Statwing, an Awesome Tool For Analyzing Your Quantified-Self Data

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personal informatics personal science quantified self data analyticsYesterday, following the lead left by Dave Shelton from Wellnowbe in the comment to one of my posts, I went to check out Statwing, a website that lets you perform basic statistical analysis on any kind of data (including data from your QS projects) “on the fly”, right in the browser. I was very skeptical at first, but I have been enjoying Dave’s thought-provoking blog posts for awhile now, and trust his opinion, so I decided to check out this site. I was not disappointed. In fact, the moment I started playing with the tool, I was hooked!

I must admit, I did not sign up for the free trial, and did not use my own data (which could be uploded directly from your computer, or shared service like Google Drive, Dropbox, website UR, or simply pasted from Excel). Instead, I went straight to three datasets that were made available there for the demo purposes: results of psychological survey of prospective Obama and Romney voters, a dataset from Dave’s small personal quantified-self project, and congressional records on voting for and against the SOPA/PIPA act. These datasets contained enough variables of different types to test-drive the tool.

While the analysis is currently limited to only two variables, you can still do a lot . In addition to simple descriptive statistics (you can see distribution of the variables), you can look at the relationship between variables, be it a differences in the means, or strength of association (correlation). As a statistician, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Statwing uses appropriate statistics (Cohen’s d for mean differences, and Cramer’s v for strength of association). The results are reported on two levels. The basic level report simply states if the relationship between two variable is significant, and if it is, how big is the effect size (i.e., what is the magnitude of the differences or correlation):

personal analytics and quantified self tools

The advanced level report has more technical parameters, like p-value, and the value and confidence interval for the effect size:

analyzing personal self-tracking data self-experimentation self experimental data analytics

Both reports are supplemented with tables and sometimes charts (histograms and scatterplots) that help to visualize the patterns.

Measured Me blog review of quantified self data analytics tool Statwing
mood tracking quantified self data personal analytics example using Statwing tool

My understanding is that the site is still in beta, and more advanced features like sharing the results, customized visualization, and regression analysis are still on the way. I personally would like to see visualization of relationships between two nominal variables, and perhaps, a better way to depict mean differences.

To summarize this all, I am simply blown away by the simplicity of this tool, and believe that its potential value for Quantified-Self community is enormous. While I myself probably won’t use Statwing much (I use SPSS and SAS to analyze my data), regular self-trackers and DIY researchers who are not very comfortable with statistics would find this tool indispensable. My only concern is the pricing. I understand, that Statwing can be used to analyze any kind of data (e.g., market research), hence the current price ($19 a month for the starter level), with the bigger “players” in mind. But for a typical member of QS community, who needs to analyze data only once or twice a month, this is way too expensive. I would recommend developers to tie the cost to the size of the dataset and a number of variables, or introduces a one-time fee for 1-3 runs (e.g., 99 cents per analysis?) In the meantime, if you have some data from your QS projects that you would like to crunch, I suggest you to head to and take advantage of their free 14-days trial.

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2 Responses to Statwing, an Awesome Tool For Analyzing Your Quantified-Self Data

  1. Thanks so much for the kind words about Statwing! We’re working really hard at this, so it warms our hearts to have people try it and like it.
    One thing that we’re not very clear about is that you can always use Statwing for free. The only limitation is that you’re limited to analyzing one dataset at a time (i.e., if you upload another dataset, you can no longer access the previous one). The free trial and/or paying the $19 gives you the ability to have 10 accessible datasets at a time.
    Our messaging is pretty unclear about that distinction right now because we’re only just now rolling out payments at all! Apologies for the confusion, we’ll clear it up in the next few weeks!

  2. Hello Greg,
    That’s great news! Is there a link to this information? I will be happy to update my post.

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