Learning from our data requires access to our data.
Since 2011 participants and organizers in the QS community have been working together to make it easier for people to get access to their own data. Much of the data collected about us is stored and controlled in a way that makes it very difficult for us to use it, even as it is aggregated and sold freely in a data marketplace designed to serve commercial interests.
To address this problem, we have to work on three levels:
Advocacy: Spotlighting important developments, both positive and negative, so that our community can be heard and contribute solutions.
Education: Publishing and publicizing methods that can be useful for individuals trying to get their data out of closed systems, and maintaining an online forum to share advice and requests for help.
Access Tools: When no other solutions exist, we occasionally built our own tools.
Below are some notable examples of resources created by the QS community to support data access. To get help or offer assistance with specific data access problems, consider posting to the Apps and Tools topic on the QS Forum. If you’ve built a tool for data access, let us know about it so we can list it here.
Access your data from HealthKit in a table so you can explore it using Numbers, Excel, R, or any other CSV compatible tool. Download it here.
From Open Humans, A web-based Jupyter notebook that allows you to share your methods for analyzing your personal data without sharing the data itself.
From Bastian Tzovaras, a visualization tool for analyzing your Twitter archive in detail.
From Aaron Parecki, Compass is a GPS tracking server that stores your location data in flat files. The data resides on your server and is not accessed by anyone else.
Willem Pienaar put together an excellent curated list of QS resources, including websites, devices, and applications. Hosted on GitHub, this page has many contributors from the QS community.