The Data of Our Everyday Lives

Data surrounds our everyday lives. The unseen numbers and stats of our schedules, habits, thoughts, and actions that make up our lives are all, in essence, data. Recently there have been two women who have dedicated an entire year to unraveling the hidden data in their everyday lives. Giorgio Lupi and Stephanie Posavec are award winning information designers, who decided to record and share miscellaneous data every week for a whole year.  After the project, now titled Dear Data, both Lupi and Posavec agreed that executing the project helped them understand their habitual habits. However, The Dear Data project did not stop with these two women, but has inspired a whole population of people to start examining what they do day to day a little bit closer. Two of Berkley High School’s own, Mrs. Danaher and Mrs. Francis have decided to do just this. 

According to math teacher Mrs. Danaher, she learned about the Dear Data Project during her statistics curriculum training last June. Mrs. Danaher liked the project so much she even made it one of her statistics class’s first big projects. “I like the Dear Data Project because it allows students to slow down, notice something about their lives and write it down and even draw it,” Danaher explains. Shortly after the project between Lupi and Posavec was completed, a book version of all their colorful data put into postcards was released. According to Mrs. Danaher it was this book that initially sparked a conversion about the project with Mrs. Francis. “I ran into Mrs. Francis in the copy room one day after school. I had the Dear Data book in my arms and she was intrigued by the cover and asked to see the book. Mrs. Francis ended up purchasing the book as well as the Dear Data Postcard Kit. She asked if I would be interested in collecting data on a certain topic each week and exchanging postcards with her. I said sure,” Danaher relays. Some of the postcard topics are related to the one in the book. According to Danaher the key ones they will be doing are a week of compliments, thank-yous, envy, complaints, sounds, beauty, being nicer, friends, urban wildlife, and positive thoughts.  

“This project is interesting because I really believe it reveals our behaviors and then that helps us influence them,” Danaher says. Mrs. Francis and Mrs. Danaher will continue to share post cards in the weeks to come. Both of them are living examples of how doing something as small as gathering data on your week, can have far reaching positive influences on your day to day life.