Making Sense of Sensors

Course reflection

In our project for this course, we looked at the relation between the steps taken by office workers and the weather. For this, we came up with a formula that would grade the weather based on a number of factors. The formula was derived from a formula that is used to grade the weather of an entire day.

While making the report and the presentation I mostly focused on working with the data and processing it in Tableau. This gave me the chance to dive into the results and see what possible conclusion we could draw from it. Tableau can be nice to work with, but sometimes it is hard to make it do what you want. In order to get the graphs we wanted, I had to make two different structures of the data each for its own purpose. I used one set to get participant specific data, the other for the general data and comparing the participants to each other.
Besides this, I helped with writing some parts of the paper like the discussion, methodology, and formula we used to grade the weather.

In the team, we came up with a natural division of the work. As described I spent most of my time working with the data and making the graphs. This was possible because the other team members focused more on writing and making the presentations.

The biggest learning point from this course was Tableau and working with the data. I got some insight into how to clean up data so it can be easily used for analysis in Tableau. I had also never worked with Tableau before and this definitely required some time to understand. Tableau did not always work the way I wanted. This meant having to figure things out and trying to find examples that match what I wanted as close as possible. Working with Tableau has definitely given me a basis for working with and analyzing data that I can use in the future.

What I think our research could have used was more data, a larger timeframe for testing to be more specific. That way we could have compared a day of the weak to the same days of the following weeks. I think this could have given us some interesting results.

This is the first course in the curriculum that teaches data analysis with some depth. This is very useful and I something I wish we had learned a bit sooner. I feel however that the setup of the course can be improved. The focus seems to focus more on writing an academic paper, something we have to do for almost every course, and less on really teaching data analysis. In my opinion, the focus should be the other way round. This also means that there was no real in-depth knowledge gained. Some assignments specifically about working with data would be nice to get a basis for how to do the final assignment. This also makes sure everyone who follows the course learns the same things about data analysis.