please package up my small data for me!
By entering your email address below, we will together send a message to Internet, Social Media, and Mobile service providers to package our small data for us. You will be the customer for the data about you; I will be the customer for the data about me.
* We will share only the aggregate number of people who have registered interest in getting access to their small data.
* We will use your email only to contact you regarding updates to our small data initiative.
what is small data?
Small data are derived from our individual digital traces. We generate these data because most of us mediate or at least accompany our lives with mobile technologies. As a result, we all leave a "trail of breadcrumbs" behind us with our digital service providers, which together create our digital traces. The social networks, search engines, mobile operators, online games, and e-commerce sites that we access every day use these digital traces that we leave behind extensively. They aggregate and analyze our digital traces to target marketing and tailor service offerings and advertisements and to improve system performance...
...but none of these services currently consider the value of providing these personal traces back to the person who generated them. Consequently, they do not yet have a readymade vehicle to repackage their data about me, in a useful format for me, and make it available to me!
how can small data be used?
This broad but highly personalized, data set can be analyzed to draw powerful inferences about my health from my "digital behavior". Once we as patients and consumers can access the data that service providers have about us, then we can each use these data to fuel apps to which we subscribe. Some examples:
- Imagine an app that helps my doctor figure out whether the new medication dosage I have been taking for the last two weeks is better for me than the previous dosage; the app could create a comparative picture of my daily function this month relative to last month, by automatically analyzing motion, location, and vocabulary data plucked from my digital traces.
- An app running over my mobility traces that I get back from AT&T or Verizon could inform me if the supplement I am taking for my early stage arthritis is actually reducing morning stiffness and helping me get out and about more quickly most days, and if overall I am less sedentary than I was previously.
From chronic pain to depression to memory enhancement and Crohn's disease -- many chronic conditions have a lot of variability day to day, with many confounding factors, and both good and bad changes are gradual. Consequently, it's hard for me as an individual to reliably and precisely track the effect of a new treatment based only on my subjective and selective memory. But these same health conditions have symptoms and side effects that show in our functional, everyday behaviors and for the first time in a real sense, our everyday behaviors are becoming data. While that might be disconcerting, it is unavoidably the case; what I am arguing for is that we, as individuals, should be able to mine our own traces for our own purposes.go back to the signup form