Designing Data Consciousness

As part of DataStore we commissioned a short animated film, called DataTrails. The brief we gave them is below.

" As citizens in an increasingly digital world, data surrounds us and connects us to data and to people: friends, associates, or people we don’t even know or tangentially know. Connectivity and open data are the “big infrastructures” of the information age. 

In a single day the average person is exposed to the same amount of information as a person in the 15th century was exposed to in a lifetime. Every second, you receive and process over 11M bits of data from your five senses. 230 million tweets a day.

Today, we continue to generate data consciously, from every item we purchase, to medical records from a visit to the doctor, to Internet searches and interactions with social networks. All of this data is captured and recorded with our implicit or explicit knowledge.

However, data is also generated unconsciously, without our knowledge, as we move through the world and live our increasingly digital lives. Mobile phones generate location data, and our cars generate location data and diagnostic data. In our own homes, smart meters generate data about when we heat and cool our homes, or do our washing. Sensors like GPS in cars and mobile phones, mobile towers, and smart electric meters generate data without a direct action, other than living our day-to-day lives.

If we look outside our own walls, at all the social data and public data sets that are being generated around us, we can integrate and process our data amongst other peoples', allowing the discovery of new insights from our own data. All kinds of potential open ups in terms of creating more value for ourselves as well as for civic society."

And the brilliant Yarn in Berlin, delivered us the film below. It's a short film because turnaround time was tight but we think it does a great job of conveying the concept of how we generate data all of the time.