#DearDuo 4 – What is Pooja doing while listening to music?

#DearDuo 4 – What is Pooja doing while listening to music?

Welcome to the fourth month of our #DearDuo data project. Pooja and I are tracking different themed data sets each month and providing them to each other to visualize.

This month we agreed on the topic of music.  This was sure to be an interesting topic.  I chat with Pooja pretty often and I am always surprised by her wide tastes in music.  She has sent me links to everything from DNCE – “Cake by the Ocean”, Green Day – “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, Priyanka Chopra – “In My City”, Snow Patrol – “Chasing Cars”, and even Nickelback – “Far Away”.

The Data

I wasn’t sure which direction we would end up with the data.  I listen to A LOT of music!  I originally manually tracked the data and it was a nightmare.  I ended up using Spotify and a Chrome extension (YouTube) to scrobble data to Last FM.  I just couldn’t keep up with it.  I knew Pooja was doing it manually so I was curious to see what she gave me.

Well…it was pretty messy.  She even admitted it.


She gave me a 64 row data set with date, time listened (minutes), platform, activity, and her state of mind.  Here was the kicker.  The data ranged from August to December, but there was nothing at all in September or October (except one day).  The activities and platforms were aggregated so I wasn’t quite sure how I would visualize those since some had some duplication of dimensions.  I am not complaining at all (well not to you – I may have told Pooja it was messy) as I was up for a challenge.  I started by filtering the dates to only include dates after Pooja moved to Philly for her new job.

The Design and Visualization

I wanted to give this dashboard a musical feel.  I very quickly realized the dates were a little sparse and I didn’t like how it looked with a line chart.  I decided to use a dual axis frequency chart (Ravi Mistry of the Information Lab first did this in Tableau).  I really like the way it looks kind of like an equalizer or just a sound frequency.  I think it fits with the topic so this became the main visualization across the top of the dashboard.

I also love when Pooja gives me the state of mind field!  In past data sets, she gave me more of a sentence of how she was feeling.  This time it was more of the general emotion she felt at the time.  I immediately knew what I would do here.  While chatting with Pooja over the past several months, I have learned she is a serial emoji addict!  I would use emojis as custom shapes to represent how she was feeling for each record.  There was a bit of overlap with these icons so I stacked the marks, used a reference line to show a total bar behind it and labeled each row with a total value.

I once again opted for a 100% floating design with a dark background.  I tile with light backgrounds all day at work, so why not?  I started putting this together and I did have a hard time with those aggregated activities and platforms.  I decided instead of a third visualization to create some dynamic text that will give a description of the entire event.  This also allowed me to turn off all tooltips.  All you have to do is hover over the frequency or emoji charts and the dashboard will light up.

Finally, no public work is complete without some good imagery, right?  I floated some transparent musical notes over the dynamic text.  I asked Pooja if she had any pictures listening to music (she said no weirdo) so I decided to create one in PhotoShop.  I found an image of some Dr. Dre Beats headphones at a similar angle to a photo I had of Pooja.  I made the image transparent, erased half of it, changed the red logo to yellow (it has to match on my viz) and layered the images all together in the bottom corner.  This is just an effect you cannot achieve with tiling.

What did I learn about Pooja?

I learned that I talk to Pooja a lot!  I was listed on several records accounting for 805 minutes of Pooja’s music listening time.  Of course, these activities were aggregated (cough cough), so not all of that time was while I was chatting with her.  I was very happy that all of these times were marked as Pooja feeling happy, excited, or chirpy.

I also learned that Pooja listens to a lot of music while doing a wide variety of stuff from cooking and cleaning to painting nails and driving.  Through all these activities, only one time did she listen to music while annoyed.  It happened while she was working on #MakeoverMonday this past week.  I guess we can tell Andy Kriebel she didn’t like the data from the chord diagram!

Finally, most of the time it looks like Pooja is a happy camper, at least while listening to music.

Thanks for reading. Here is the viz:

2 thoughts on “#DearDuo 4 – What is Pooja doing while listening to music?

    1. Adam Crahen

      Thanks so much!

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