The Data of everything

Since it is 90 °F and sunny, I will tell you everything.


Are we more confident or decisive on a Monday than on a Friday? Does the current windchill or time of day affect how we feel about a specific topic or how willing we are to share personal data or our opinions?

There is a lot of different factors involved in the decisions we make or how we feel about something. Some you can attribute to logic or habits others to emotions or external factors. Besides the explicit opinions and responses we get from participants, we also look at other possible unknowns that could affect how we feel about a topic or drive our decision making process.

With every single piece of explicit feedback data we gather e.g. an expressed opinion, a selected option, gender, age group and so on, we also gather a large set of implicit information. This includes current location, time of day, various weather data, time it takes to respond to a question, the intensity of a response (e.g. how firmly do you press a button), how your finger moves across a touch device and so on.

The platform we are using looks at all these different data points and creates real- time reports on automatically generated segments and demographics. The data allows us to identify cross-effects and correlations between entities we previously assumed to be disconnected. It gives us an even deeper understanding of how certain people feel about something and why.

Getting there

Everyone and everything is constantly fighting for our attention. Some of us have a concentration span - on a good day - mounting up to a full forty-three seconds. What does it take to get us to invest that tiny time slice in sharing our thoughts on complex topics and how can we express ourselves quickly without making snap judgments or falling back to old, known patterns?

A possible, slight misinterpretation of what Steve Jobs once said in an interview with the Rolling Stone magazine sent us down the right path: "Technology is nothing. What's important is that you have a faith in people, that they're basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they'll do wonderful things with them.".

Building on the idea that people are good and smart, we set out to build a solution, which would allow us to tap in to the complex thoughts and emotions of our participants with no or little friction. We wanted to provide a tool that just worked, without getting in the way. We also wanted to leverage available technologies to capture other relevant data points, the implicit data mentioned earlier, without making the journey more complex.

We could have handcuffed people to a clipboard. We could have asked people to fill out a sixty page survey on everything from current weather conditions to how strongly they feel about a given topic or their current take on privacy and their willingness to share their deepest thoughts. We handed people an iPad instead.

What we have created with the Citizen.E solution is a full product suite for canvasing and analyzing large amounts of complex data.

Fredrik Andersson
[email protected]
March 8, 2018