Sunday, August 31, 2008

Expecting analytical tools for individuals

Analytical tools for websites are everywhere. However, analytical tools for individuals are rare. Google web history might be one, but has much less functions compared to its analytics.

One may wonder why would we need an analytical tool for individuals. The reason is that tracing one's activities is interesting (as long as it's not privacy related). As it should be helpful to a website, an analytical tool for individual would benefit the user and even provide suggestions on time management. The analytical tool for individual has to be
  1. automatic; users won't log each into a document manually.
  2. complete; a partial result is of mere use.
  3. precise; an imprecise log will lead to fault result.
Of these characters, automatic is the most important. A user is usually not willing to log his/her activities manually. Users are not able to log each activity precisely. However logging is a required step in time management, without which analyzing would be impossible.

It would be difficult to implement such an analytical tool, especially for fine-grained user activities. There are different operating systems, browsers, etc. Besides, there are hundreds of thousands of activities outside computer world.

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