account), it all comes down to one simple sentence. Are you regularly checking on what you are spending money on?
In some strange way, this “habit” gives confidence and a sense of feeling that I’m in control of my finance world. Of course, it would be great no to write everything down manually (in Excel or Google sheet or other App).
Thanks to having such data, I’m able to exactly say what is my month over month spending rate in the food category for instance (or any other calendar period). In what months I will need more money, based on previous years etc.
Car Profitability Analysis
In this example, I’m using a car, as it is easier for me to give you the root idea behind it. In general, you can add in place of a car, any item that you are an owner of, and it generates some sort of expenses. The question is, is it really worth the money? It always depends on many factors, and definitely not only money. However in this particular case, I’m taking under consideration, only expenses around a car, I’m not counting, time saved on trips, comfort etc. stuff that I’m not able to really measure in money.
When owning a car we need to pay for its service, parts, gasoline, insurance and others. Now compare that with the amount of miles/kilometres that you’ve driven since buying it. Based on that you can say how much you are spending per mile/kilometre on your car. Is it comparable to public transport, taxi, uber?
If you are living in a big city like myself, with fairly good public transport, and you are able to survive in a bit longer rides to your office/school and back. Then maybe, just maybe it would be a point to consider, in favour of a change.
Gasoline price changes compared to places where you fill the tank
This one comes naturally after points 4 and 5. If you are monitoring your expenses and checking your car spending records. You may end up with a big amount of data connecting with gasoline prices, compared with places where you re-fuel.
The price of gasoline is up 17%+ compared to a year ago, and anticipated to go higher this summer. Is that enough of a difference to change your driving habits? https://t.co/ISupvervtc— Dave Finigan (@DaveFinigan) May 8, 2018
You may see how the price was changing, in previous months. When it was the highest and when lowest. What may be the reasons behind it? Why on Station A, gasoline is around 10% cheaper than on Station B, is it worse there, or owner has lower margins?
How frequently do you need to re-fuel (if you are filling the tank once it is empty), once per month, twice or more?
Monitoring progress of your blog or personal webpage, social media profiles
Please don’t get me wrong, you don’t need to monitor it all by yourself. Nearly all social media platforms are giving you insights about the number of visitors, “likes” amount, number of people that have seen your tweet. In addition, there is whole Google Analytics at your service, plus a lot of other products that are monitoring and analyzing activity and mentions of your “brand” on the internet.
What I’m trying to tell you is that having this data is not enough, make use of it. Correlate it with other (maybe) external factors.
Think why one blog post had more visitors than the other based on Google Analytics. Were you more active in social media when the first was published? Was your topic, trending on the internet. Are people more interested in such information at this particular season than your other topics?
Monitoring, gathering, analyzing and getting insights is your key to success.
Analysis of your marketing activities on worth of brand/products
When you are building your brand – sharing knowledge, giving some valuable insights to others etc. – it would be worth considering what impact you are really making. One of the ways is to measure how big is your audience.
The bigger the audience, the more impact one can make, on other people lives. Again you can use tools like Google Analytics or other monitoring products, but this time concentrate on the outcomes of particular actions.
Number of new users, increased amount of followers, number of retweets you name it. These metrics have other benefits that you can possibly leverage in the future. For instance, granting you the possibility to build products that will support your community.
Monitor a couple of different applications, which is technically easy, but sort of cumbersome from a longer perspective this is one way to use data. The second one, majority of applications, webpages, have an option to export data (for instance to Excel or . CSV format) or are giving developers access to API (application programming interface). Raw data from applications can be later used as a source for “your” analytical application, be it Microsoft Excel, Qlik Sense, Power BI, Google Data Studio.
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